1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default certifications that'll help get me hired?

    Hello everyone, I'm about 3 months away from finishing fire school and going to be getting ready to start testing, I was wondering what certifications should I get that will look good and increase my chances of getting hired? Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    What state are you in???

    Do you have emt??

    Check around nearby cities and your state to see what the minimum is just to apply, and get it

    Paramedic is nice, some will say no

    Volunteer if there is one near by or work in a hospital

    Get ready mentally and physically for testing

    Test anywhere and everywhere

    Check this;;;


    Good luck

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana


    It depends.

    If you are looking to get on with a larger department that has thier own academy, it's likely that certifications will not help. In fact in some cases it mat hurt as the department may see you as someone that now needs to be "re-trained" to operate thier way, not the way you have been previously trained.

    If you are looking to get hired on with a smaller department that expects hires to have basic certification upon hire (like most of the combo fire districts here, including ours), obviously the basics like FFI and FFII, as well as EMT-Basic are the most critical. Certainly some advanced firefighting and rescue certs will help as well.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    San Francisco Bay Area


    Ask yourself who is getting the badges? The vast majority of candidates we see get hired do not have advanced degrees. They're more in the line of EMT, FF1 academy, working on or have an AA or AS degree or medics. Some have no fire education or experience. Their biggest asset was they leaned how to take a firefighter interview that is like no other. Because no matter what you credentials if you can't present the package in the interview, you don't get the badge, period!

    First leave no doubt that I believe in education. If you want to get a Public Administration, Engineering or any other degree as a career track, great. Don’t think it will be the key to get into the fire service to ride big red. We hire candidates not credentials on resumes.

    But where are you going to get the most bang for your buck? We have enough chiefs. We need more Indians.

    Everyone has an opinion, there are exceptions more than one road to a badge and there are no guarantees in life which ever path you take. Education will never hurt you.

    If you really want to get a firefighter job consider these points:

    Is there a requirement for an advanced degree or lots of certs to get a firefighter job?

    Answer: It’s rare to see departments require an AA or an advanced degree to apply. Some agencies require some college credits as a way to cull the heard.

    Where are up to 80% of the job offerings?

    Answer: Fire/medics

    There are up to 800 candidates chasing each firefighter job. How many are chasing a fire/medic job?
    Answer: 12-20. Which odds do you like better?

    What’s the time-line? If you’re just starting college and want to get your BA, it could take you 4 maybe 5 or more years depending on when you can line up and complete all your classes and requirements. Then, if you wanted to go further timing it to get into an academy or paramedic school and get some street time another 2+ years? So around 7 years give or take to get in position to go after the badge. Are you going to need student loans? Do you have a special person in your life that is going to wait while you pursue your career? How long can you tread water?

    The path to become a medic is about 2 years with gaining some savvy street time. If you can get in an academy in that time period it will be convincing evidence that you have the hands-on experience that a department can take a risk on you.

    Can you continue your education once you’re hired? Will departments give you an education incentive?

    Answer: Often, yes to both.

    Yes, having a degree will help with promotions but how long will it be before you will qualify to take a promotional exam?

    Answer: Engineer depending on the agency 3 plus years. An officer? Five or more years. So if you get on you could obtain the necessary education before your first promotional test to be in position. And, often the department will pay for you to go to college.
    Last edited by CaptBob; 01-14-2013 at 08:26 PM.

    "Nothing counts 'til you have the badge . . . Nothing!"

    More Tips on getting hired and promoted by Firehouse Contributing Author Fire “Captain Bob” Articles here:

    Fire "Captain Bob"


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