How to Become a Firefighter in Idaho

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Firefighter Career in Idaho

Firefighter career in Idaho is both strenuous and gratifying. On the one hand, they have to work long hours extinguishing the fire and rescuing people; on the other hand, they experience a sense of accomplishment by serving humanity. In order to become a firefighter in Idaho and overcome the day to day challenges of the job, aspirants must have problem-solving and quick decision-making skills, integrity, emotional stability, and excellent communication skills.

In addition to preventing and controlling fire, firefighters also conduct educational programs to make public aware about fire safety, respond to emergency calls, perform CPR and first aid, transport patient to hospitals, and much more. These professionals are exposed to several dangerous situations such as collapsing walls and floors, overexposure to smoke and flames, etc.

Idaho Firefighter Certification Training

Aspirants who want to become a firefighter in Idaho must complete the state-approved training program. You need to spend approximately 600 hours in training which lasts for 12-14 weeks. The training is usually conducted by fire academy which is run by a university, division of the state government, and the fire department.

Based on your educational preference, you may undertake certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree in fire science or fire technology. Fire science is a broad field that includes various important subjects, including Arson Investigation, Wildland Firefighting, Fire Investigation, Fire Science Management, Fire Protection Engineering, etc.

For enrolling in the Idaho firefighter certification training, students must meet the below-given pre-requisites:

  • 18 years of age
  • Clean criminal record
  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Citizenship of the USA
  • Strong physical stamina

The curriculum of the training program is divided into hands-on practice and classroom studies. During the classroom lecture, students study many topics including equipment use, fire control, fire safety, fire prevention, hazardous materials response, etc. The hands-on practical training is focused on providing experience on how to manipulate hoses and ladders, navigate smoke-filled buildings, make forced entries into windows or doors, etc.

Top Firefighter Schools in Idaho

Looking for the best firefighter training academy in the state offering Fire Science degree? If so, consider the below listed fire academies in Idaho.

1. North Idaho College

This community college was established in 1933. It offers a wide range of certificates and degrees in various technical and non-technical streams. North Idaho College follows an “open-door” admissions policy and is committed to providing quality education to all eligible students.

Address: 1000 West Garden Avenue, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814

Course Offered: Firefighter I Certification

Key Highlight: Firefighter I Academy prepares aspirants for skills and written exams to obtain the IFAC (International Fire Service Accreditation Congress) Firefighter I certification. Moreover, students can connect with instructors from Northern Lakes Fire District, Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, and Coeur d’Alene Fire Department. The average student will have to pay $3,000 (approximately) to attend this academy.

2. College of Western Idaho

CWI (College of Western Idaho) offers certificates, continuing education, Associate of Applied Science degrees, Associate of Science or Arts degree in various technical and career fields. In addition to this, the college provides fast-track career training for working professionals and dual credit for high school students.

Address: P.O. Box 3010, Nampa, Idaho 83653

Course Offered: Fire Service Technology Program

Key Highlight: The program focuses on the fundamental principles of fire protection, including disaster control, fire suppression, extinguishment of fires, fire prevention practices and techniques, etc. The minimum age to enroll in this program is 18 years.

3. Idaho State University

With campuses in Pocatello, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, and Meridian, Idaho State University offers over 250 programs in the areas of technology, performing and visual arts, engineering, humanities, etc. The university provides exceptional education amidst a serene ambiance.

Address: 921 South 8th Avenue, Pocatello, Idaho 83209

Course Offered: Fire Services Administration Program (Associate and Bachelor Degree)

Key Highlight: The program is approved by the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education and is offered online. The education is imparted by ranking fire officers. The curriculum focuses on the rapidly changing fire services and student success. Students can enroll for an Associate or Bachelor degree in Fire Science.

4. College of Southern Idaho

The college is renowned for the student-centric environment, outstanding facilities and faculty. Along with quality education, the college provides various support services to students such as financial aid, learning centers, skills classes, etc., to help them realize their lifelong goals.

