How to Become a Firefighter in Kansas – Career and Jobs

Firefighters are among the bravest and most finely-tuned people on the planet, both mentally and physically. They have an incredible resilience to pressure, endurance and strength to withstand the harshest of blows, and at the same time, bear an insane amount of bravery, willingness to do good, and a drive to contribute towards the society. Running into raging conflagrations and dropping down into deep wells is not everyone can repeatedly do.

The state of Kansas currently has 450 fire departments and employs around 4,000 firefighters and 100 fire inspectors and investigators. The terrain is tricky and vulnerable to both wild and urban fires, along with other calamities which keep visiting this state every few years.

Firefighters are an entirely different breed, and they need to be picked and placed under proper training before they are ready for the job. For that reason, fire departments across the country follow a selection process to hire these brave men and women. If you are looking to become a firefighter in this state, fret not. We are here to help you in understand the process better.

Firefighter Requirements in Kansas

To become a firefighter in the state of Kansas, you first need to meet the following requirements:

  • The candidate should not be a minor and must possess a high school diploma or an equivalent GED
  • Even if not from the resident of the same city of application, the aspirant must be a US citizen.
  • A valid driver’s license is also a necessity along with a clean record.
  • In Kansas, candidates need a couple of certifications before applying for the job – Firefighter I and Firefighter II, and EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)
  • Passing CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) with optimum scores is also part of the eligibility criteria.
  • Moreover, none of the candidate’s immediate family members should be employed by the city.

Firefighter Training in Kansas

While there are no laws in the state of Kansas that dictate that a candidate applying for a job as a firefighter should have a formal college in fire science/firefighting, as it gives you a competitive advantage. Also, formal college education for this line teaches you a lot for advancing with your theoretical studies and physical training.

As a beginner, you can enroll for an associate’s degree, which takes about two years to complete. The Associate’s degree in fire science gives students basic knowledge about the chemistry and biology of fire, and teaches them about fire codes and regulations, how to read blueprints and detect fire code violations. A fair amount of knowledge about safety tactics, preservation methods and how to handle hazardous material is given to them as well.

Along with theoretical sessions, outdoor training plays an equally important role in shaping up the career of a firefighter. The candidates are taught to tackle real-time situations so that they can get ready for the action. This process can also be considered as the training for EMT and CPR certification exams. In order to get a brief idea of the subject, the aspirants can also opt for a certificate program if they cannot spend two years pursuing an associate’s degree.

If you are a working individual in the field of firefighting, you can also choose a master’s degree in fire science to progress on your career path. Apart from that, you can also go for a Ph.D. in fire science to get a job in the research sector.

Top Firefighter Schools in Kansas

Some of the state’s finest firefighter training academies have been listed below:

CollegeTuition Fee and PopulationProgramsType
Johnson County Community College – Overland ParkNative: $2,610

Non-Native: $5,700

Population: 29,734

Certificate, Fire Science/Firefighting

Associate’s, Fire Science/Firefighting

Online/Campus
Barton County Community College – Great BendNative: $1,984

Non-Native: $2,976

Population: 16,283

Associate’s, Fire Science/FirefightingOnline/Campus
Butler Community College – El DoradoNative: $2,850

Non-Native: $4,590

Population: 13,595

Certificate, Fire Science/Firefighting

Associate’s, Fire Science/Firefighting

Online/Campus
Kansas City Kansas Community College – Kansas CityNative: $2,190

Non-Native: $6,210

Population: 9,778

Associate’s, Fire Science/FirefightingOnline/Campus
Garden City Community College – Garden CityNative: $1,760

Non-Native: $2,368

Population: 2,971

Associate’s, Fire Science/FirefightingOnline/Campus
Dodge City Community College – Dodge CityNative: $1,200

Non-Native: $1,500

Population: 2,620

Certificate, Fire Science/Firefighting

Associate’s, Fire Science/Firefighting

Online/Campus
Coffeyville Community College – CoffeyvilleNative: $960

Non-Native: $2,528

Population: 2,515

Associate’s, Fire Science/FirefightingOnline/Campus

Firefighter Recruitment in Kansas

The recruitment process remains more or less the same throughout the country. The first step is to fill out the application form for the local fire station. Once you do that, you will be given a date for your written exam. Once you have made it through the written exam, you will need to appear for a physical test. Clearing both the rounds mentioned above will lead you to the third round, which is an overall medical evaluation including a psychiatric evaluation, to see if you are mentally fit for the job or not.

After that, you will move onto the interview round where you will have a face an experienced firefighter. The final step in this journey will be a background screening, where your entire past will be put under the microscope, to see if you’ve kept your nose clean or not. If nothing too shocking comes up, then you will receive your appointment letter.

Firefighter Salaries in Kansas

A Kansas firefighter gets paid an average salary of $35,820 annually and an hourly wage of $17.22. The wages vary in this profession because of various factors, and the prime one among them is the experience. Given below is a snapshot of firefighter salaries in Kansas, based on their level of experience:

LevelHourly SalaryAnnual Wage
Beginners$10.46$21,760
Juniors$13.50$28,090
Experienced$17.22$35,820
Seniors$21.67$45,080
Top-level$25.40$52,830

Source: Career Explorer

Firefighter Jobs in Kansas

A job as a firefighter in Kansas isn’t exactly a dream affair, as the pay scale for this job in the state is 40% lower than the national average. Seeing the growth of around 7% in the job opportunities in the firefighting profession between 2016-2026 (according to the BLS), the competition can be stiff, but deserving candidates will always find their way. So, keep working and train hard to achieve your goal of becoming a firefighter.

References:

  • https://www.opkansas.org/about-overland-park/career-opportunities/public-safety-qualifications/firefighter-qualifications/
  • https://www.fire-science-schools.com/become-a-firefighter-in-kansas.html
  • https://www.firescience.org/fire-science-degrees-and-programs/kansas/
  • http://firelink.monster.com/content/become-a-firefighter-in-kansas-fire-academy-directory
  • https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/firefighter/salary/kansas/