Indiana has an intriguing mix of lovely towns such as Delphi and Zionsville, and bustling big cities like Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. On one side, people can live easy and simple, and on the other end, they can experience the fast-paced life of modern big cities as well. But this changing nature of the state also makes it vulnerable to many different types of disasters. From ice storms in winters to tornados and wildfires in summers, Indiana is by no means, unacquainted by the horrors of nature. That is the reason why the state of Indiana employs around 7,000 firefighters.
An Indiana firefighter needs to be in a fantastic physical condition, courageous, willing to put other’s best interest ahead, quick thinker and most of all, a person who is not afraid to put his own life on stake to save others. So, if you think you have all these qualities, then you might be what fire departments throughout the state of Indiana are looking for. But courage alone won’t take you too far in this field; you also need to develop a set of other skills.
Firefighter Requirements in Indiana
To become a firefighter in Indiana, you must meet the below-mentioned requirements. A candidate must –
- be at least 21 years old at the time of application
- have a high school diploma or GED
- not be more than 36 years old, fire departments in Indiana believe that it’s too late for anyone over the age of 36 to start their journey as a firefighter
- hold U.S. citizenship
- not have any criminal record or convictions
- have a valid driver’s license
- be in an excellent physical condition and have an impressive CPAT score, different fire departments have different CPAT score cut-offs.
- Additionally, some fire departments prefer candidates with some medical certifications likesc EMT, CPR, etc.
Firefighter Training in Indiana
Having a fire science degree improves your chances of getting a job even though no fire department in the state of Indiana makes it mandatory for an applicant to hold such a degree. A candidate willing to get a degree in the field can go for either an associate’s degree or a certificate program.
The physical training is as important as theoretical knowledge. A student is put through a rigorous fitness regime and taught how to fight fires using mock fires. Various emergency medical tactics are also trained to them to give first-aid to an injured victim. Apart from all this, students are taught how to operate inside the danger zone and communicate with other team members along with using various firemen tools.
A professional fireman can also climb up the job ladder by undertaking a master’s degree program. Some people even choose to take a slightly more technical lane and go for courses like fire tech, which teaches students how to design fire alarms, sensors, and related stuff.
Firefighter Recruitment Process in Indiana
The first step is to fill out the job application form whenever your local fire department releases it. Upon submitting this form, you will be given a date when the first step of the recruitment process will take place – written examination. It is of average difficulty level, and a candidate who has passed high school can have a go at this test.
If you pass the first round, then you will have to go through the physical exam, which will make sure that you can handle physical stress this line of work puts on you. If you clear the physical test, you will be asked to submit for a medical evaluation. If there is nothing that raises any major concern, then you will move on and will be asked to sit in a face-to-face interview. If you can make your way through the interview phase, then the fire department will conduct a thorough background check on you, and you will receive your appointment letter after getting a green signal from there.
Top Firefighter Schools in Indiana
If you are looking to get a degree in fire science in the state of Indiana, you will have to enroll in Vincennes University based out of Vincennes, Indiana. It is the only college in Indiana which offers a major in fire science.
Established in 1801, it was Indiana’s first university, which explains its glory and astonishing track record. Right now, it caters to 22,753 students and offers both online and campus programs for most of its courses. As far as Fire Science or Firefighting is concerned, the college provides online and campus programs both. It offers certificate and associate’s courses along with a Fire Science and Safety Technology course. A student from Indiana can study at the university for $4,752 while a non-native will have to pay $11,812.
Firefighter Salary in Indiana
Indiana firefighters get paid an average salary of $47,960, and they make an hourly wage of $23.06. Given below is a snapshot of firefighter salaries on multiple experience levels:
Source: Career Explorer
Firefighter Jobs in Indiana
According to BLS, there were 7,600 firefighters in the state of Indiana, as of 2017. Furthermore, the job market is likely to grow at a pace of 7.2% between 2016-2026. Thus, deserving candidates will find jobs only if they train with dedication, both mentally and physically, and keep their noses clean.