How to Become a Firefighter in Kentucky – Jobs and Career

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Firefighting requires years of training, mental and physical stamina, and most of all, chivalry. Without these fundamental traits, it is unlikely that one would succeed in the endeavor to become a firefighter. But with a big ask comes a big reward as well. Firefighting is also one of the most fulfilling jobs in the country.

The state of Kentucky is prone to all kinds of disasters, including fire. But if we talk about fire hazards specifically, then both catastrophic wildfires in the lush greenery of the landscape and devastating urban fires costing the state heavily, occur here. Due to this vulnerability, Kentucky has a good number of firefighters, fire investigators, and paramedics ready at all times to jump into action. These are highly trained professionals with years of training under their belts.

If you want to join their ranks and serve in a fire department in Kentucky, then follow the roadmap that we have laid out for you.

Firefighter Requirements in Kentucky

To become a firefighter in the state of Kentucky, you will first need to meet some minimum requirements. They are as follows:

  • At least 18 years old while applying
  • Must hold a GED or a high school graduate degree
  • Valid driver’s license
  • No criminal history
  • Good CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) score
  • S. citizenship while applying

Additionally, some fire departments might ask their candidates to clear a couple of other certifications before they apply for the job, like CPR, EMT, etc.

Firefighter Training in Kentucky

It is not mandatory to have a proper college degree in fire science to apply for a job, but there is no harm in getting one as these degrees offer you a competitive advantage over others. Moreover, being tutored adequately by experienced teachers will help you better understand some of the less physical and more mental aspects of this job.

Candidates willing to join a fire science course, can either go for a two-year associate’s degree or a certificate degree. These courses are devised in a manner that both classroom and outdoor studies get equal regard as a fireman needs to be both physically and mentally well trained.

In lectures, students are taught the basics of fire biology and chemistry, fire codes and regulations, reading a blueprint and pinpointing a fire code violation, prevention methods, rescue tactics, ways to handle hazardous material, etc. During their physical training, students are put through a fierce fitness and training regiment, mock fires, taught how to give first aids to wounded citizens or fellow firefighters, how to use various firemen’s tools, etc.

If you don’t want to spend two years studying and are looking to brush up your knowledge, then you can opt for a certificate course in fire science. These courses are not only for beginners but also for firefighters with some experience. You can apply for a managerial job in a fire department once you get one of these degrees and your credentials are good enough. Moreover, a master’s degree in fire science can provide you with other job options in the field.

Top Firefighter Schools in Kentucky

Given below are some of the top-rated institutions in Kentucky that offer fire science courses for aspiring fire professionals

Name & LocationTuition Fee & PopulationCoursesType
Jefferson Community and Technical College – LouisvilleNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 18,375

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
Bluegrass Community and Technical College – LexingtonNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 16,698

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
Somerset Community College – SomersetNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 9,919

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College – ElizabethtownNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 9,818

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
West Kentucky Community and Technical College – PaducahNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 9,606

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College – Bowling GreenNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 6,622

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
Madisonville Community College – MadisonvilleNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 6,643

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
Gateway Community and Technical College – FlorenceNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 6,606

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
Owensboro Community and Technical College – OwensboroNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 5,818

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
Hazard Community and Technical College – HazardNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 4,480

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus
Ashland Community and Technical College – AshlandNative: $3,528

Non-Native: $12,360

Population: 4,756

Certificate in Fire Science

Associate’s in Fire Science

Online/Campus

Firefighter Salary in Kentucky

A Kentucky firefighter gets paid an annual average salary of $32,960 and an hourly wage of $15.85. Given below is a snapshot of firemen’s salary in Kentucky based on their experience level:

LevelHourly WageAnnual Salary
Beginners$9.71$20,200
Juniors$11.82$24,580
Experienced$15.85$32,960
Seniors$19.27$40,080
Top Level$24.05$50,020

Source: Career Explorer

Firefighter Jobs in Kentucky

According to Fire Science Online, there are currently 3,260 firefighters, and over 100 fire investigators and inspectors employed in the state of Kentucky among its 676 fire departments. These numbers are good but not as high as some of the other states. Plus, the pay scale in this state is 43% below the national average. If you want to become a firefighter in Kentucky, then you will have to work hard and earn your position, because you’re up against some of the most driven and determinant rivals in the country.

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