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  1. #1
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    Default DoD Pay schedules

    Can anyone tell me how we figure out what DoD FF pay will be after coming out of active duty? What GS level should be applied for? After looking over the payscales last night it looks like pay will be about 9K less (GS 4 level) than active duty pay, is this right? Right now I am an E4 at Rucker and have a year left and trying to decide if I should go DoD fire or to a city department. Pay right now as active duty with my BHA is about 37K a year.

    Thanks!


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    It's been a while.....IIRC, GS04 is the pay level for trainees with some certifications and none to little experience. Sounds like you are way beyond that. To pull 37,000 a year, you should hold out for at least a GS05 and a few steps. Obviously the more certs and experience you have, the higher pay grade you can apply for.

    When I finally got out of the DoD after 10 years, I maxed out as a GS7 step 3 Driver/Operator with EMT and Haz Mat Technician. I think my last year, I made a just a hair over 60K. That includes locality pay, overtime, and chinese overtime.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Ok thanks. Its hard to know what level or step I would be on. I have FF 1 & 2, Hazmat awareness, ARFF driver/operator, EMT-B, airport FF, Hazmat operations and tech, CPR and AED, CDL.

    Thats a little more encouraging to know GS5 + some steps would be possible. We have 3 kids so 28K a year isnt going to cut it!

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    In order to get hired as a GS5 with a few steps, I believe you are required (by Dod Requirements) to have the following (all IFSAC/Pro-Board Certs)

    -FFI and II
    -D/O Engines (pumps), Aerial (and if requested ARFF)
    -Fire Inspector I
    -Fire Officer I
    -Haz Mat TECH
    -An EMT cert recognized by whichever State the position is in

    So at this point in time you might have to settle for the GS4 or a low 5. Once you have all the certs, you usually have to have a year in grade (at your current grade) before you can advance up the pay scale.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default Do your homework

    According to the pay scales on a DOD firefighter website, GS-4, step 1 on a 72 hour work week will make $40,854.00 (using "rest of US" locality). This is the 2008 figure, so it is higher now, and locality will make this vary as well. According to your listed certifications, you can qualify for up to a GS-7 position. Again, this will depend on what is being offered and where you want to live. I hope this helps and continued good luck.

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    HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest you go public and not dod

    Better pay

    better hours

    better advacement potential

    better firefighting training

    do you want to work one on one off for another 10 20 30 years???

    if you try public apply every where and any where, once you get on and spend a year or better at a department you can try for another if you are not happy there, or wnat a bigger department.


    remember with dod you are still working for congress

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    Fed VV - can you post the link where you found those figures? Maybe Im looking at the wrong type of pay chart. That would be awesome if that was how it worked out but the one I looked at was saying like 24K for GS4.

    The schedules are not overly appealing which is why I may look into staying at rucker only as DoD so that I can take an 18 hr stagefield. The main house is 24 on/24 off which I am NOT at all interested in.

    I have been hearing alot recently about other stations going to better schedules than the 24/24.. is this true?

    I still have right about a year left active duty so I may be able to get a few more certs done. I am working on fire inspector 1 now.

    Thanks for the info so far, keep it coming!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdafd49 View Post
    HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest you go public and not dod

    Better pay Really? Where? I know when I left I made a hair over 60K. I know many Municipal FD's that dont pay nearly as much, and those that do, it takes 5 to 8 years to advance to that pay level. Can you be more specific?

    better hours Really? Again, can you be more specific???

    better advacement potential Explain. Qualify your answer.

    better firefighting training All depends on where you are. I had more IFSAC/Pro-Board Certs and other training credentials from reputable training institutions than many of my Municipal Friends. Several of us were even assigned to State or Local level USAR task forces. One (the 5th largest FD in the country) used to call for assistance whenever they had a working shipboard fire due to our training and experience in this area.

    do you want to work one on one off for another 10 20 30 years??? Many, many Federal Fire Departments work a variation of 38 on, and 72 or 96 off. Additionally, the ones that do work 24/24 get 2,3,4 and even 5 day breaks interspersed into their schedule.

    if you try public apply every where and any where, once you get on and spend a year or better at a department you can try for another if you are not happy there, or wnat a bigger department.


    remember with dod you are still working for congress
    I strongly suggest that you know what you are speaking of before you speak. While it is true that some municipal organizations have better pay and training than Federal facilities, it is not always the case, and the case here is much larger than you think.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Fed VV - can you post the link where you found those figures? Maybe Im looking at the wrong type of pay chart. That would be awesome if that was how it worked out but the one I looked at was saying like 24K for GS4.

    - http://www.dodfire.com/pay/2009_Pay_CSRS.xls

    Federal shift FFers make normal pay for 106 hours in a pary period (144 hrs/2 weeks) and time and a half for the other 38. A basic GS payscale is based on a 40/hr work week or 80.hr pay period. The above link is a payscale for firefighters to see what they will basically be making. Send a PM iif you need help translating it, as it is kind of difficult to understand if you have never seen it before or know hoe the federal FF pay system works.

    The schedules are not overly appealing which is why I may look into staying at rucker only as DoD so that I can take an 18 hr stagefield. The main house is 24 on/24 off which I am NOT at all interested in.

    - Different bases have different schedules. Alot still do 24/24, but some do 48/72/48/72/48/48 and others do 3 on / 4 off. They all still maintain the 144/hr pay period.

    I have been hearing alot recently about other stations going to better schedules than the 24/24.. is this true?

    - Yes, alot of bases are pushing to try and work an alternate schedule than the 24/24. Its all about management and union buyoff on it. Check with each individual base applying for to determine thier schedule or future potential.

    I still have right about a year left active duty so I may be able to get a few more certs done. I am working on fire inspector 1 now.

    - Good luck and make yourself VERY marketable! Any questions PM me.

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    THERE IS NO BETTER SCHEDULED !!!! NO MATTER HOW YOU TWIST IT YOU STILL WORK 72 HOURS a WEEK!! PERIOD

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    Quote Originally Posted by XFedFF View Post
    THERE IS NO BETTER SCHEDULED !!!! NO MATTER HOW YOU TWIST IT YOU STILL WORK 72 HOURS a WEEK!! PERIOD
    there are still benefits to working alternate schedules (as opposed to 24/24) even if they are still 72/hr work weeks. we work the 72/hr ww to keep our pay the same it has always been. not that 56/60 are much different in pay than 72/hr but whatever. to each his own.

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    Yes Fed FFs do work 72 hrs a week compared to the 56 hours city FFs work. Here is the difference in the area I live. I've been with Fed fire for almost 6 years and I'm currently a GS-7 step 3. That equals out to about 60,000 + a year. Now, all the surrounding city departments 6 years gets you between 31,000-38,000. So for 16 hours more a week I make at the VERY LEAST 22,000 more a year.

    Oh and all the extra free time the city guys have they are busting their butts doing side jobs. When I'm off I'm OFF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clfdsta5 View Post
    Yes Fed FFs do work 72 hrs a week compared to the 56 hours city FFs work. Here is the difference in the area I live. I've been with Fed fire for almost 6 years and I'm currently a GS-7 step 3. That equals out to about 60,000 + a year. Now, all the surrounding city departments 6 years gets you between 31,000-38,000. So for 16 hours more a week I make at the VERY LEAST 22,000 more a year.

    Oh and all the extra free time the city guys have they are busting their butts doing side jobs. When I'm off I'm OFF.
    This is one of my points exactly. For example, the City of Philadelphia Fire Department works a 48 hour work week (two 10 hour days, two 14 hour nights.) A FF with 5 years in will make approx $55-60K. And yes, they do work side jobs- but you have to remember that the cost of living in Philly is a lot higher than the backwoods of Camp Lejune, NC......

    Moral of the story- It all depends on where you live.
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    Wow, thanks so much for all the responses! That is a lot to take in and to consider. Im going to take a look at those charts Shredded posted (I may email you!) and go from there!

    Thanks all!

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    Kristmatt,
    When looking at the pay scales remember they are based on a 72 hour workweek. If you stay at Rucker and do Stagefield for 18 hours that may very well drop your weekly hours which in turn would lesson your pay. If you move away from Rucker, you could very well end up making more money because the Feds factor in a cost of living depending on the cost of living where you work at. You will get a lot of differing opinions about where to work, who is "better", etc. I am not going to try to tell you DOD is the best hands down, but it has been more than good to me. I have been able to promote fairly fast, I have seen the world a few times over on the Govt. dime (I live in Europe now), I make very good money, and I still feel like I am somehow serving my country even though I don't have to wear green clothes. But again, it is not for everyone. I am happy to see you are pursuing more certifications, they WILL help you DOD-wise. If I may suggest though; get your Haz-Mat Tech no matter what. That will be a huge plus if you gun for a GS-07 position (in fact may very well be necessary). Again, I wish you good luck no matter what you decide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristmatt View Post
    Can anyone tell me how we figure out what DoD FF pay will be after coming out of active duty? What GS level should be applied for? After looking over the payscales last night it looks like pay will be about 9K less (GS 4 level) than active duty pay, is this right? Right now I am an E4 at Rucker and have a year left and trying to decide if I should go DoD fire or to a city department. Pay right now as active duty with my BHA is about 37K a year.

    Thanks!
    You need to apply for both city and dod jobs. Once you get an offer, jump on it. Both dod and city jobs are a bitch to get, especially now a days.

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    ...or you can always try contract job like arff. i hear tonopah is always hiring due to the high turnaround rate. Plues you get a free trip to Vegas if they accept your application.
    Last edited by ShredddinCali; 12-01-2009 at 05:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arff42 View Post
    You need to apply for both city and dod jobs. Once you get an offer, jump on it. Both dod and city jobs are a bitch to get, especially now a days.
    AGREED. Apply for everything, take whatever comes first. If you don't like it you can shop around while working as a firefighter at the first job.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShredddinCali View Post
    ...or you can always try contract job like arff. i hear tonopah is always hiring due to the high turnaround rate. Plues you get a free trip to Vegas if they accept your application.
    Tonopah does not exist, it is a figment of your imagination. (Maybe that's why they have a high turnover rate????
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    I agree, I think trying for both city and DoD is going to be the way to go. I talked to a FF here at Rucker who is a GS 5 + a few steps and he is only at 30K a year! I dont think I can take a pay hit like that going from active duty at around 37K a year + my extra TDY money for Camp Merrill runs. Taking care of a family of 5 on that much is tough let alone 30K a year. So much to think about and consider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristmatt View Post
    I agree, I think trying for both city and DoD is going to be the way to go. I talked to a FF here at Rucker who is a GS 5 + a few steps and he is only at 30K a year! I dont think I can take a pay hit like that going from active duty at around 37K a year + my extra TDY money for Camp Merrill runs. Taking care of a family of 5 on that much is tough let alone 30K a year. So much to think about and consider.
    Son if you want to make the big money, you need to apply in the big-city areas (where the DoD gives a higher "regional pay" and the City pay is just...well.....Higher!) Cost of living is higher, but you can off-set that with part time work.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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