i have so many questions its not even funny and ive figured out a lot during the fire explorer program i was in just over a year. Well lets begin with a little about my self. I am 18 about to turn 19 in a few months. i graduated in 2009, and the day after graduation i began my emt and completed it. Last fall and this spring i have been taking all my fire classes and at the end of this semester i will have my fire cert and looking to forward to completing my general ed by the beginning of 2011. I already have obtained by Hazmat fra and fro. Soon i will be getting certified in confined spaces and swift water, and a few others just to better my chances in the hiring process. I don't mind where i get hired just as long as i get the job i love. I was considering the military after talking to a few people about it. My step dad is always pushing me toward the military since he is a LCDR in the navy. I am still open to anything since i am still young i just want to get into the FD and stick with it. I know what i takes to make it and i am willing to do just about anything and push myself to the limits to make it and i know i will.
i know the average age of those who are accepted in the San Diego fire academy are 23-25. Are there any city which are looking for younger candidates?
I was considering doing wildland for a good experiace and a paycheck so i can help out my family with the bills during these tough times. i want to get a seasonal or full time paid position somewhere asap. Which is the best route?
Looking forward to hear what you all have to say thank you all for your advice and very much appreciated.
Ever since the economy tanked, more and more people are changing careers and applying for civil service jobs, particularly fire, police, and EMS. There's a whole lot of competition out there, and a drastic slowdown in hiring.
Many large FD's will put you through their academy, so thye don't typically care too much about a fire science degree, various certs, and such, except for a paramedic card.
The paramedic card will afford you preferential hiring, assuming that your target dept has dual role FF/medics. Being a minority and/or female helps for hiring quotas. A good number of depts give some preference for military service as well. Many depts don't have a ceiling on hiring age, either.
A degree in whatever won't necessarily help you get hired in most cases, but it will certainly help out tremendously in career development. I can't stress that enough. The current trend is to either give preference, or require outright a degree to advance past a certain rank. Killing two birds with one stone by getting your medic card through an EMS AAS degree would be clever.
Unless you basically hit the lotto, it's unlikely that you'll be hired by a quality dept over the next couple of years. You should give the military strong consideration and/or complete a degree of some sort while completing hiring processes. I highly recommend applying to as many decent depts as you can, to increase your chances of getting the job. After some tenure, you could probably take a leave of absence from your job to start another academy, in case you don't get through.