Firefighting is one of the most well-respected and heroic careers in the field of public service. The skills involved in becoming a firefighter include a high degree of physical fitness, communication, and decision-making skills, and, perhaps most importantly, courage.
The training and work don’t end when you become a firefighter, or even when the probationary period ends. Constant, continued education and preparation are essential to maintaining certification and growing in the field.
Despite the hard work that goes into becoming a firefighter, many find the job to be highly rewarding and have no regrets in choosing firefighting as their career.
So, why should you become a firefighter?
Firefighting demonstrates care and willingness to sacrifice for others that satisfies those with a servant’s heart. Going to work with the understanding of the danger you could face that day and leaving knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life is something that few jobs offer.
The camaraderie shared between firefighters is another benefit of this career field. The long hours that firefighters work in the firehouse create a second home for many. Meals are often prepared together and shared as a family. Experiences shared among the department help build a feeling of trust in fellow team members that other settings can’t offer.
There are practical advantages to becoming a firefighter as well. While the salary can vary from state to state, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2015 that the average pay for firefighters in the U.S. was $46,870.
Additionally, depending on the jurisdiction, it can be easy to find a job as a firefighter without having to move. The demand for firefighters is always present and has high job security.
Not only that, but firefighters have flexible schedules. Many work long hours with longer breaks in between shifts. A firefighter may be on call for 24 hours and off for 48 hours. This flexibility can offer firefighters the opportunity to have a second job if desired. Rest may be challenging to get at a busy fire department, but for smaller or slower ones, the work can be less demanding.
Remaining fit is a cornerstone in this career field, and if physical activity is something you enjoy doing, then you may find fire fighting appealing. Many firehouses offer workout equipment, and daily exercise is encouraged. Working out together is a great way to get to know fellow firefighters.
Lastly, the training, education, and certification that goes into becoming a firefighter can be applied to a wide range of other careers if you ever decide to make a change.
Besides firefighting, a fire science degree can help you become a forestry fire prevention specialist, building inspector, arson investigator, paramedic, and more.
There is never a dull moment in the world of fire-fighting, and the ever-changing nature of the job can change on a dime in a day. Becoming a firefighter is a noble choice for those with a desire to serve, and perhaps the most significant benefit is the feeling of fulfilling that desire.