What is the average firefighter salary for 2022? (by State) (2022)

What is the average firefighter salary for 2022? (by State) (1)About the Author: Hi! I'm Chris Hunt, and I wrote this article. The information presented is my opinion based on personal experience and online research. It doesn't constitute advice, professional or otherwise. Furthermore, I don't guarantee the quality or finish of any of the products showcased. According to the Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions, and Privacy Policy posted on the website, you acknowledge abiding by them when using the site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases (without additional cost or expense to you).

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The average firefighter salary varies greatly depending on their work and rank. The latest data on firefighter salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 2020. This information is current for 2021 (the bureau annually edits its input). Based on this data, a firefighter can expect to make a median salary of $52,500. The average is $25.24 per hour. Both numbers are balanced-out national statistics so that they can be incredibly variable. So it’s better to look deeper into each state to understand how much they make.

What states have the highest average firefighter salary?

The five states that pay firefighters the highest salary are:

  1. New Jersey: $86,880
  2. California: $86,860
  3. Washington: $77,700
  4. New York: $77,380
  5. Hawaii: $68,590

New Jersey and California go neck to neck on the statistic, with the top spot being won by New Jersey this year (but only by $20!).

What states pay firefighters the least?

The five states that pay firefighters the lowest salary are:

  1. Kentucky: $34,580
  2. North Carolina: $34,230
  3. Louisiana: $32,580
  4. Mississippi: $31,630
  5. Puerto Rico: $27,880
What is the average firefighter salary for 2022? (by State) (2)

What is the average firefighter salary in each state?

It is hard to directly compare states because the cost of living and tax rates differ substantially. So, you need also to consider the quality of life you will have – not just the take-home pay.

(Video) Become a Firefighter in 2022? Salary, Jobs, Education

For example, California is the highest-paid state for firefighters but has the most expensive living cost. Conversely, Mississippi is among the lowest-paid state for firefighters but is a relatively inexpensive place to live.

Here’s the complete list of states and the average firefighter salary in the USA:

StateAbbreviationTotal FirefightersAverage Salary
New JerseyNJ6,80086,880
New YorkNY14,20077,380
Rhode IslandRI1,37057,750
North DakotaND75049,600
New HampshireNH2,43047,870
South DakotaSD55046,890
New MexicoNM2,30038,400
South CarolinaSC5,75037,980
West VirginiaWV83037,030
North CarolinaNC14,91034,230
Puerto RicoPR1,47027,880

How has the firefighters’ salary evolved in the past five years?

On average, the salaries have been steadily increasing on average between 1.5 and 2% annually for the past five years. The table below shows the actual median wage for each year.

YearTotal FirefightersAverage Anual Salary US$

A truly worrisome statistic was the descend of available firefighters in 2020. For the 1st time in several years, the total number of firefighters fell. That was the global pandemic that ravaged the United States and the world.

First responders, such as firefighters, took the worst hit as they got sick, and many died. Others, perhaps struck with grief, fear of getting sick, or for personal reasons, decided to leave the service.

I’ve witnessed so many dedications and salutes to lost heroes, mainly firefighters, on the internet that it strikes my heart with sadness every time I read their stories. May their friends and families find peace and solace for their fallen ones.

Comparisons to similar professions

What is the average firefighter salary for 2022? (by State) (3)

Do cops make more than firefighters?

Many people considering firefighting as a career also consider becoming a police officer. The two professions have many similarities because both serve the general public and act as a safety net for needy people. It can be incredibly gratifying knowing that you have helped save lives and keep people safe.

Both police officers and firefighters need to stay physically fit and mentally alert. So maintaining a strict workout routine is a must.

And of course, both professions are very well respected by the general public.

(Video) How Much Do Firefighters Make? [with actual numbers]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) puts the median police officer salary at $64,254. This salary is higher than the BLS’s statistics on the median firefighter salary of $52,500.

One potential explanation for the difference is that police regularly deal with aggressive people, felons, and other lawbreakers.

There are about 670,780 police officers in the United States compared to 310,870 firefighters.

Do paramedics earn more than firefighters?

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) – also known as paramedics – are perhaps similar to firefighters. Paramedics and firefighters are both dispatched to emergencies in the community. They must both safely drive their vehicles in a high-stakes situation through traffic to attend to emergencies as fast as they safely can do so.

