According to the data reported by the US Fire Administration, in 2018,every 1,000 fires in the state of Virginia resulted in2.2 deaths and 20.2 injuries.On the other hand, the national average for the same year was 2.5 deaths and 9.8 injuries per 1,000 fires.

Should I Becomea Firefighter in Virginia?

The state of Virginia is home to 554 Fire Departments and Fire Stations. The firefighters employed in this state are recommended to become certified as EMTs. Moreover, they should obtain Firefighter I or II certifications and complete training at a Fire Academy before officially joining their post. Other requirements for this career are explained in detail below.

  • Education Required
  • Major Requirement
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-Virginia
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-National
  • Job Outlook (2018-28)
  • At least a High School Diploma or a GED
  • Fire Science
  • The EMT certification is required
  • Training at a Fire Academy is mandatory
  • Courage, Communication, Compassion, Decision making, and Physical Strength & Stamina, etc.
  • $53,470 (Firefighters)
  • $54,650(Firefighters)
  • 5% (As fast as average)

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

Career Outlook

A5% employment growth has been projected for this profession by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics between 2018 and 2028. Moreover,324,620 firefighters were employed all over the US in 2019and this figure isanticipated to increase to 350,000 by 2028. Whereas, the state of Virginia was reported to have 10,250 firefighters working to secure the safety of the community.

Steps to Becomea Firefighter in Virginia

This career demands a lot of bravery, stamina, and grit. If yourpassion is to rescue people from raging fires, then this is an ideal career for you.

Getting a High School Diploma or a GED

If your dream is to work as a firefighter in Virginia, then you must complete at least a high school degree. However, it is just a state requirement. Thelocal fire departments orfire stations typically set their own standards and may require candidates to obtain a college degree from an accredited institution in Fire Science or a related field.

EMT and Firefighter Certifications

Like many other states, Virginia also requires its firefighters to obtain Firefighter I or II certifications. This can be obtained before applying for a position or immediately after getting hired. Moreover, it is recommended that all firefighters earn an Emergency Medical Technician certification.

Clearing the Required Tests

All candidates are subjected to a background check to see if they have any criminal records. They also go through a series of medical check-ups including a physical exam, a psychological test, and a drug screening. Moreover, they must clear the Candidates’ Physical Ability Test.

Training at a Fire Academy

After you have been hired as a firefighter,you must complete your training at a Fire Academy to officially begin fieldwork. This training teaches youhow to put out fires, what procedures to follow whileresponding to fire emergencies, what techniques to use while rescuing people, and how tohandle fire equipment, etc.

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

If you apply for a firefighter’s post right after graduating high school or getting a GED, you might become employed within 1-2 years, depending on the availability of positions in the department. However, since the hiring requirements vary for each department and you may have to complete a college degree and earn a few certifications, this duration may double and it may take approximately 4 years until you areofficially employed.

What Are the Requirements of Becoming a Firefighter in Virginia?

All prospective applicants who want to be employed as firefighters in the state of Virginia must,

  • Be US citizens with a valid Virginia driver’s license
  • Be 18 years old at least
  • Earn a high school diploma or GED(at least)
  • Clear a physical exam and psychological evaluation
  • Pass a background check and drug screening
  • Pass the CPAT and a written test
  • Possess valid Firefighter I or II Certifications
  • Obtain the EMT Certification

How Much Can I Make as a Firefighter in Virginia?

An annual mean salary of $53,470for firefighters employed in the state of Virginia was reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2019. California was listed as the highest paying state for this profession with an annual mean salary of $84,370.