Firefighter Salary. How much do firefighters make?

Average annual salary of firefighter in the US is around $44,000. Of course, is depends on a number of different factors, which we will review below. The most influential are on top:


What influences firefighter’s salary the most is location where he’s going to work. Even though they work in a public sector, you can make 1,5 times more for the same work hours just because you’re working in another state. Despite this, relocation is not very popular among firefighters, and many of them apply for local fire depts. in their home towns. But, if you’re willing to relocate, you should consider this a great way to increase your salary.


Level of experience is another thing on which your salary as a firefighter will depend greatly. Firefighters can expect their salary to grow about 15%-20% every 5 years, which is a very good ratio. Usually, after 20 years of work experience their salary is close to its maximum, so it’s a good reason for promotion. Experienced firefighters often get promoted to more advance jobs like fire chief or fire investigator within their fire departments or can find an external job like fire safety director at some enterprise.

Level of education

Advanced level of education – fire science degree is a very popular way to get higher salary as firefighter regardless of level of experience. Thus, for prospective firefighters it’s not only a source of extremely useful knowledge they will use in their day-to-day job, but also a great way to increase their starting salary. Firefighters with some job experience usually need degrees if they want to get promoted. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s a fact that many employers want to see candidates to have a degree as a proof of their knowledge in the area.

Additional certifications or skills

Many firefighters combine this job with being a paramedic or EMT. Of course, even to become a firefighter you will need to accomplish a CPR & first aid course, which provides you with basics. However, firefighters that have full scope of paramedic skills can expect a higher salary. What is more, people with paramedic/EMT credentials can easily advance their career in medical field if they find out that firefighting is not for them or can’t continue to practice it for health reasons.

Benefits except the salary?

Lots of them! Firefighters enjoy such benefits (not limited to a list below):

  • Family Dental, Vision and Medical insurance coverage
  • Extensive life & disability insurance
  • Covered sick leaves
  • Tuition reimbursement

So, as you can see, even though it’s is a very challenging career, firefighters enjoy numerous benefits, reasonable salary and opportunities for career growth.