Similarly, paramedics and firefighters need to know emergency first-aid and other medical procedures they may administer on the spot. And, of course, they may both be in the business of saving lives and carrying humans who cannot remove themselves from dangerous situations and take themselves to a hospital.

How much do EMTs make?

According to the BLS, paramedics make significantly less than firefighters. For example, the median salary for paramedics is $39,476 compared to the median firefighter salary of $52,500.

What is the average firefighter salary for 2022? (by State) (4)

Do nurses make more than firefighters?

It can also be instructive to compare a firefighter’s salary to some of the most common professions in the United States. For example, nursing is a profession that 3,006,970 people do. Over 3 million people, or almost 1% of the US, engage in this profession. The median salary for a registered nurse in the United States is $74,810. As with the firefighting profession, this will vary significantly across the states. But it is instructive that a nurse’s median salary is more than $22,000 a year higher than a firefighter’s.

Do teachers earn more than firefighters?

Another one of the most common comparable middle-class professions in the United States is teaching. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 1 million high school teachers, 600,000 middle school teachers, and 1.5 million elementary school teachers in the United States.

The BLS states that the median salary for high school teachers is $63,634 per year, the median for middle school teachers is $62,241, and the median for elementary school teachers is $60,206. Thus, these statistics show that teachers earn more per year than firefighters across all grade school levels.

(Video) Firefighter Salary (2019) – Firefighter Jobs

What training do you need to become a firefighter?

The minimum requirement to become a firefighter is usually a high school diploma. However, getting your foot in the door is very difficult and requires much networking and extra-curricular credits.

One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Then, you could graduate from an EMT to a firefighter position when a job finally opens near your home. Similarly, you might want to work in Emergency Dispatch to get some experience in the industry.

Some jurisdictions also allow people to volunteer with the fire service to start networking in their local area.

Other requirements often include Age (usually under 35 when you start), physical fitness (you will need to pass a fitness test), and further education.

Further education usually includes a Firefighting I or Firefighting II certificate from a local community college.

What it’s like to be a firefighter

What do firefighters do on an average day on the job?

A firefighter can expect to do much more than attending call-outs to fires on an average day.

A firefighter usually begins their shift by checking their equipment and ensuring the truck and station are clean and organized. Then, they will ensure they are ready to attend an emergency call-out at any time during their shift.

Other activities include:

  • Some stations offer fire extinguisher maintenance, checking, and recharging services for the public.
  • They maintain equipment such as fire trucks, firefighting pumps, and hoses.
  • They perform public education and outreach campaigns.
  • Daily training and upskilling.
  • They maintain operational readiness by doing drills at the station.

You can also check out what they do in their free time in a separate article.

(Video) Firefighter | What I do & how much I make | Part 1 | Khan Academy

Do firefighters get drug tested?

Yes. You can expect to be randomly drug tested as a firefighter. This testing, of course, does depend upon where you work. However, you are far more likely to get drug tested as a firefighter than in many other professions. Firefighting is a high-risk profession where human lives depend on your hands and reflexes. You deal with life and death situations, so the state wants to know that you are not cognitively or physically impaired.


What states have the highest firefighter salaries?

Both New Jersey and California compete neck-in-neck to be the highest paying state. Right now, New Jersey is at the top. Last year, it was California.

Where are the lowest firefighter’s salaries?

Louisiana, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico share the bottom spot for having the lowest firefighters’ wages in the country.

How many firefighters work in the US?

The BLS states that there are around 310,000 active-duty firefighters in the US.

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What is the salary for a firefighter?

It depends entirely on what state you live in, your rank, and the number of years on the job. The current national average salary is $52,500 annually.


There are over 310,000 firefighters in the United States. Of course, they earn different salaries depending on rank, living, and many other factors. But, on average, a firefighter will make a balanced out salary of about $52,500 if they are from a ‘typical’ middle-of-the-range state that’s not got a super expensive or cheap cost of living and have a few years of full-time experience in the job.


What state do firefighters get paid the most? ›

Geographic profile for Firefighters:
StateEmployment (1)Annual mean wage (2)
New Jersey5,960$ 84,930
California27,730$ 80,990
Washington7,740$ 76,280
New York10,640$ 72,670
1 more row
31 Mar 2022

How much Firefighter earn in USA? ›

Average base salary

The average salary for a firefighter is $52,532 per year in the United States. 1.3k salaries reported, updated at September 13, 2022.

