Firefighters deal with fire outbreaks in homes, shopping malls, offices, and every other kind of building. As first responders in these situations, they put out fires, get people out of burning buildings, and provide medical help to the injured.

Most firefighters are licensed EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), that is why they are sometimes referred to as Firefighter EMTs. As of 2019, there were over 14,000 firefighters in the Empire State. Do you want to become one as well? Read this informative piece on how to become a firefighter in New York.

Should I Become a Firefighter in New York?

  • Education
  • Area of Study
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National
  • Job Outlook (2018-28)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – New York
  • High School Diploma or General Educational Development (GED) Certificate
  • Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, Fire Engineering, etc.
  • EMT Certification Required
  • Required
  • Operation Monitoring, Public Safety, and Security, Active Listening, Operation and Control, Arm-Hand Steadiness, Problem Sensitivity, Multi-Limb Coordination
  • $54,650
  • 5%
  • $75,160

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET OnLine

Firefighters usually perform their field duties under high pressure. Going into a burning building obviously poses significant health and safety risks. This is why physical fitness is very important for anyone aspiring to join the ranks of New York’s bravest. Work shifts tend to rotate. However, most firefighters have to be on call 24 hours a day.

Career Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2018 to 2028, employment opportunities for firefighters will increase by 5%. This is as fast as the growth expected for most other occupations. Despite the improvement in quality of building materials and construction equipment in use today, firefighters would still be required to deal with unforeseen outbreaks of fire.

Steps to Become a Firefighter in New York

To become a firefighter in New York, you need to follow the procedure outlined below.

Acquire the Needed Education

To be eligible for employment with a fire department in New York, you need to first complete a High School Diploma or GED (General Educational Development) Certificate. After that, you need to attain one of the following:

  • Complete a minimum of 15 college semester credits from an accredited institute of higher learning.
  • Have a military service background with an honorable discharge.
  • Complete at least 6 months of paid work on a full-time basis.

Apply for Firefighting Employment

Once you have fulfilled the educational requirements, it is time to apply for employment with a New York fire unit.

Pass the Written Exam

This is usually the first major assessment that covers basic reading, problem-solving, listening, and mathematics.

Pass the Physical Test

After passing the written examination, you must demonstrate your physical prowess. In this regard, the CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) consists of an agility portion and a strength section.

Clear the Candidate Review Phase

With the CPAT out of the way, you will move to the candidate review phase. It includes medical and psychological tests as well as background scrutiny.

Complete Training at the Fire Academy

After coming through the initial selection process, you will join the fire academy for training. This will take about 18 weeks (4 months) to finish. Once you graduate, you will be ready to begin your career as a firefighter in New York.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in New York?

It will take you between 1 year and 5 years to become a firefighter in New York. By following the educational path mentioned in this piece, you will need hardly a year. On the other hand, if you decide to obtain a specialized degree first, then it can take around 2 to 5 years.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in New York?

Aspiring firefighters in New York must come up to the requirements listed below.

  • Should be at least 21.
  • Get a High School Diploma or GED Certificate.
  • Possess a New York driver’s license.
  • Have no criminal convictions.
  • Earn at least 15 college semester credits.
  • OR

  • Have a background of military service with an “honorable discharge”.
  • OR

  • Attain 6 months of full-time work experience.
  • Successfully complete fire academy training.

How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Firefighter in New York?

As per information obtained from the latest records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters in New York took home $77,380 in annual mean wage in 2020. This makes New York the fourth highest paying state for firefighters.