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Municipal Firefighters
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Description: what do they do?
Control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
Also known as:
Volunteer Firefighter, Fire Engineer, Safety Officer, Fire Chief, Fireman, Fire Captain, Firefighter, Apparatus Operator, Fire Fighter, Fire Equipment Operator

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Courage, strength, and a cool head under pressure are some of the most important qualities needed by firefighters. Firefighters control and put out fires, and respond to crisis situations where life and the environment are at risk. Firefighters enter burning buildings to extinguish fires and rescue people, sometimes carrying them. They connect hoses to hydrants, operate pumps, climb ladders, and use other tools to break through debris. The majority of calls they receive are for medical emergencies, so many firefighters also provide medical attention. Some firefighters clean up hazardous materials, such as oil spills and chemical accidents, while others are specially trained to control forest fires. Most firefighters work for local governments. Some work for federal and state governments, or at airports, chemical plants, and other industrial sites. Volunteer firefighters serve the same roles as paid firefighters and account for a large portion of the workforce in this field. Firefighters’ schedules are typically on duty at the fire station for 24 hours at a time, then off for 48 to 72 hours. Wildland firefighters may work for extended periods to get a forest fire under control. Firefighters have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. They must wear heavy, hot protective gear. Firefighters typically need a high school diploma, valid driver’s license, and an emergency medical technician certification. Candidates must successfully complete interviews, written and physical fitness tests, fire academy training, and, once hired, they must pass random drug tests.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Utah
2,610
2016 Employment
3,200
2026 Employment
22%
Percent change
250
Annual projected job openings
United States
327,300
2016 Employment
350,900
2026 Employment
7%
Percent change
24,300
Annual projected job openings
You’re seeing projected employment information for Firefighters because we don’t have information for Municipal Firefighters.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Firefighters* in Utah
* You’re seeing wages for Firefighters because we don’t have information for Municipal Firefighters.
LocationUtahUnited States
10%$18,260$24,490
25%$23,240$33,400
Median$32,420$49,080
75%$45,930$66,610
90%$57,850$83,570


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Postsecondary certificate
  • No work experience
  • More than 1 year on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Rescue people from hazardous situations.
  • Administer first aid.
  • Relay information about incidents or emergencies to personnel using phones or two-way radios.
  • Locate fires or fire danger areas.
  • Assess characteristics of fires.
  • Respond to emergencies to provide assistance.
  • Operate firefighting equipment.
  • Protect property from fire or water damage.
  • Examine debris to obtain information about causes of fires.
  • Prepare hoses or water supplies to fight fires.
  • Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to respond to incidents.
  • Prepare investigation or incident reports.
  • Participate in physical training to maintain fitness.
  • Educate the public about fire safety or prevention.
  • Maintain fire fighting tools or equipment.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure safety or proper functioning.
  • Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with fire regulations.
  • Attend training to learn new skills or update knowledge.
  • Block physical access to restricted areas.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Operation and Control - Using equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Static Strength - Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Reaction Time - Quickly moving your hand, finger, or foot based on a sound, light, picture or other command.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Multilimb Coordination - Using your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Response Orientation - Quickly deciding if you should move your hand, foot, or other body part.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.
  • Flexibility of Closure - Seeing hidden patterns.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Stamina - Exercising for a long time without getting out of breath.
  • Control Precision - Quickly changing the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
  • Rate Control - Changing when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.
  • Dynamic Strength - Exercising for a long time without your muscles getting tired.
  • Extent Flexibility - Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Depth Perception - Deciding which thing is closer or farther away from you, or deciding how far away it is from you.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Search burning buildings to locate fire victims.
  • Rescue victims from burning buildings, accident sites, and water hazards.
  • Administer first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation to injured persons.
  • Assess fires and situations and report conditions to superiors to receive instructions, using two-way radios.
  • Move toward the source of a fire, using knowledge of types of fires, construction design, building materials, and physical layout of properties.
  • Respond to fire alarms and other calls for assistance, such as automobile and industrial accidents.
  • Create openings in buildings for ventilation or entrance, using axes, chisels, crowbars, electric saws, or core cutters.
  • Drive and operate fire fighting vehicles and equipment.
  • Take action to contain hazardous chemicals that might catch fire, leak, or spill.
  • Inspect fire sites after flames have been extinguished to ensure that there is no further danger.
  • Position and climb ladders to gain access to upper levels of buildings, or to rescue individuals from burning structures.
  • Lay hose lines and connect them to water supplies.
  • Select and attach hose nozzles, depending on fire type, and direct streams of water or chemicals onto fires.
  • Operate pumps connected to high-pressure hoses.
  • Spray foam onto runways, extinguish fires, and rescue aircraft crew and passengers in air-crash emergencies.
  • Collaborate with police to respond to accidents, disasters, and arson investigation calls.
  • Prepare written reports that detail specifics of fire incidents.
  • Participate in physical training activities to maintain a high level of physical fitness.
  • Protect property from water and smoke, using waterproof salvage covers, smoke ejectors, and deodorants.
  • Inform and educate the public on fire prevention.
  • Salvage property by removing broken glass, pumping out water, and ventilating buildings to remove smoke.
  • Clean and maintain fire stations and fire fighting equipment and apparatus.
  • Inspect buildings for fire hazards and compliance with fire prevention ordinances, testing and checking smoke alarms and fire suppression equipment as necessary.
  • Participate in courses, seminars and conferences, and study fire science literature, to learn firefighting techniques.
  • Establish firelines to prevent unauthorized persons from entering areas near fires.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.