“How much do firefighters make?”. Entry level firefighter salary depends on location. In general big cities and suburban area fire departments will pay more than rural or underdeveloped areas. Annual starting salary can range from $30,000 to mid $40,000. Benefit packages normally include medical coverage, paid vacation, pension, and other benefits.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, 33-2011 Firefighters May 2012, there were 297,7000 employed firefighters. The mean hourly wage was $23 and mean annual wage of $47,850. Below are the top 5 states with the highest firefighter employment level.
Top 5 states with the highest firefighter employment level and annual mean wage:
California – $72,540 − 26,550 employed firefighters
Texas – $46,790 − 24,880 employed firefighters
Florida – $51,190 − 23,780 employed firefighters
Ohio – $42,660 − 18,410 employed firefighters
Illinois – $47,560 − 16,700 employed firefighters
According to the bureau the top 5 – paying states were California, New Jersey, New York, Washington, and Connecticut. Higher paying salaries are normally to compensate for higher cost of living. Salary increases can be expected with advanced specialized training and increased management responsibility. In my opinion, firefighters are underpaid for the amount of risk and long hours on the job. As many firefighters work 24-48 hour shifts they also get 24-72 hour rest periods. During these rest periods many firefighters can earn extra income by doing small handyman jobs or starting other small businesses. Some of these successful businesses include Firehouse Subs, firehousemovers.com, and trainingdivision.com. You’ll find many on your firefighter team have an entrepreneurial spirit and find creative ways to make extra income. You’ll learn the many new skills during your employment can be used for opportunities in the future. The key is to keep learning and always strive to improve.
You should remember, becoming a firefighter shouldn’t be about the money. You should take the opportunity to become a firefighter only if you’re passionate about the job and serving others.
What other questions do you have about firefighter salaries? Please leave a comment and let me know.