Do firefighters get paid well? ›

As a Trainee Firefighter you'll earn a salary of £27,750 pa including London Weighting. Once fully qualified, your salary will increase to £37,032 p.a. Firefighters also receive great benefits including a pension scheme, childcare support, interest-free loans, training opportunities and a flexible working arrangement.

What is the highest paying occupation? ›

The highest-paying job in the world, in a traditional sense, holds the number one spot in this article: anesthesiologist. They are also the only job listed above $300,000 a year.

How much do firefighters earn per month? ›

The average salary for a firefighter is R 16 676 per month in Johannesburg, Gauteng.

Do firefighters need a degree? ›

You don't need any particular qualifications to become a firefighter, however you'll be expected to pass English and Maths tests at a GCSE Grade C level (or equivalent).

Who are the best firefighters in the world? ›

The Vigili del Fuoco were named the world's best firefighters at a competition known as 'the firefighting Oscars', in recognition of their work in assisting the earthquake-hit population of central Italy.

What is the average salary in the US? ›

Median Salary Information for U.S. Workers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wage for workers in the United States in the second quarter of 2022 was about $1,041 per week or $54,132 per year (assuming 52 weeks of work per year). Wages were 5.2% higher than a year earlier.

Do firefighters live comfortably? ›

Yes, you can make a good living and live comfortably on a firefighter's salary, however, your lifestyle will vary based on the area you work and the overall cost of living.

How can firefighters make extra money? ›

What are Good Side Jobs for Firefighters?
  1. Personal Training. Building your client list as a personal trainer can take time. ...
  2. Carpentry. Carpentry is another option for a side job if you already have the experience and the necessary tools. ...
  3. Bartending. ...
  4. Landscaping. ...
  5. Real Estate Agent. ...
  6. Put Your Pickup to Work - Drive with Bungii.

How many years does it take to be a firefighter? ›

There are different ranks in the industry. You start off as a firefighter completing four months of training. Then after further studying and doing exams you get promoted to platoon commander, station commander, divisional chief, deputy chief and then chief. These ranks may vary from fire department to fire department.

What is the lowest paying job? ›

25 of the Lowest Paying Jobs
  • Food-Preparation Workers. ...
  • Gambling Dealers. ...
  • Gambling Change Persons and Booth Cashiers. ...
  • Parking Lot Attendants. ...
  • Non-Farm Animal Caretakers. ...
  • Maids and Housekeepers. ...
  • Entertainment Attendants and Related Workers. ...
  • Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders.
13 Sept 2022

What job pays the most without a degree? ›

Here are the highest paying jobs without a college degree:
  • Patrol Officer.
  • Executive Assistant.
  • Sales Representative.
  • Flight Attendant.
  • Electrician.
  • Plumber.
  • Wind Turbine Technician.

What job gives you the most money per hour? ›

Highest-Paying Careers
RankOccupation2021 Median Wages
Employment column one Hourly
7 more rows

How much does traffic cop earn? ›

According to Indeed, the average salary of a Traffic officer is R 234 887 per year.

How much do firefighters earn monthly in South Africa? ›

In South Africa, a firefighter earns an average of R 1612 489 (or R 820) per month, or R 1598 892 per year. Entry-level workers can expect to earn between R 336 000 and R 2 175 695 per month. This equates to R4 406 for an employee working 45 hours per week, or R8 877 for those working 50 hours per week.

What is the oldest age to become a firefighter? ›

We do not have an age limit for applicants. It is very possible that two people the same age, whether 20 or 40, will perform very differently. It is up to each recruit, in conjunction with their medical physician, to determine what they are physically capable of doing.

What degree is best for a firefighter? ›

These are the top 10 degree choices for aspiring firefighters.
  • Fire Science. ...
  • Emergency Medical Services. ...
  • Fire Technology. ...
  • Fire Administration. ...
  • Firefighter/Paramedic. ...
  • Emergency Management and Homeland Security. ...
  • Emergency Medical Technology. ...
  • Emergency and Disaster Management.

Can I be a firefighter with glasses? ›

Wearing glasses or contact lenses will not adversely affect a candidate's application. Candidates will be asked to participate in an eye test, the standard requirements for which are: A minimum uncorrected binocular distance vision of 6/12 unaided, with 6/24 in the worst eye.

What is the busiest Fire Department in the United States? ›

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Nashville fire station was named the busiest in the country by Firehouse Magazine.

