Firefighter Career And Employment Outlook

firefighter job outlookThe job outlook is a crucial factor while deciding which career to get into. You wouldn’t want to choose your favorite career option just to realize that it going down the drain in a few years. You can find out such information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The career outlook for public servants is always on the rise since because of the ever-growing population. So, what does the future hold for the common fireman? Let’s find out.

There are currently about 300,000 firemen employed in the USA. There is a steady growth of 5% for the next few years till 2024. This is the average growth rate of any normal career. This means that there will be about 12,000 new jobs by 2024. But, this also means that there will be that much more people trying to get the job too. Thus, there will be some competition. This is primarily due to the low education requirements and the attractions of a public service job. The pay may not be very high, but the benefits make up for that. It’s estimated that there might be about 100 people competing for the same position by 2024.

Employment Geography

Coming to geographic profiles, California, Texas, and Florida employs the most number of firefighters. California employs about 34,000 while the other two employ more than 20,000 personnel each. However, it is also estimated that about 2/3rd of the firefighters that are currently working are voluntary firefighters rather than paid ones. On the other hand, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Massachusetts have the highest density of firemen. All of them have more than 3.5 firefighters per 1000 people.

Pay And Salary

Moving on to the pay, the median wage in 2015 was recorded to be around $46,000. The range fluctuated from a mere $23,000 to a massive $79,000. This average was higher than other occupations. This payment is for about an average of 60 hours work every week. Geographically speaking, New Jersey, California, and Washington offer the highest salaries with New Jersey offering a mean salary of $81,000. The highest paying states are toward both the east and west coasts while the lowest paying states are in the central USA.

If you talk about employers, then it is obvious that the state and local government hire the most number of firefighters. There are currently about 287,000 firefighters hired by the local government whereas the state government has hired only about 8,000. Other employers include scientific researchers and Federal government agencies. However, the highest paying employers are the ones where the risk of a fire breaking out is high compared to other places. Waste Management, Petroleum and Coal, Metal forming industries hire firefighters with the highest average wages. Metal forming industries offer about $61,000 whereas the other two offer more salaries north of $74,000.

Risk Factors

Firefighters have to often face situations with a lot of risks involved. They have one of the highest rates of injuries due to their dangerous work environments. Thus, most firemen work in shifts to avoid chances of injuring themselves. Usually, people work for 24 hours and then rest for 48 hours before getting to the next cycle. Another system that is followed is that firemen work for about 10 hours a day and rest the next 14 with a holiday after a certain number of shifts. Thus, they work in different places in their off time and switch to these careers after retiring. Firefighters are eligible for receiving the pension after working for a minimum of 25 years in the fire department.

At the end of the day, a fireman is a hero to the people. If you are truly passionate about becoming a firefighter, don’t look at the statistics, just find out how to become a firefighter and get started right away!