The Evergreen State is a great place to start your firefighting career. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington was the third highest paying state for firefighters in 2019, with an annual mean salary of $76,970. If you are passionate about joining this exciting field, then make sure you read this article. It will explain how to become a firefighter in Washington.

Should I Become a Firefighter in Washington?

The firefighting profession requires candidates who have a passion for serving humanity. If you have that passion and drive, then becoming a Firefighter is a wise decision. Here’s a list of the basic requirements that you will be expected to meet if you want to establish a career in this field.

  • Education Required
  • Training
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Key Skills/Qualities
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National
  • Job Outlook (2018-28)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Washington
  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • On-the-job training.
  • Most states require Firefighters to have some medical or fire-related certifications.
  • Firefighters have to be physically strong, courageous, compassionate, and decisive.
  • $54,650
  • 5%
  • $76,970

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

Career Outlook

The job prospects for firefighters seem quite bright. It has been estimated that the demand for these workers will rise by 5% from 2018 to 2028, at a national level. This information has been obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Washington

This section will discuss in detail how to become a firefighter in Washington.

Complete Your Education

The minimum education requirement to become a firefighter in Washington is a high school diploma or an equivalent certification. However, we would advise you to enroll in an advanced degree program after finishing high school because additional education will give you a competitive edge over other candidates.
You have the option of enrolling in a Bachelor of Applied Science in Fire Services Leadership and Management or an Associate of Science in Fire Science. These programs will teach you some crucial skills that are needed in the fire industry.

Start Your Application

Once you have qualified to apply for the position, you should contact your local departments and inquire about the application procedure. If you meet the minimum job requirements, you should apply right away. After being shortlisted, you will be invited for the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) and the written exam. This will be followed by an interview stage.

Qualify for Recruit Training

If you make it past the interview stage, you will be required to pass a background check, psychological test, and a medical check. Upon clearing these, you will qualify for recruit training and will be asked to enroll in the fire academy. The training course will span over several months. After completing it, you will be ready to start working as a firefighter.

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

It usually takes years of training and hard work to join this demanding profession. The difficult journey begins by earning a high school diploma or an equivalent certification. After graduating, you can also pursue a 2-year long Associate’s degree or a 4-year long Bachelor’s program in a relevant field of study.
After getting done with college, you will have to submit your employment application to the relevant fire department. To determine your suitability for the position, you will be asked to take a number of physical, cognitive, and medical tests. After passing these tests and the background check, you will be hired as a Recruit and will be asked to attend the Fire Academy. It will take a couple of months to complete the training program.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in Washington?

The basic requirements to become a firefighter in Washington are mentioned below.

The candidate must:

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Possess a GED/high school diploma.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.

Most fire departments, such as the Kennewick Fire Department and the Seattle Fire Department, also require recruits to obtain the Washington State EMT Certification. Do keep in mind that every fire department in the state has its own hiring, training, and recruiting process; therefore you should contact your Regional Fire Authority to learn about the hiring criteria.

How Much Does a Firefighter Earn in Washington?

BLS has reported that firefighters working in Washington made an above average annual mean wage of $76,970 in 2019.Washington is the third highest paying state for firefighters, coming after only California and New Jersey.