Massachusetts, also called the ‘Bay State,’ offers some great career opportunities for firefighting professionals. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that firefighters working in Massachusetts earned an annual mean salary of $62,680 in 2019, which was way higher than the national average. If you want to establish a career in this field, then read this guide on how to become a firefighter in Massachusetts.

Should I Become a Firefighter in Massachusetts?

Do you have good interpersonal and problem-solving skills? If yes, then a firefighting career would suit you. The table below lists the minimum requirements that firefighters have to meet.

  • Education Required
  • Training
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Key Skills/Qualities
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National
  • Job Outlook (2018-28)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Massachusetts
  • High School Education
  • On-the-job training
  • An EMT or Paramedic certification might be required.
  • Decision Making Skills, Courage, Communication Skills, Compassion, and Physical Strength.
  • $54,650
  • 5%
  • $62,680

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Career Outlook

Job outlook statistics by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the job opportunities for firefighters are likely to shoot up by 5% from 2018 to 2028.

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Massachusetts

If you are wondering how to become a firefighter in Massachusetts, then read the following details carefully.

Complete High School Education

Candidates who want to pursue a career in firefighting need to have a solid understanding of Mathematics, English, and Science. Therefore, you will be required to earn a high school diploma or GED. Later, you can also enroll in a Certificate program, Diploma, or Associate’s degree in subjects like Fire Science.

Make a Career Plan and Start the Application Process

After completing your studies, you should list all the places you want to work at. You should think about your goals and interests and decide whether you want to work in a suburb, town, or city. A good idea is to schedule appointments with the Fire Chiefs of different departments and discuss the available job opportunities with them.

Apply for the Firefighter Civil Service Exam

At this stage, you will be required to take the Firefighter exam, which consists of a written portion and a physical exam. Once you have passed the exam, you might be shortlisted for the position. Please bear in mind that there are some towns and cities in Massachusetts (such as Marlborough, Westwood, Plainville, Acushnet, and Wellesley) that are no longer under Civil Service. To find out how to become a firefighter in those areas, you will have to visit the Department of Fire Service or consult those fire departments.

Get the Offer Letter and Attend the Recruit Training Program

Before you are handed the offer letter, you will have to go through a proper background investigation and a pre-employment physical exam. After clearing these stages, you will have to attend a training program at the Fire Academy that will take around 10 to 12 weeks to complete.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Massachusetts?

The steps involved in joining this profession are challenging and time-consuming. First of all, candidates have to get a high school degree. They can later earn a college degree in a related subject, such as Fire Science. The Associate-level degrees usually take two years to finish.
Then, candidates have to pass the state examination, which consists of a written section and a physical exam. If the candidate gets a good score on the test, he/she has to undergo a pre-employment medical check and a background screening. After completing these checks, the candidate is sent to the fire academy, where he/she has to spend around 10 to 12 months under training.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in Massachusetts?

The requirements for becoming a firefighter in Massachusetts are highlighted below.
The candidate must:

  • Have at least a high school diploma.
  • Pass a competitive state exam.
  • Hold a valid Massachusetts license.
  • Be able to meet the physical and medical standards.

Please note that each town or city in Massachusetts usually has its own age and certification requirements. Also, keep in mind that some areas are not covered under Civil Service; therefore you will have to visit the Department of Fire Service to check the specific requirements in those localities.

How Much Does a Firefighter Earn in Massachusetts?

BLS has reported that the yearly mean pay of Firefighters employed in Massachusetts was $62,680 in 2019.This salary is higher than the national annual mean average of $54,650.