The first and foremost aspect one looks into while applying for a job is the salary. Talking about Firefighters, they often put their lives at stake to protect the community. The Firefighter pay in Florida varies from all the other states of the US. With California and Texas employing the highest number of firefighters, Florida secures the third rank with 24,430 employment opportunities according to the data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Since there is a massive demand for firefighters in Florida, they earn lucrative salary packages, benefits and various other perks for each level. So, how much do firefighters get paid in Florida? To better understand the topic, take a look at the data below collected by few authentic websites which will give you a rough idea on what to expect as your salary being an aspiring firefighter in Florida.
How Much do Firefighters Make in Florida?
A firefighter monthly salary greatly varies with cities, locations and many different factors such as education, certifications, skill set, years of experience, company that one is employed in, industry, etc. According to the (BLS), the average Firefighter salary in Florida was $52,170, and the mean hourly wage was reported to be $25.08 as of May 2017. While, according to Indeed.com, an average annual firefighter salary was $42,301 per annum which meets the national average.
According to Payscale.com, a firefighter in Florida earned an average salary of $49,425 per annum. While according to data stated by Salary.com, the firefighter salary range typically falls between $32,447 and $54,078. As of October 31, 2018, the average annual wage of a firefighter in Florida was $43,262.
The following table shows the percentile wages of firefighters in Florida:
|Percentile Scale||Average Annual Wage|
Information Source: The BLS
From the table above, it is concluded that the average annual wage for the 90th percentile that is the top 10% of the highest paid is $79,560. While the average pay of 50% firefighters was less than $50,170, and the bottom 10% earned less than $29,320 per annum.
Let us have a look at the table below which depicts the median yearly/annual salary and hourly wages of firefighters in different cities and metropolitan areas of Florida as per October 31, 2018:
|City||Average Median Annual Salary||Average Hourly Wages|
Information Source: Salary.com
From the above table, it can be noted that there is a significant salary disparity between beginners and experienced firefighters. Entry-level firefighters pay is approximately $29,000 per annum, while junior level firefighters get paid an average salary of $36,500 per annum. Experienced firefighters get the annual salary of $48,500, senior most earn $63,000 per annum and top end firefighters receive an average median salary of $77,000 annually.
Higher experience and education is better for the firefighter career. Hence, the more experience one possesses, the higher will be the package and benefits offered.
Firefighter Salary in Miami
As per Salary.com, Firefighters in Miami earn an average median salary of $44,798 as of October 31, 2018. Salary range of a firefighter typically falls between $33,599 to $55,998. The average total compensation also includes bonus, retirements, healthcare, and other benefits, which can vary anywhere between $33,599 to $55,998. Whereas, according to Payscale.com, the salary falls between the range of $21,108 to $86,000.
An average firefighter earns a median average wage of $53,000 per annum, along with Medical, Dental and Vision benefits. Also, to be noted, the salary range is affected by a variety of factors like the company, years of experience, education, etc.
The following table shows the percentage of firefighters existing in Miami with differentiated years of experience:
|Years of experience||Percentage|
|Less than a year||11%|
|20 years or more||37%|
Information Source: Payscale.com
Salary of Tampa Firefighters
The City of Tampa employs 622 uniformed firefighters. These professionals are hired in different positions and locations as per the requirements. According to the record stated by salary.com, the base salary of a firefighter ranges from $33,126 to $55.210. While the average annual salary is of $44,168, excluding bonus, health and retirement benefits. As per Indeed.com, the hourly wages of a firefighter in Tampa is $22.92 which is 54% above the national average.
According to the Indeed.com, the standard benefits of firefighters in the city of Tampa include:
- 401K Plan
- Healthcare Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Dental Insurance
Firefighter Paramedic Salary in Florida
Factors that determine the salary of a paramedic firefighter include whether the firefighter is employed in state or private sector, on the years of experience, education, and level of training acquired. Paramedic firefighters hired in state agencies and private hospitals receive better and higher packages compared to the one working in public sectors.
According to Indeed.com, the average median salary of a Firefighter paramedic is $46,794 per annum, which is below the national average by 9%. The typical tenure of firefighter paramedic in Florida is 5-7 years. Whereas, according to Salary.com, the average annual salary of a firefighter paramedic is $39,423 as of October 31, 2018. The base salary ranges between $35,400 and $44,927 excluding the bonus, retirement and healthcare benefits.
According to the statistics by Payscale.com, an average paramedic firefighter in Florida earns $35,000 per annum at an hourly wage of $12.51. The overtime wage increases by the amount of $18.20 including the daily working hours.
Firefighter Jobs in Florida
Coming to the employment for firefighters in Florida, it employs the third highest number of firefighters after California and Texas. According to the BLS, Florida employed 24,430 firefighters as of May 2017. Further, the job outlook of firefighters is expected to increase by 7% in 2016-2026. Because of this, they must be skilled, competent and professional enough to respond to any emergency.
To become a professional firefighter in Florida, one needs to adhere to the general requirements:
- Must be 18 years of age or above
- Pass the physical examination
- Meet the Minimum Education Criteria: High School Diploma or Equivalent
- Must clear the criminal background check
Once you meet all the general requirements, you must meet the following training requirements:
The Firefighter Minimum Standard Course is a statutory requirement of the state if one has to be employed as a firefighter in Florida. The courses are offered in two parts: Firefighter I and Firefighter II. Firefighter I course provides with practical and theoretical knowledge of fire service. The course includes subjects like fire service safety, fire behavior, building construction, building inspection and victim removal, water supply, fire prevention, public fire safety education, etc. The course comprises of the required 206 hours of total training which will qualify them to serve as a firefighter in Florida.
Furthermore, once the candidate completes the requirements for Firefighter I, he/she is eligible to enter for course two, i.e., Firefighter II. The firefighter course II offers advanced course content which includes implementing the incident management system, construction material and building collapse, foam fire systems, fire detection, incident reports, fire cause and origin, etc. The course comprises of an additional 192 hours. An applicant gets one attempt to qualify, if he/she becomes disqualified in the first round.
Following is the list of positions available for the aspiring firefighters from entry-level firefighter to senior roles, once the above mandatory requirements are met:
- Volunteer Firefighter
- Probationary Firefighter
- EMT Firefighter
- Firefighter Paramedic
- Driver Engineer
- Battalion Chief
- Assistant Chief
- Fire Chief