What Does It Take To Be a Firefighter?

There are currently over a million firefighters in the United States. But, it’s not an easy career to have. And, it’s even harder to actually get hired as a firefighter.

But, how do you get on the right path to your dream career of putting out fires? Read on to learn the answer to the question, “What does it take to be a firefighter?”

Firefighter Qualifications

There are some pre-qualifications you’ll need to become a firefighter. You’ll need to be above the age of eighteen, and you’ll have to have obtained your high school diploma. You must have good vision, or vision that can be corrected using glasses or contact lenses.

There are other specialized qualifications you may need to become a firefighter, depending on the department you’ll apply to. In most cases, you’ll also need your emergency medical technician certification before you can become a firefighter. Having CPR training will give you a leg up when you start applying to be a firefighter.

Furthering your education can also help you during the hiring process. Some schools and cities offer fire science education programs. You may even be able to get a bachelor’s degree in fire science, and master’s degrees are offered in some areas!

The more education and training that you have, the more you’ll be able to advance in your career as a firefighter. Community colleges, trade schools, technical institutes, and the military are all places that may offer fire science degree courses.

Firefighter Training

Usually, you’ll have to start out as a volunteer firefighter to build up your experience as a firefighter. This will help in getting you used to the work environment of firefighters, and help you build connections with established firefighters. Like with most jobs, networking can help set your application apart once you submit it, since the hiring committee will already be familiar with your name.

If you’re wondering “What does it take to become a volunteer firefighter?”, it’s probably not as hard as you think.

You’ll usually have to take an orientation course. Once you pass the orientation course, you may have a certain amount of training nights you have to complete. When you’ve completed your training nights, you may still be on a probationary period for a set period of time, often six months.

Of course, you’ll need to meet certain physical requirements to become a firefighter. So, if you’re not physically fit, it’s time to start working out. Work on your cardio, since you’ll need to move quickly. And, there’s a lot of heavy lifting involved in firefighting. Lifting weights can help you improve your strength and help you on your path to becoming a firefighter.

Once you’ve been a volunteer firefighter for a while, you may be able to sign up for the firefighter academy. This will train you in specific firefighting skills. Depending on the department you’re applying to, you may do this before you start the application process, or you may do it once you complete the testing process. Contact the fire departments you’re interested in to see how their training process works.

Firefighter Testing

To become a firefighter, you’ll need to pass the testing process at the department you’re applying to. Some departments do testing cycles every six months, some every few years, and major city departments might go as long as ten years between testing cycles. That’s why you’ll want to be flexible and consider moving to a different city or state to become a firefighter.

You’ll need to pass a physical test to become a firefighter. You’ll have to perform specific tests that firefighters perform in a set time period.

There are also written exams involved with the firefighter application process. These exams will differ somewhat between departments. They may evaluate your math skills. Likely, you’ll need to prove your memory skills and your spatial awareness during the written exam. The written test may also evaluate your ability to reason and your logic skills.

Lastly, you will need to pass a medical exam and a psychological evaluation to become a firefighter. This will ensure that you’re physically and mentally fit to serve the public as a firefighter.

Once you pass your firefighter exams, you can look into CustomChallengeCoins firefighter coins to commemorate the occasion. That way, you’ll have a way to look back positively on your achievement.

Know Your Background

You also need to have a clean background check to become a firefighter. If you have an active criminal record, it may be difficult for you to be hired.

Certain personality traits make you more likely to succeed as a firefighter. Of course, you need a certain amount of courage to become a firefighter. It’s a dangerous job, after all!

Integrity is another of the most important firefighter traits. You need to keep yourself and your fellow firefighters accountable for your actions, since you’re working to keep your community safe. The community needs to be able to trust its firefighters to do the best they can.

And, to be a firefighter, you have to be a hard worker. Firefighters work long, hard hours, and it can be overwhelming if you’re not up to the task. But, it’s important for firefighters to be committed to working hard, so you need to evaluate yourself carefully before you start the application process.

What Does It Take To Be a Firefighter? Now You Know

Clearly, the answer to “What does it take to be a firefighter?” is complicated. But, if you’re determined and keep trying, you’ll get hired sooner than later.

Are you looking for more help with your career? Check out some of our other posts for the advice you need.

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