How to Become a Firefighter in Maryland – Career and Jobs

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How to Become a Firefighter in Maryland

To become a firefighter, you need incredible strength, agility, stamina, present-mindedness, and most importantly, courage. Firefighters are some of the bravest people on the planet, and their job is not just to put out fires and save people from them, but these individuals are also responsible for all rescue operations. From landslides to earthquakes, firefighters are always ready to handle the situation.

That is the reason why the bar is set so high for anyone who is looking to become a firefighter. They need to be in an excellent physical condition, but at the same time, they have to be smart thinkers, resourceful and must have a strong drive to bring a positive change in their community.

Throughout the state of Maryland, there are 263 fire stations, and all of them are always on the lookout for fresh blood to bring in. But their selection criteria is pretty strict. They need to make sure that you have what it takes, and that is why they test their candidates in every way possible, to make sure that only the optimal candidates get the job.

So, if you are looking to become a firefighter in Maryland, then we have got all the information you need to get started right here.

Firefighter Requirements in Maryland

Before you can apply for a job as a firefighter in Maryland, you need to make sure that you meet all the requirements to become a fireman. Some of the below-mentioned requirements may vary slightly from county to county, so make sure that you do your research correctly and get a solid list of all the requirements from the fire department you are thinking to apply for.

  • You need to be at least 18 years old at the time of filling the application form
  • You must hold a high school diploma or an equivalent GED
  • You need to have a valid driver’s license
  • Though you don’t need to belong to Maryland to work as a firefighter here, you need to be a US citizen at the time of application
  • You need to have a spotless criminal record; any misconduct or a run-in with the law in your past can damage your chances of getting the job

Additional Requirements:

  • It is always advantageous to work as a volunteer firefighter before you apply for a real job
  • Some fire departments ask the new candidates to have some certifications before they sit in the selection process. Most in-demand certifications for firefighters are CPR and EMT.
  • Last but not least, you need to have an excellent CPAT score. This test is designed to see how fit you are, physically, and how you do in this test will affect your selection chances

Firefighter Training in Maryland

Any individual with a high school degree can apply for a job as a firefighter in Maryland, and a formal college is by no means essential for the same. But, having said that, a degree in fire science/firefighting can help you in your career and make getting a job more manageable.

Any interested candidate can select from multiple fire science degrees:

Associate’s degree in Fire Science

It is a full-time course that takes three years to complete and gives an in-depth knowledge of the field to amateurs, along with focusing on both indoor and outdoor teaching methodologies.

  • Indoor classes majorly focus on basic biological and chemical properties of fire, handling hazardous material, fire codes and regulations, how to read blueprints and find out if any fire safety regulations have been broken or not, various prevention techniques, rescue techniques, etc.
  • On the other hand, outdoor classes are focused towards building stamina and strength, mock fires, handling firemen’s tools, handling hazardous material, emergency first aid, CPR, etc.
  • The prime benefit of getting an associate’s degree is that it gives you a distinct advantage over others who are applying for the job.

Certificate’s Degree

It is a fast-paced course which lasts for only a couple of months and provides fundamental knowledge of the field. This course is useful for people who have prepared for taking a fireman’s test and want to brush-up some things before they do. The prime benefit of getting a certification is for the people who cannot go to a school full time.

People who have been working in this field for a couple of years go for these degrees as well, mostly to advance in their careers or change jobs for a better future. A Master’s degree in fire science allows a fireman to get a job as a fire inspector or investigator. Moreover, a Ph.D. in this field will lead you to a research job which pays handsomely.

Firefighter Schools in Maryland

There are three major institutions in Maryland mentioned below that provide degrees in this field:

NameTuition Fee & PopulationCoursesType
Cecil College – North EastNatives: $5,700

Non-Natives: $7,050

Population: 3,161

Associate’s in Fire ScienceCampus & Online
College of Southern Maryland – La PlataNatives: $4,752

Non-Natives: $6,144

Population: 11,924

Associate’s in Fire ScienceCampus & Online
Prince George’s Community College – LargoNatives: $4,440

Non-Natives: $6,720

Population: 19,176

Associate’s in Fire ScienceCampus & Online

Firefighter Salary in Maryland

Maryland firefighters get paid an average annual salary of $56,830 at an hourly rate of $27.32. The pay scale for this profession varies because of various factors, the prime among them being a professional’s experience. Given below is the pay scale for firefighters on different experience levels in Maryland:

LevelHourly WageAnnual Salary
Beginners$19.06$39,640
Juniors$23.04$47,930
Experienced$27.32$56,830
Seniors$31.86$66,270
Top Level$38.56$80,200

Source: Career Explorer

Firefighter Career in Maryland

According to Fire Science, there are 3,870 firefighters in the state of Maryland. Apart from that, the fire protection industry in this state also employs around 130 fire inspectors and investigators and many EMT and paramedics as well. The job satisfaction for this profession is quite high, that just goes on to prove that people in this field really enjoy doing what they are doing, even though the pay scale for fire professionals in Maryland is 19% less than the national average.

It is not easy to become a firefighter; there aren’t enough jobs, so the job market is quite competitive. Furthermore, this field is likely to grow only 7.2% between 2016-2026, which further makes the situation difficult. But, deserving candidates will always get a job, well-trained and driven people with charismatic personalities will never remain jobless in this field.

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