The Lone Star State offers some great training and employment opportunities for firefighters. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas was one of the top five states with the highest employment level for firefighters in 2019.Moreover, firefighters in Texas made an above-average annual mean pay of $54,760 in 2019.
If you are interested in serving the community as a firefighter, then read this guide thoroughly. It will help you understand how to become a Firefighter in Texas.
Should I Become a Firefighter in Texas?
Firefighters are required to have good mechanical, communication, and leadership skills. If you have these qualities in you, then starting a career as a Firefighter might be a good decision.
Here’s a list of some basic requirements that firefighters in the U.S. are required to fulfill. This information has been taken from BLS.
- Education Required
- Key Skills/Qualities
- Annual Mean Salary (2020) – National
- Job Outlook (2019-29)
- Annual Mean Salary (2020) – Texas
- High School Diploma at least
- On-the-job training
- EMT and/or CPR certifications may be required
- Compassion, Physical Strength and Stamina, Courage, and Decision Making Skills.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020)
Projected growth data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that firefighters will enjoy an employment growth of 6% from 2019 to 2029. Thus, it’s a good time to join this line of work.
Steps to Become a Firefighter in Texas
If you are excited to learn more about how to become a firefighter in Texas, then make sure you read this section.
Complete High School Education
If you are thinking about becoming a firefighter, you will need to first graduate from high school. After earning a GED or a high school diploma, you will also have to complete a commission-approved Fire Suppression training program.
Undergo Tests and Screenings
After completing the training program, you will have to appear for the state certification test.This exam has four sections and you will have to get a minimum score of 70% in each section in order to pass the test.
After taking the test, you will also have to show proof of completion of the required medical training (Paramedic, Emergency Medical Technician, Emergency Care Attendant or Emergency Medical Responder certification). Moreover, you will also have to complete a fingerprint based background test.
Apply and Pay for Certification
Once you have passed the background check and have completed other pre-employment tests, you will have to follow the instructions mentioned on the official government website to pay the application fee for the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) Basic Fire Suppression certificate. After you have made the payment, the certificate will be immediately issued to you and you will be eligible to start working as a firefighter in Texas.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Texas?
Becoming a firefighter in Texas can be difficult and emotionally draining. The journey is quite long and requires the applicant to pass many stages. First, the candidate has to finish high school education and then he/she has to complete a commission-approved Fire Suppression training program.
After finishing the training program, the candidate has to pass a state certification test and has to undergo a background screening stage. After clearing these steps, he/she has to apply for the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) Basic Fire Suppression certificate. Please note the instructions for making the payment are listed on the official government website. After earning the certificate, the candidate can begin rescuing people and saving lives.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in Texas?
If you want to start working as a Certified Texas Firefighter, you will be required to:
- Successfully complete the commission-approved Structure Fire Suppression training program.
- Pass the basic fire suppression certification test.
- Clear a background check.
- Apply for the certificate.
Please bear in mind that every county and city usually has its own set of requirements that prospective firefighters must meet. To learn more about the specific training and age requirements, you are advised to consult the local bodies.
How Much Does a Firefighter Earn in Texas?
Wage statistics shared by BLS show that firefighters in Texas made a yearly mean salary of $56,610 in 2020.This figure was slightly higher than the national average of $56,360. Thus, Texas is a great place to start a firefighting career.