How to Become a Firefighter in Louisiana

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Being a firefighter is not just about running into burning buildings and descending deep pits to save people; it is also about one’s attitude. Firefighters are an entirely different breed of people, and a testament of human willpower, resilience, and courage. From fighting wildfires to urban conflagrations, these fire specialists are determined to save people. But to become one of them is not easy, as it takes years of hard work and training to become a firefighter in addition to a mix of red-hot bravery and calmness.

From the alluvial stretch on the south, along the Gulf of Mexico, to uplands in the north, Louisiana is no stranger to geographical diversity, beauty, and dangers. A fireman is Louisiana is always busy, thanks to the long menu of disasters that keep knocking at the doors of this state. It also requires firemen to be adequately trained and know how to do their job. They need to be in phenomenal shape, both physical and mental. Needless to say that if you want to become a firefighter in the state of Louisiana, then you have a steep climb ahead of you.

Those who believe that they have what it takes to become a firefighter, and can handle the enormous physical and emotional strain, then we are here to help you out.

Firefighter Requirements in Louisiana

To apply for a job as a fireman, you need to meet the following minimum requirements for this state:

  • Minimum age to apply is 18 years
  • Candidate must be a US citizen holding a high school diploma or GED, along with a valid driver’s license
  • No criminal history
  • Good CPAT score is the requirement of most of the fire departments, and they set different cut-offs for the same
  • Some fire departments also make it mandatory to have some certifications, like CPR, EMT, etc.

Firefighter Training in Louisiana

People with no college degrees can apply for jobs as well, provided that they meet the requirements mentioned above. But if you can afford to pursue a fire science degree, then there is no downside to it. If anything, it will serve you like an advantage over others who will be competing with you for the job.

There are multiple degrees that you can go for, and each of them has its benefits. If you are looking to gain a good knowledge of this field and don’t mind two years of study, then you should go for an associate’s degree in fire science. A firefighter needs to know what he/she is doing and how to approach a dangerous situation. For that, nothing is as useful as a mix of both the classroom lectures and outdoor training.

Try to remain up to date with your assignment works and be punctual; you never know which shred of information will save someone’s life. On the other hand, an aspect of the physical training sessions is to put all that you have learned in the classes to practical use. With the help of mock fires and drills, students are given a simulated experience of a hazardous situation.

They are taught how to give first-aid, follow orders, and work as a team member. Apart from this, students are put through an intense fitness regimen to build their stamina, strength, and speed.  If you don’t have two years, then you can go for certificate courses in fire science. They last only for a couple of months and give a fundamental knowledge of the field.

Professionals who have been working in this field for a while opt to go for these degrees as well. The prime motivation behind it is the possibility of getting better job roles and paychecks. Sometimes, these degrees can also pave the way for you to change lanes and switch jobs within this field, and become a fire inspector or investigator, who inspect fire disasters and try to find what caused them. To study further, a firefighter can also opt for a master’s degree in fire science.

Top Firefighter Schools in Louisiana

For people who want to get a degree in this field in the state of Louisiana, can choose from two schools which offer various fire science courses:

1. Delgado Community College

Situated in New Orleans, Delgado Community College is a public institution. It offers associate’s degrees in fire science along with a fire protection technology course, which is usually attended by firemen who are looking to advance in their careers. Currently, Delgado Community College caters to 25,488 students, and has a tuition fee of $2,992 for native students and $6,982 for non-natives. On top of campus program, this college also offers an online program for those who cannot go to a college full time.

2. Louisiana State University – Eunice

Located in Eunice, this public institution offers certificate and associate’s degrees in fire science. It also provides Fire and Emergency Services for those who are looking for a supervisory position in the service. Currently, there are 3,386 students enrolled in this college, and it charges $2,618 from both native and non-native students. This college also has an online program on top of a campus program, to make sure that distance never becomes a hindrance in education.

Firefighter Salary in Louisiana

Louisiana firefighters get paid an annual income of $30,550 and an hourly wage of $14.69. Fire investigators and inspectors make $84,230 annually, and fire service supervisors make $70,300 every year. A lot of factors influence a fireman’s salary as well, but the most prominent one is the experience.

LevelHourly SalaryAnnual Wage
Beginners$9.30$19,340
Juniors$11.41$23,740
Experienced$14.69$30,550
Seniors$19.63$40,830
Top Level$26.16$54,420

Source: Career Explorer

Firefighter Jobs in Louisiana

There are 5,890 firefighters and 200 fire investigators and inspectors in Louisiana in addition to many EMT paramedics. However, this number is not as high as some of the other states in the country, and the pay scale in Louisiana is also 43% below the national average. But still, this field has high job satisfaction percentile. People are still driven towards this line of work because it offers more than just money; it provides emotional satisfaction.

References:

  • http://www.ose.louisiana.gov/testing_entrancefirefighter.asp
  • https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/firefighter/salary/louisiana/

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