Municipal Firefighter

A Fire Technology Career Pathway

Why I Chose Fire: Next Generation Trailer

Municipal Firefighting has a Bright Outlook!

According to O*Net, Municipal Firefighter is a bright outlook occupation!

Bright Outlook Occupation: 33-2011.01 - Municipal Firefighters

Bright Outlook occupations are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, will have large numbers of job openings, or are new and emerging occupations.

Every Bright Outlook occupation matches at least one of the following criteria:

  • Projected to grow much faster than average (employment increase of 22% or more) over the period 2012-2022
  • Projected to have 100,000 or more job openings over the period 2012-2022
  • New & Emerging occupation in a high growth industry

Growth and job openings source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012-2022 employment projections. Projected growth represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). Projected job openings represent openings due to growth and replacement.

That means- jobs!

Read more about the job of a municipal firefighter here.

Santa Ana Basic Fire Academy 167

The Skills You Need for the Job You Want.

SAC Fire Technology Programs prepares the student for employment as a municipal firefighter by developing the following skills:

  • Administer first aid. - All Public Safety Graduates are NREMT Certified.
  • Prepare investigation or incident reports. As students complete their core coursework, they are introduced to the vocabulary and nomenclature used in the fire and emergency services. Students read and interpret investigation and technical reports, conduct research, and develop proficiency in all areas of written communication. Students complete fire inspection reports in FTC 104
  • Rescue people from hazardous situations. FTC 101 Informs the student of the structure and resources available FTC 102 students understand the nature of physical and technical hazards in the environment, FTC 104, 105, 106 students recognize hazardous situations and can identify methods of mitigation, response considerations, resources available to identify and interpret hazardous conditions. CPR/ First Aid Fire Academy, EMT students are prepared to personally intervene. Fire Academy graduates are certified as CA FF1 Trained, with additional certification in auto extrication, trench rescue, rope rescue.
  • Examine debris to obtain information about causes of fires. First semester students understand the role of fire investigators, and fire behavior fundamentals. Second semester students have a more thorough understanding of fire behavior in compartments, materials, fire investigation methods, the firefighters role in fire investigation.Fire Academy students apply this knowledge on the fire training ground to recognize and protect evidence during firefighting and overhaul procedures.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure safety or proper functioning. First semester students are introduced to information and nomenclature specific to the occupation. They understand the role of PPE, physical and health hazards in the environment. Second semester students understand how to inspect and evaluate fire protection systems and equipment using national standards, manufacturer specifications, and third-party certification lists. These skills are used by Fire Academy students to inspect and evaluate PPE, and tools and equipment in the Fire Academy. Program graduates can explain requirements for PPE, the rationale for their use and methods to evaluate and maintain.
  • Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with fire regulations. First semester students use their knowledge of fire department organization and fire behavior as a foundation for understanding the fire the built environment, and the duties and responsibilities of the Fire Prevention Bureau. They understand, and can use, the vocabulary and professional nomenclature to describe facilities and regulations. Second Semester students can classify occupancy by use, recognize common hazards, calculate occupant loads, conduct fire inspections, document findings, reference and explain fire regulations.
  • Respond to emergencies to provide assistance. Fire Academy, EMT CPR
  • Relay information about incidents or emergencies to personnel using phones or two-way radios. Fire Academy
  • Operate firefighting equipment. Fire Academy . Core Classes
  • Assess characteristics of fires. Core Classes Fire Academy
  • Locate fires or fire danger areas. Core Classes Fire Academy
  • Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to respond to incidents. Core Classes Fire Academy
  • Prepare hoses or water supplies to fight fires.Core Classes Fire Academy
  • Maintain fire fighting tools or equipment. Core Classes Fire Academy
  • Educate the public about fire safety or prevention. Core Classes 104
  • Protect property from fire or water damage. Core Classes Fire Academy
  • Attend training to learn new skills or update knowledge. Comprehensive program
  • Block physical access to restricted areas.Core classes Fire Academy
  • Participate in physical training to maintain fitness. Health evaluation, Biddle test 121, 121l
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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Along the fire technology pathway towards an Associates Degree, students will find new opportunities for on-the-job experience as their education and training progress.

Elementary/Jr. High

  1. Jr. Guards, Scouts, Sports,
  2. Develop: Leadership, foreign language, tools, service, mechanical skills, communication skills, problem solving, stress reaction, science, math, teamwork, fitness, responsibility, accountability, resourcefulness

High School
  1. Driving, criminal violations, drug use
  2. Foreign language, science, math, student groups, problem solving, communication, stress reaction, analytical thinking, interpersonal relationships, leadership, service, fitness, accountability, responsibility, resourcefulness
  3. Jobs: Life Guard Aid; Life Guard; Life Guard -Bilingual; Fire Explorers program (Rescue Explorers and Marine Explorers are also good choices); ROP courses including EMT; Student aid w/special populations
  4. Service to the community
  5. Driving, drugs, tattoos. Tattoo policies are ever changing. Choose carefully. Certain driving, drug and other violations may disqualify you.

  1. HS Diploma/GED is the minimum education requirements for some firefighting jobs. Students can begin applying for firefighting positions they qualify for.
  2. Join local Community Emergency Response Team
  3. Some driving violations will get you disqualified automatically.
  4. Watch your driving, temper and your credit. It counts. Be nice to your neighbors. You will need at least one academic reference, a professional reference and a social reference. Start sucking up now. Your electronic footprint too.

BIDDLE/CPAT Students completing and maintaining currency for these Physical Ability Exams will meet the entry requirements for some firefighting positions.


  1. Students completing NREMT are employed full time, part-time or as a volunteer as EMTs. (Required for Academy Placement)

Fire Technology Coursework

First Semester

  1. Student Club provides opportunities to develop skills, network, leadership, scholarship.
  2. Students completing FTC 101, 102 receive free initial ACT evaluation.

Second Semester
  1. Students completing FTC 101, FTC 102 and FTC 104 are eligible for internship positions with local fire departments.
  2. Students completing 15 units of Fire Technology coursework qualify for entry level work in Fire Prevention, or installation and testing of fire protection systems, security positions in private industry.
  3. Students completing FTC 101, 102, 104, 105, 106 meet the OSFM career entry requirements for occupations as Fire Inspector, Fire Plans Examiner, Community Risk Educator,
  4. Students completing 15 units- eligible for ACT Skills Test and Certification

Public Fire Service Certificate of Achievement

  1. Students completing the Fire Academy qualify for Firefighter recruit positions in California, as Firefighter I Trained, with skills certifications from IFSAC and ProBoard.
  2. Students completing the fire academy will receive professional certification in all of the following areas

Public Fire Service Associate of Science Degree
  1. Students earning an AS Degree in Public Fire Service meet "desirable qualifications" for many entry level positions.

Public Fire Service Associate of Science Degree - Transfer

  1. Students continuing to a higher education program are qualified for participation in University firefighting programs. (Davis, Clemson, University of Alaska)
  2. Honor Students eligible for additional scholarships.

Related Degree Programs

BA: Emergency Management and Homeland Security

BS: Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation

BS; BS/MS: Fire Protection Engineering

BA: Fire Protection Administration

Cee Lo Green Thank You Music Video Tribute for Volunteer Firefighters
Why I Chose Fire: Next Generation Career Video

What you will need to know.

Knowledge required of Municipal Firefighter

Ranked by importance.

Save Table (XLS/CSV)

The first 10 are critical to the municipal firefighter. The others are important, and offer opportunities for specialized assignments and increased wages. Incentive pay offers increased wages for skills such as bilingual abilities, advanced education and training, as well as professional certification.

The following is a list of knowledge that is important for Municipal Firefighters to have. This knowledge is typically developed as students progress through their certificate and degree programs.

Here is what you will need to learn:

81 Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

72 Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

70 Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

68 Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

65 Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

63 English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

55 Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

53 Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

53 Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

50 Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

49 Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

49 Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

47 Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

47 Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

46 Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

45 Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

40 Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

39 Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

37 Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

36 Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

35 Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

33 Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

30 Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

30 Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

24 Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

17Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

17 Foreign Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

16 Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

15 Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

13 Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.

9 History and Archeology — Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.

7 Food Production — Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

5 Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture