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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Thinking about going pro

    I am an 18 year old volunteer firefighter here in south alabama and been doing it now for about 6 months and absolutly love it. I am going to the University of Alabama in the fall and am planning on studying mechanical engineering but everyday i spend at the fire station or everytime i run a call makes me think more and more that i want to be a professional firefighter but i have a few question. What on average is the salery of a professional firefighter. I know it all changes depending on location, how much over time you work etc. but im just looking for an idea. Whats the differences in pay as you advance and what would the differences be between me goin in with no school or me goin in with like a fire science degree? Thank yall for any and all help!!!

  2. #2
    Forum Member MEck51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    South Jersey


    We are making in the area of 350k base salary, plus overtime and holiday.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Someplace you're not :)


    Starting salaries go anywhere from high teens to high 30's (and I think there are a few 40's, 50's and 60's). And yes, it all depends on where you are in the US.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 1999


    Best of luck in your desire to become a career fire fighter. It may take several years as there is a lot of competition for the jobs.

    I have not heard of any FD's that have higher pay rates for rookies with a degree. They may exist, but I do not think it is too common. A fire science (or any other) degree may help you during the hiring process, but it is no guarantee.

    I'm from the northeast. Entry level FF's can start at anywhere between 40 and 50K per year. I have firefighters on my job making 70 to 80K per year with OT. I know of other FD's in the state where a firefighter can make 100K per year with OT. Of course, theses guys are pretty much living at the station. Great for the bank account, lousy for the family.
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    I started out as a volly, moved to a big city that hires approx 50 firefighters a year and they had a college that has fire science as a 4 year degree. Got my degree and my spot on the civil service list. I was at my parents one day and saw an ad that the small city 15 minutes from my parents house was putting on a test with no residency requirement and they were looking to hire 3. I took their test and ended up getting hired. My B.S. in Fire Science did nothing in getting me on the job.

    Long short...Continue with your current career path, AND get on any FD hiring lists you can get on. Don't waist your time or money going for a degree in fire science. After going through it, I realized that its just a way to sucker in people for money. After you get on the job, then go pursue a degree because your dept will probably pay u alittle extra and will pay for your schooling.

    About the salaries average up here is NJ $77,000 top base, PA $53,000 top base.

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