Firefighter Salary – How Much Does a Firefighter Make

Salary is one of the factors that most of the aspirants consider before choosing any career. Firefighters in the USA get lucrative salary packages.

There are many factors on which the fireman salary depends. Some of the significant elements are education, geographical area, employer, certifications, working experience, work shifts, additional skills, etc. You can also earn good overtime by extending your work hours. Besides salary, firefighters get various other perks such as insurance (dental, health, life, vision, disability or accidental death insurance), performance bonus, pension plan, maternity and paternity leave, paid time off, and professional support like an apprenticeship program, job training, etc.

How Much Firefighters are Paid in the USA?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2017, the median annual salary of these professionals was $49,080 while the median hourly wage was $23.60. On the other hand, the average firefighter salary as per indeed.com (as of September 8, 2018) was $41,642 per annum.

According to salary.com, firefighters were getting paid between $34,373 and $57,288, as of September 1, 2018. However, annual firefighter salary in the United States was reported to be $45,829. Firefighters earned an average annual salary of $46,025 and hourly average wage of $15.16, according to paysclae.com (as of September 2, 2018).

Average Annual and Hourly Salary of Arson and Fire Investigators in Different States of the USA

Name of the StateMean Annual SalaryMean Hourly Salary
Alabama$40,850$19.64
Alaska$60,930$29.29
Arizona$46,330$22.27
Arkansas$37,010$17.80
California$73,860$35.51
Colorado$55,560$26.71
Connecticut$63,130$30.35
Delaware$46,610$22.41
Florida$52,170$25.08
Georgia$36,830$17.71
Idaho$39,880$19.17
Illinois$55,330$26.59
Indiana$47,980$23.07
Iowa$41,250$19.83
Kansas$37,600$18.08
Kentucky$32,800$15.77
Louisiana$32,710$15.73
Maine$33,500$16.11
Maryland$58,590$28.17
Massachusetts$60,550$29.11
Michigan$44,870$21.57
Minnesota$35,750$17.19
Mississippi$30,690$14.76
Missouri$49,250$23.68
Montana$48,790$23.46
Nebraska$50,200$24.13
Nevada$66,670$32.05
New Hampshire$46,330$22.28
New Jersey$75,880$36.48
New Mexico$36,880$17.73
New York$70,560$33.92
North Dakota$42,380$20.38
North Carolina$36,110$17.36
Ohio$46,710$22.46
Oklahoma$43,650$20.99
Oregon$64,330$30.93
Pennsylvania$54,730$26.31
Rhode Island$56,480$27.15
South Carolina$34,730$16.70
South Dakota$44,750$21.52
Tennessee$39,950$19.21
Texas$53,480$25.71
Utah$35,680$17.15
Vermont$38,810$18.66
Virginia$51,160$24.60
Washington$70,300$33.80
West Virginia$34,900$16.78
Wisconsin$41,870$20.13
Wyoming$45,010$21.64

Information Source: The BLS (as of May 2017)

The highest paying state in the USA for a firefighter with an average annual salary of $75,880 and a mean hourly salary of $36.48 was New Jersey.

Firefighter Salaries by Company in the US

Name of the Company/DepartmentAnnual Average Salary
Chicago Fire Department Firefighter$80,540
County of Alameda Firefighter$70,409
United States Department Of Defense Firefighter$63,782
Military and Naval Affairs, Division of Firefighter$52,447
City of Bristol Firefighter$50,658
Department of Homeland Security Firefighter   $49,265
Dallas Fire Department Firefighter$49,234
CalFire Firefighter$44,583
Department of Veterans Affairs Firefighter$44,126
U.S. Army Firefighter$42,700

Information Source: indeed.com (as of September 8, 2018)

The above table reveals that the salary of firefighters in different companies/departments was between $42,700 and $80,540 per annum. Chicago Fire Department Firefighter was the top paying company in the US.

Top Paying Industries for Firefighters in the US

Name of the IndustryAnnual Mean WageHourly Mean Wage
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing$63,050$30.31
Scientific Research and Development Services$62,090$29.85
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools$55,730$26.79
Investigation and Security Services$55,070$26.48
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution$53,310$25.63

Information Source: The BLS (as of May 2017)

Petroleum and coal products manufacturing company was the highest paying company for this profession in the United States. It paid an average $30.31 per hour and $63,050 per annum.

Highest Paying States and Metropolises for Firefighters

The below table showcases the list of highest paying states (as of May 2017) for firefighters in the USA:

Name of the StateAnnual Mean WageHourly Mean Wage
New Jersey$75,880$36.48
California$73,860$35.51
New York$70,560$33.92
Washington$70,300$33.80
Nevada$66,670$32.05

Information Source: The BLS

Metropolitan areas that paid the highest salary to firefighters were:

Name of the Metropolitan AreaAnnual Mean SalaryHourly Mean Wage
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, California Metropolitan Division$95,500$45.91
Vallejo-Fairfield, California$90,390$43.45
Tacoma-Lakewood, Washinton Metropolitan Division$88,500$42.55
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California$85,940$41.32
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California Metropolitan Division$85,620$41.17
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California Metropolitan Division$84,260$40.51
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, California Metropolitan Division$81,190$39.03
Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division$80,900$38.89
Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York Metropolitan Division$80,240$38.58
San Rafael, California Metropolitan Division$78,970$37.97

Information Source: The BLS (as of May 2017)

The annual mean salary of firefighters in different metropolitan areas was between $78,790 and $95,500, whereas the mean hourly wage was between $37.97 and $45.91.

Top 5 Best-Paying Firefighting Jobs by State

The below table shows the average annual salary of jobs similar to firefighters:

Job TitleAverage Annual Salary
Police and Detectives$62,960
Fire Inspectors$56,670
Hazardous Materials Removal Workers$41,400
Firefighter/Paramedic and Firefighter/EMT$33,380
Forest and Conservation Workers$27,650

Information Source: The BLS (as of May 2017)

The firefighter-paramedic salary and firefighter EMT salary was $33,380. Police and detectives got the highest pay, i.e., $62,960.

Firefighter Chief Salary

Firefighter Chiefs perform administrative and managerial roles within a fire department. According to payscale.com (as of September 18, 2018), they made an average annual salary of $74,539 and a mean hourly wage of $23.00. As per indeed.com (as of September 9, 2018), the average income of Fire Chief Manager was $11.50 per hour and $36.71 per hour for Division Chief.

Job Scope

The BLS has projected as fast growth for this occupation as the average for all professions. From 2016 to 2026, the employment opportunities for fighters may grow seven percent. There will be approximately 350,900 job vacancies for fighters in different departments/divisions by 2026. Applicants who have completed paramedic training and are physically fit will get an added advantage in their jobs. They may work as Fire Rescue Men, Fire Prevention Workers, Fire Inspectors, Fire Safety Engineers, Fire Captains, and other job titles.