What is the best City to be a firefighter in? ›

Best-Paying Cities for Firefighters

The metropolitan areas that pay the highest salary in the firefighter profession are San Jose, San Francisco, Vallejo, Los Angeles, and Oxnard.

What City has the best firefighters? ›

Amarillo, TX

What's a good salary in 2022? ›

In the US, an annual salary between $70,000 – $78,000 before tax ($5,800 – $6,500 monthly) is considered to be a good wage in any state.

How much should a 30 year old make? ›

What was the average and median income by age in 2021?
38 more rows

What is a good income for a single person? ›

As this is often based on multiple incomes in the one household, a single person earning at least $67,521 can be considered a good salary. What is this? This is especially the case when you consider the current median income levels in the US. For men, this is $61,417 and for women, it's $50,982.

What is the best state to work as a firefighter? ›

Indiana is the best state in the country for firefighter/paramedic jobs, and Connecticut has the second-highest median salary in the country. Indiana is the best state for jobs for firefighter/paramedics, and Virginia is the worst. The most common pay in Indiana is $58,135, while the median pay in Virginia is $45,940.

What is the best city to be a firefighter? ›

Top 50 Cities for Firefighters
RankCityTotal Jobs
1Amarillo, TX470
2Pueblo, CO250
3Leominster, MA320
4Waco, TX300
6 more rows
1 Oct 2021

What's the best fire department in us? ›

5 best states for career firefighters
  • Hawaii. Number of registered fire departments: 11. Percentage of career departments: 90.9 percent.
  • Florida. Number of registered fire departments: 477. ...
  • Massachusetts. Number of registered fire departments: 362. ...
  • Arizona. Number of registered fire departments: 249. ...
  • California.
6 Apr 2016

What is the largest fire department in us? ›

T he Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) is the largest Fire Department in the United States and universally is recognized as the world's busiest and most highly skilled emergency response agency.

Who are the best firefighters in the world? ›

The Vigili del Fuoco were named the world's best firefighters at a competition known as 'the firefighting Oscars', in recognition of their work in assisting the earthquake-hit population of central Italy.

How long does it take to become a firefighter? ›

All new firefighters are required to undergo extensive training that normally lasts between 12 and 16 weeks. Even firefighters who have been doing the job for a number of years are required to do ongoing training to ensure they're at the top of their game.

How is math used in firefighting? ›

Firefighters need to use mental math when choosing how to attack a fire safely and avoid damaging the integrity of a building. Our degree program also trains firefighters to use a method called the Fire Flow Formula to determine how much water they will require to suppress a fire.

Are firemen happy? ›

Firefighters are one of the happiest careers in the United States. At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, firefighters rate their career happiness 3.8 out of 5 stars which puts them in the top 16% of careers.

Is firefighter a respected job? ›

It has been said that firefighters have the best job in the world. Theirs is a profession that is exciting, rewarding, and secure. It also provides excellent pay, benefits, and promotional opportunities. Firefighters are also highly esteemed members of their communities.

Why Being a firefighter is the best job? ›

Saving lives

There is nothing more rewarding than helping other people. Especially when it comes to saving their lives. While serving as a firefighter, you get to do this. This can be anything from preventing minor injuries, to preventing death.

What city has the busiest fire department? ›

Busiest Departments by Total Calls
Department NameTotal CallsTotal Fire Calls
New York, NY2,200,00040,783
Chicago, IL851,769223,323
Los Angeles City, CA499,16784,792
Baltimore City, MD347,170163,874
21 more rows

What is the oldest fire department in the US? ›

Cincinnati Fire Department: First In The Nation. On April 1, 1853, Cincinnati, Ohio, established the first professional and fully paid fire department in the United States.

What city has the most fires? ›

According to The Hartford Home Fire Index, the top five cities are: Detroit, Michigan; Shreveport, Louisiana; Boston, Massachusetts; Flint, Michigan and Richmond, Virginia.

What do you call a female fireman? ›

Definition of firewoman

: a female firefighter a volunteer firewoman.

Why do FDNY dispatchers say K? ›

The use of the letter K is a holdover from the days of telegraph. It was sent at the end of a transmission to indicate that I am finished sending and I await your reply. It is similar to the military use of the word over.

What is the biggest fire station in the world? ›

The Fire Department is the largest urban fire department in the world.
Tokyo Fire Department.
LocationŌtemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Fire ChiefToshio Andō
Budget¥245,932,000,000 (2015)
8 more rows


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