1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Masters degree in Psychology, need help!

    I am in dire need of advice in the best way to obtain a job in fire. I have been going back and forth with what direction I should take to ensure employment, specifically as a smokejumper. However, I first want to work municipal around my area (Kansas City) to gain experience. The only problem is that they do not do much wildland firefighting here. Also, jobs are very limited.

    I am 24 years old, have my Bachelors and Masters degree in psychology, CPR certified, EMT-B certified, and played college football at my university. I am very athletic and feel that I could put my skills and tools to use as a firefighter. I plan on getting my FF1, FF2, and Redcard next semester. I know that I will need at least a year or two of experience to be a smokejumper, but I was wondering if doing some wildland firefighting at rural stations would apply to this? Does municipal work qualify? I am just looking for the quickest way to get my career started because I am getting older as a result of being in school for so long. I would be willing to relocate too, but have to wait two years because my girlfriend and I signed a two-year contract on our house. Any advice would be so helpful, as I do not have many resources or contacts. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999


    You will make far more money and a better life, doing what you have that degree in than in wildland firefighting. Plus you could volunteer on the side, if have the time to.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    yes, i realize i can make more money in psychology. but i'm a competitive and active person and would like the physical challenge and excitement of fighting fires. i have thought this out before and i do not want to sit behind a desk my whole life. plus, i'm not into fire for the money, i'd rather make less and like my job more than visa versa. still, any adivice on what path i should take?

  4. #4
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    JayDudley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Job direction

    If you truly want to serve in the Wildland section of firefighting then by all means jump in. I would first try to get on with a wildland unit in your area and do your two years as a ground pounder and then try to enter the world of Smokejumping. The feds are always looking for members around the first part of the year so I would go to www.fs.fed.us/fire/people/employment. Good luck and I hope you can live your dream....
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Break the lease or just work out of town for awhile and keep the house


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