Pros and Cons of Being a Firefighter Firefighting is a dangerous and unpredictable job, as firefighters are exposed to hazardous situations and must respond to emergencies at all hours. However, they perform a public service and even have the chance to save lives. Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of being a firefighter and see if it's the right job for you. Career Information Job Description and Duties Firefighters respond to fires and other emergencies 24 hours a day.
They often arrive on the scene of accidents to provide medical treatment to victims. Firefighters might specialize in areas such as forest fires or hazardous materials cleanup, but they are able to work in a range of other settings, too. When not responding to emergencies, firefighters often maintain equipment, research firefighting techniques and provide public education on fire medical safety.
As a firefighter, you can expect to spend a lot of time at a fire station and to work long and irregular hours. Fires and other emergencies can occur at any time, so firefighters are always needed to be on call. Work can be highly dangerous, especially due to building collapses, burns and exposure to chemicals. It's important to consider how comfortable you are with entering these situations, sometimes on a daily basis. As noted by Firefighter pros and cons U.
Bureau of Labor Statistics BLSa growth of 7 percent was expected in "Firefighter pros and cons" employment of firefighters from Many existing volunteer positions are expected to be converted into paid positions.
There will also be a larger need for emergency personnel as urban areas develop and more people move into cities, where fire and other emergencies can spread quickly and cause great damage. Firefighters are usually eligible for overtime pay and commonly have pension plans that allow for retirement after 25 years.
What are the Requirements? No specific education is required to become a firefighter, though you need to have a high school diploma or GED and applicants with postsecondary coursework or degrees may be given hiring preference. You'll need to perform well on physical and written exams before being hired as a firefighter. Other requirements can vary by state, and some employers let their firefighters complete requirements during "Firefighter pros and cons" initial probationary hiring period.
Job Postings from Real Employers While all new firefighters receive extensive training, many employers desire applicants who already hold specific medical and firefighting certifications. Most firefighting positions actually require qualification as an emergency medical technician EMT or "Firefighter pros and cons" in order to provide emergency treatment at the scene of fires and other accidents.
Below are a few sample job listings to give you an idea of what employers were looking for in March Stand out in the Field Since you don't need an advanced degree to start work as a firefighter, competition can be tough for entry-level positions.
Firefighter pros and cons you perform especially well on the initial written and physical exams, you might have an edge over other applicants. Degree programs in firefighting engineering and safety are available if you want to increase your career preparation and hiring potential as a firefighter. These advanced skills can also be useful for experienced firefighters seeking promotions and advancement in the field. Both two- and four-year degrees are available, and you might need a bachelor's degree to continue to be promoted up the ranks.
Alternative Career Paths Police Officer If you love the idea of working in the public sector and helping the community but firefighting doesn't Firefighter pros and cons like the right fit, there are many other career choices out there.
Police officers enforce laws and help maintain public safety. Similar to firefighters, the majority of police officers are employed by local government.
If providing medical care is more appealing to you than combating fires, consider a career as an emergency medical technician EMT or paramedic.
A high school diploma is usually Firefighter pros and cons to enter a career training program, and three different levels of training are available: EMTs should be emotionally stable and able to handle stress. With experience, you could move on to teach or supervise emergency services.
Employment growth was expected to be 9 percent from Maybe you're interested in fire protection without the physical stress of firefighting; if that's the case, you could consider a career as a fire inspector or investigator. You could work with building inspectors and construction crews to ensure that current projects meet the fire safety code; in addition, you might check up on established buildings of business to make sure they meet these same standards.
As a fire investigator, you would help determine the cause of fire through criminal investigation. Job growth was projected to be about as fast at average from compared to all occupations. Students seeking an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science online degree learn skills ranging from terrorism management to arson investigation All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
What are the pros and cons of a firefighting career? Get real job descriptions, career outlook and salary info to see if becoming Firefighter pros and cons firefighter is right for you. Career Outlook and Salary As noted by the U. The skills of successful firefighters always include: Ability to work on a team Initiative and good judgment Sense of public service Self-discipline combined with physical and mental endurance Strong mechanical and technical abilities.
A city in Michigan looked for firefighters who are at least 21 old and are certified licensed paramedics. The posting specified that applicants need to demonstrate both financial responsibility and have no criminal history.
A city in northern Virginia advertised for firefighters to perform rescue and salvage missions, as well as provide training and public education programs. A city in Kansas searched for firefighters to be placed on an eligibility list for future hire. Duties include performing technical rescues, using and maintaining department equipment and holding classes on topics such as CPR, first aid and babysitting safety. Continuing Education Firefighter pros and cons programs in firefighting engineering and safety are available if you want to increase your career preparation and hiring potential as a firefighter.
Emergency Medical Technician If providing medical care is more appealing to you than combating fires, consider a career as an emergency medical technician EMT or paramedic. Fire Inspector Maybe you're interested in fire protection without the physical stress of firefighting; if that's the case, you could consider a career as a fire inspector or investigator.
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