Firefighters control and put out fires and respond to emergencies where life, property, or the environment is at risk.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to work in this position. In addition, depending on the location, fire fighters may to attend a fire academy and need EMT training. Some fire departments may also require paramedic training. The completing of a college program in fire science or a related field may be required for a firefighter to move into a leadership position.
Employment of firefighters is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Although improved building materials and building codes have resulted in a long-term decrease in fires and fire fatalities, firefighters will still be needed to respond to fires.
When on the scenes of fires and other emergencies, the work can be very dangerous. When not on the scene of an emergency, firefighters remain on call at fire stations, where they sleep, eat, and perform other duties during shifts that often last 24 hours. Many work more than 40 hours per week.