There is no set route to becoming a firefighter. However, below are the steps most often taken.
The bare minimum requirements for becoming a firefighter are your high school diploma and driver's license. You must also be at least 18 years of age.
You will often be able to find recruiting fire departments at local job fairs. Here they will ask interested individuals to complete a written and physical test. If you are successful in these tests, recruiters will invite you to an interview and additional testing. After passing this additional interview and testing process, you will be able to start applying for a training program. At this stage, you will have to take a written test consisting of 100 multiple choice questions on varied subjects, and a physical exam (Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)) that requires you to complete a run, stair climb, and a task where you carry a 200-pound item.
Certain states will require prospective firefighters to gain EMT licensing. There are varied requirements for this licensing depending on your state, so do your research to determine if you will need this license or not and what steps you need to take to obtain it.
There are numerous education options you could take to begin your training. These include; fire academies, colleges, and trade schools. Your training will usually last about 2 years. You may also occasionally be able to find apprenticeships that enable you to learn while on the job. However, these will take longer to complete, usually around four years.
Once you have completed your further education, you can step foot into the world of work.
There are typically six different roles, you can rise through these ranks as you gain experience. The ranks for firefighting are: