The work of a firefighter is to put off the fire and deal with emergencies that involve life, environment, and property loss. If you are considering firefighting as your career, prepare yourself for these tasks.
However, other duties that you will handle as a firefighter include writing reports, leading fire drills, and many others.
With this said, the tasks you will undertake as a firefighter in California will depend on the fire department you will be working with.
Some of the requirements of becoming a firefighter are common across all the states in the US. You will some people referring to them as minimum requirements.
What you need to keep in mind is that the admission requirements can vary depending on your potential boss, state, and county. To know more about becoming a firefighter in California, read on.
Firefighting Careers in California
In California, firefighting employments is listed among the Fire Protection Careers. Some of the careers you will pursue under this category include
- Fire Fighter 1
- Fire Firefighter (paramedic) & Fire Fighter
- Fire Apparatus Engineer (Paramedic) & Fire Apparatus Engineer
- Heavy Fire Equipment Operator (HFEO)
What you need to know is that every position will have its hiring requirements. For more information, visit the official website of California.
Requirements of a firefighter in California
The requirements will vary depending on the position you want as a firefighter. For instance, a Fire Fighter 1 job position will require you to be above 18 years of age.
What you have to know about this position is that it is a temporary and seasonal classification. With its nature, you can tell that it will not demand high qualifications.
Compared to the others, getting a job in a Fire Fighter 1 opening will require less time. You cannot go about getting all the certifications for a temporary job.
You can get Fire Fighter one job in California to provide you meet the minimum requirements.
However, in case you want a permanent job as a firefighter in California, there are more things you will require. Also, you will spend more time in some post-employment activities between landing your actual job.
Unlike the other, a permanent firefighting job in California will require you to be above 21 years.
As we have agreed that the requirements will vary, here are some of the minimum requirements for you to secure a job in this state.
- Satisfy the minimum requirements on the age
- Be a lawful citizen of the United States
- Have good character records
- You have to be free from mental or physical conditions
- Hold a GED or secondary diploma
- You must have a valid California driving license
- You must be EMT certified (emergency medical technician)
- Hold a valid CPAT (candidate physical agility test)
How long will it take you to be a firefighter in California?
After fulfilling the minimum requirements, what you need to do next is applying for the job position. You will spend several months to complete the application process.
This can include the entire time from starting your application process to the time you will be attending firefighting classes in the department academy.
You will spend at least 5 months at the fire academy. After graduating, you will serve the probationary period. To make it clear, you will spend a significant amount of time before becoming a firefighter in California.
Prepare yourself to spend as much time more than you can imagine. This will entirely depend on the job position you want.
Different levels have varying requirements making you spend anywhere between a day and 7 years.
If you will want to acquire full certification by attending the whole firefighting training and classes, do not be surprised by the seven years.
How much will you earn as a firefighter in California?
The best thing with firefighting jobs is that it is worth all the time you will spend before getting the job.
You will enjoy various bonuses on top of your salary. According to BLS, in 2017, firefighters could earn an average of $73860 per year in California. With this, you can tell that this is a rewarding career.
After New Jersey, California is the best in paying higher money to its firefighters in the entire US. What you have to know is that this state employs the largest number of fire-fighter in the United States.
In 22017 the number of firefighters in this state amounted to 31150. This can show you how competitive the job is in the market.
The only thing you need to do is fulfilling what the job requires and you will get your job. The only secret is making sure that you are the best among the many applicants that you will meet.
California firefighter career outlook
There is good news according to Mercury News stating that there is an increment in firefighter’s job from 2012 – 2017. This was a 17.3 percent increase.
More individuals will get jobs in California in the next coming years as the employment rate is predicted to increase by 5% until 2026.
If you want to ensure a secure future, you can opt for this career. Although, you will need to put enough effort and time for you to be the best candidate.
However, in the end, you will get rewards. Plan yourself and put more time and effort, and you will enjoy earning fortunes in your new career.
As you know there are various ranks in the firefighting job, make sure to understand what is needed in every category. You will earn a different amount of money depending on the job you want as a firefighter.
Also, know that you are entering a competitive industry and it might take you more than you think to secure an employment position.