A firefighter plays a crucial role in protecting the community from potential fire hazards. The complexity of the job they perform can never be underestimated. They work in severe conditions to eliminate or mitigate fire risks. A firefighter works long hours and relies on efficient planning and teamwork. It requires self-discipline, skills, patience, commitment, dedication and a lot of hard work. Since their lives are often at stake, they are offered lucrative salary packages for the job they perform.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the firefighter industry is mostly concentrated in states like California, Texas and Florida, with Texas securing the second most rank employing a huge number of firefighters every year. A typical Texas firefighter earns their basic salary working in 24-hour shifts and also gets compensated for overtime. Let us look at some statistical data mentioned below to understand a fireman salary in Texas and a few other details related to firefighter jobs.
How Much do Firefighters Make in Texas?
The average annual salary of a firefighter in Texas was $ 53,480, as per the BLS, while the average hourly wage was $25.71 as of May, 2017. Whereas, according to salary.com, the firefighter wages in Texas typically fall between the range of $32,522 and $54,204. Their average salary was $43,362 as of October 31, 2018. As per the data of indeed.com, the average salary of a firefighter in Texas was $49,737 per annum, which was 15% more than the national average.
Mentioned below is the table showcasing the percentile wages of firefighters in the state of Texas:
|Percentile||Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Wage|
The statistics may vary depending upon the number of other factors including education level, years of experience, certifications, skill set, company size, and industry.
Let us have a look at the table mentioned below which depicts the average hourly and annual wages of the firefighters in the state of Texas as per the seniority level:
|Seniority Level||Hourly Salary||Annual Wage|
|Top End Firefighters Earnings||$37.81||$78,635.9|
|Senior Firefighters Earnings||$30.32||$63,072.0|
|Experienced Firefighters Earnings||$23.82||$49,554.3|
|Junior Firefighter Earnings||$17.63||$36,676.9|
|Starting Firefighter Earnings||$13.25||$27,559.0|
Information Source: Sokanu.com
Houston Firefighter Salary
Firefighters assigned to Houston Fire Department typically work in four different 24-hour shifts starting from Day 1 Morning 6:30 am to 6:30 am on Day 2. Many of them work more than 40 hours per week during the fire season. When they are not responding to emergencies, they are probably on call and managing day to day operations at the fire station.
As per the statistics by salary.com, the base salary for firefighters in Houston, Texas falls between $35,332 and $58,886. The average yearly/annual salary was $47,109 as of October 31, 2018. The total compensation includes base salary plus other pay elements like bonus, healthcare and retirement benefits. The salary also varies with the relevant work experience, level of education, number of people managed, and additional skills along with experiences earned.
Houston Fire Department Salary
The data, as per Indeed.com, shows that a firefighter in Houston Fire Department typically makes an average of approximately $57,400 per annum, which is 12% above the national average. While, according to payscale.com, the average Houston Fire Department salary is $61,000 per annum, whereas, the average hourly wages for Houston Fire Department employees is $21.
Mentioned below is the classification of fire department employees based on the job position, years of experience, and gender.
Houston Fire Department Median Salary by Gender
Houston Fire Department employs more males in comparison to females. The ratio between male to female is estimated to be more than 3:1. According to payscale.com, the vital stats of male and female in Houston fire department is 29% for females and 71% for males. Alongside, the average annual salary of the male ranges between $58,000 and $ 120,500, and the average hourly rate of female is estimated to be $20.75.
Houston Fire Department Median Salary by Years of Experience
|Years of Experience||Annual Median Salary||Rate of Proportion|
|20 years or more||$91,000||33%|
Information Source: Payscale.com
From the table mentioned above, it is clear that an entry-level firefighter with one to four years of experience in the industry can make up to $45,000 annually, on an average. Whereas, the employees with five to nine years of work experience earn the average salary of more than $45,000 per year. The employees with work experience of 20 years or more can expect median pay of $91,000 per annum.
|City||Annual Salary||Hourly Salary|
|North Richland Hills||$44,783||$21.53|
Other Compensation Benefits
Depending on the company/employer in Houston, the employees at the fire department also get additional benefits and perks along with the base compensation such as Health Insurance and Wellness, Financial and Retirement benefits, Family and Parenting benefits, Vacation, Additional Discounts, and Professional Support.
Insurance, Health, & Wellness
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Supplemental Life Insurance
- Retire Health and Medical
- Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
Financial & Retirement Benefits
- Pension Plan
- Performance Bonus
- Retirement Plan
- Stock Options
Family & Parenting Benefits
- Maternity & Paternity Leave
- Military Leave
- Work from Home
- Adoption Assistance
- Family Medical Leave
- Vacation and Paid time off
- Sick leave
- Paid Holidays
Perks & Discounts
- Employee Discount
- Company Car
- Gym Membership
- Legal Assistance
- Job Training
- Diversity Program
- Tuition Assistance
- Professional Development
Firefighter Jobs in Texas
According to the BLS, Texas seizes the second rank after California with the highest employment rate in the Department of Fire. The total number of firefighters employed in Texas was 27,900 with 2.35 employments per thousand jobs. Furthermore, the demand for the firefighters will increase between 2016 and 2026 with an annual growth rate of 8-10%. Anyone who is planning to have a firefighter career in Texas, they have to clear the below-mentioned training program, get certification and clear written test in order to be eligible for the post of a firefighter.
Basic firefighting Training
In order to become a firefighter in Texas, the candidate has to undergo the Basic Fire Suppression Training Program through a school or academy, which consists of 468 hours offering basic fire prevention training. The aspiring firefighters are educated with basic skills, fire techniques, responsibilities, and strategies used in a team. The candidate can also opt for out of state programs, which is equivalent to the Basic Fire Suppression Curriculum.
After completion of the training program, the candidate must qualify the written exam securing at least 70% score. The candidate can apply for the test again within 180 days, if he/she fails to succeed in the first attempt.
Emergency Medical Training
Firefighters must also complete and testify that they have completed the Emergency Medical Training with The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) or the American Red Cross Emergency Responder Training.
Application for Certification
The last requirement is to apply for the certification by merely filling the application form worth $85 fee. Once you pass the criminal background check and other requirements, you are qualified to become a firefighter in Texas.
Furthermore, in order to make oneself eligible for the firefighter post, one has to fulfill minimum age and minimum education qualification criteria of 19 years and a high school diploma or equivalent, respectively. Besides having cleared minimum age and education qualifications requirement and also fulfilling training, certifications and physical requirements, candidates must also possess a valid Texas driver’s license.
Candidates with higher education comprising of an associate’s or master’s degree hold a bright future than the candidates carrying a diploma or certification courses. Firefighters receive more duties and responsibilities as they move up the ladder, starting from the entry-level position as a probationary firefighter. After gaining enough work experience, firefighters may apply for higher job roles such as Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, etc.