Address: 315 Falls Avenue, P.O. Box 1238, Twin Falls, Idaho 83303-1238

Course Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Fire Service Technology

Key Highlight: The program offers the latest technical knowledge to paid and volunteer firefighters. Since the program requires access to equipment and facilities of fire departments, aspirants must be a member of the volunteer or paid fire departments.

5. Lewis-Clark State College

This public undergraduate college was established in 1893 with an aim to offer community programs, technical & career education programs, and academic programs. The beautiful campus is backed by experienced faculty that provides quality education in small classes.

Address: 500 8th Avenue, Lewiston, Idaho 83501

Course Offered: A.A.S and B.A.S in Fire Service Technology

Key Highlight: For pursuing a degree in Fire Service Technology, the aspirants must be a member of a volunteer or paid fire department. The credits of these courses can be transcripted after acquiring requisite training and certifications.

6. College of Eastern Idaho

This comprehensive community college was established in 1969 to provide quality and affordable education to students, community, and regional employers. College of Eastern Idaho is recognized by the Northwest Commission Colleges and Universities.

Address: 1600 South 25th East, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83404

Course Offered: Firefighter Certification Program, AAS Degree in Fire Service Technology 

Key Highlight: The certification program is designed in compliance with the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) standards. The certification and AAS degree programs are aimed to hone the skills and upgrade the knowledge of paid and volunteer firefighters.

Firefighter Salary in Idaho

The first question that comes in mind while choosing the career as a firefighter is how much does Idaho firefighter get paid? Well, Firefighter salary in Idaho hinges on several factors – experience, working hours, employer, geographical location, education, etc. In addition to monetary benefits, these professionals get non-monetary benefits such as paid leaves, dental insurance, health cover, etc.

As of 28 March 2019, Idaho firefighters get paid between $32,111 and $53,517 per annum. Their average income was $42,813 per year (according to salary.com).

The below table showcases the annual average salary of firefighters in some cities of Idaho:

CityAnnual Average Salary
Boise$43,921
Meridian$43,874
Nampa$43,458
Idaho Falls$42,146
Moscow$45,550
Lewiston$45,700
Twin Falls$40,551
Pocatello$40,227
Idaho Falls$42,146
Mountain Home$43,226
Burley$39,856
Sandpoint$45,550
Orofino$45,550
Salmon$40,979
Kimberly$40,551

The average hourly wages of firefighters as of April 2, 2019, was $17.81, as per the reports of indeed.com, which was 17% above the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), firefighters in Idaho earned a mean annual salary of $39,880 and mean hourly wage of $19.17, as of May 2017.

The salary of these professionals on different percentiles is depicted in the below table:

Percentile10%25%50%75%90%
Wages$19,600$23,670$37,130$52,380$64,200

Source: BLS (as of May 2017)

  • 10% of firefighters took home an annual income of less than $19,600 while the remaining 90% made more than $19,600 per year.
  • The average annual salary of 25% of fire service professionals was less than $23,670 whereas the remaining 75% of professionals earned more than $23,670.
  • The average salary of 50% of fire service professionals was paid less than $37,130 per annum while the remaining 50% were paid more than $37,130 per year.
  • 75% of firefighters took home less than $52,380 per year while the remaining 25% earned more than $52,380 per annum.
  • 90% of fire service professionals were paid an annual income of less than $64,200 whereas the remaining 10% were paid more than $64,200 per year.

Firefighter Jobs in Idaho

According to the BLS, the employment of fire service professionals is expected to increase by 7% from 2016 to 2026. These statistics indicate good job prospects for both paid and volunteers firefighters in the coming years. The total employment for firefighters in Idaho as of May 2017 was 1640; employment per 1000 was 2.40. These professionals can climb the career ladder and assume leadership positions by gaining experience. Various career advancements options for firefighters include Fire Inspector/Investigator, Fire Chief, Fire Marshal, etc.

References:

  • http://firelink.monster.com/content/become-a-firefighter-in-idaho-fire-academy-directory
  • https://fire.cityofboise.org/join-our-team/qualifications/

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