How to Become a Firefighter in Massachusetts – Career and Jobs

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How to Become a Firefighter in Massachusetts

In 2013, Massachusetts employed over 12,000 firefighters, 3,210 fire supervisors, and 220 fire inspectors and investigators, as reported by BLS. These numbers very clearly indicate that there is an acute demand for fire professionals in this state. From wild to urban fires, these professionals are tasked to protect the population and the infrastructure from fire hazards everywhere. This job becomes all the more essential in Massachusetts, given the rich history of the state which needs to be preserved on top of a dense population, and various institutions of international significance.

So, not only is there a good demand for fire professionals in this state, but the bar is set pretty high as far as their skills are concerned. That is why fire departments across the state are always eager to get their hands on the best-suited candidates to fill in their ranks. Here, we have mentioned about how you can score a job as a firefighter in Massachusetts.

Firefighter Requirements in Massachusetts

To become a firefighter in Massachusetts, you need to take the Massachusetts Firefighter Civil Services exam. To be able to appear in that exam, you need to fulfill the below requirements:

  • You need to be at least 19 years old at the time of application but no more than 32 years
  • In case you are a veteran, the maximum age for applying to sit in the Massachusetts Firefighter Civil Services exam is 36 years
  • You need to be an American citizen
  • You need to have a high school diploma or GED
  • You need to have a valid driver’s license
  • You need to have a spotless criminal record
  • You need to have an acceptable CPAT score, which is an exam designed mainly to test your physical fitness
  • Some fire departments might also want you to have a couple of certifications before you apply for the job, like CPR and EMT, which are some of the most sought after certifications in this profession

Firefighter Training in Massachusetts

Firefighters don’t need to have a professional college degree to get hired. A high school diploma, a fit physique, and a  charismatic personality are all you need to be a firefighter. But with that being said, getting a fire science or firefighting degree does, however, has its advantages. People with degrees are better prepared and trained for the job. So, it might be a good idea for you to consider undertaking one of these fire science college programs.

A fresher can go for either an associate’s degree or a certificate degree in fire science. With the help of a curriculum designed to give equal emphasis to both outdoor and indoor teaching methods, an associate’s degree aims to prepare a student for every situation. Whereas, a certificate degree only gives a student brief knowledge about the field and lasts for a much shorter period. It is best suited for students who have already prepared for their test and just want to polish their knowledge and skills.

A master’s degree in fire science can work as a gateway to changing fields in this line of work. With the help of this degree, a fireman can advance to becoming a fire investigator or inspector. A Ph.D. in this field works as a stepping stone to getting a research job which is very demanding but at the same time, rewarding as well.

Top Firefighter Schools in Massachusetts

If you are looking to get a fire science/firefighting degree in the state of Massachusetts, then given below is a list of all the top firefighting schools in the state:

NameTuition Fee & PopulationProgramsType
Anna Maria College – PaxtonNatives: $31,920

Non-Natives: $31,920

Population: 1,839

Bachelor’s in Fire Science

Master’s in Fire Science

Private (non-profit)

Campus, Online

Berkshire Community College – PittsfieldNatives: $624

Non-Natives: $6,240

Population: 3,045

Associate’s in Fire SciencePublic

Campus, Online

Bristol Community College – Fall RiverNatives: $576

Non-Natives: $5,520

Population: 12,514

Associate’s in Fire SciencePublic

Campus, Online

Massasoit Community College – BrocktonNatives: $576

Non-Natives: $5,520

Population: 11,950

Associate’s in Fire SciencePublic

Campus, Online

Springfield Technical Community College – SpringfieldNatives: $750

Non-Natives: $7,260

Population: 9,313

Certificate in Fire SciencePublic

Campus, Online

Firefighter Salary in Massachusetts

Firefighters in Massachusetts make an average annual income of $59,310, which makes their hourly earning $28.21. This mark is 17% below the national average, as of 2016. However, there are many factors influencing a fireman’s salary, and one of the most prominent of them is his superiority. Given below is a salary breakdown of firefighters on various experience levels:

LevelHourly WageAnnual Salary
Top Level$41.44$86,200

Source: Career Explorer

Firefighter Jobs in Massachusetts

Even though the pay scale for this line of work in Massachusetts is less than the national average, job satisfaction is very high. The statistics clearly indicate that people in this field are looking for something more than just financial gains; they are looking for opportunities to serve their community, and no other profession offers a better opportunity to do it than fire fighting and protection.

But all the charisma and enthusiasm in the world can’t help you in becoming a firefighter if you are not your perfect self. The job pool is very small, and the applicants looking to get in are many. So, it suffices to say that you need to bring your A-Game when you take the firefighter exam. You need to be physically and mentally well-tuned, along with being confident, flexible, and brave. There are many perks to being a firefighter, of course, other than the spiritual fulfillment that is.



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