Many theories exist on the right path to follow to be successful at becoming a career firefighter. Career firefighter jobs require an individual approach; the journey that works for one person may not be the same for another.
Generally speaking fire jobs require a unique set of pre-requisites and skills to be successful.
- The candidate (you) must have a clean record free of chronic drug use, traffic issues, or felonies.
- Usually an individual must be at least 18 years old; in some states you must be 21 to apply.
- The minimum requirements will also include that a candidate have a high school diploma or GED
- A valid driver’s license is also a basic requirement.
The above mentioned requirements would be the minimum set forth for anyone to get their foot in the door. Another round of advanced skills/training/certification would include but not be limited to:
- CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) card
- EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) certification
- Firefighter 1 or 2 certification
- Paramedic certification
Of course a fire department can and will establish their own requirements that meet the needs of the community they serve. Here are a few special requirements that a department can require for their fire jobs.
- Bi-lingual may require a candidate be fluent in Spanish or another language
- Hazardous Materials certification
- College degree
- Ability to pass life guard certification
First and foremost you must establish meaningful goals that require short, mid-range and long term goals. Evaluate your position and review what firefighter jobs fit your current eligibility. Those departments you meet requirements for are the first departments you apply for. The testing process itself is part of the learning curve to the job. If joining the military for jobs skill training is your first step you’re in luck many departments provide military credit during the testing process. Contact your local community college for EMT and fire science classes. Get your CPAT card, meet firefighters at fire stations or talk with who you know in the fire service for mentoring and coaching.
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