How to Become a Firefighter in Mississippi – Career and Jobs

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How to Become a Firefighter in Mississippi


Firefighter Career in Mississippi

Mississippi offers a vast pool of opportunities to aspiring firefighting professionals. With over 414 registered fire departments, the state has a fair share of 71% volunteer departments, 15.5% of departments with a significantly higher number of volunteers besides other profiles, rest other career departments (Source).

Firefighters in the state of Mississippi are among the ideal people serving the true essence of humanity. Trained firefighters in Mississippi are skilled at serving to safeguard locations and people against fires regardless of the location they are at. They attend to fire calamities at forests, rural areas, and urban high-rises. With their first and foremost aim set at protecting lives, they relentlessly serve the people to save their properties in the event of the fire. 

NFIRS data recorded 2.9 deaths and 3.8 injuries per 1000 fires throughout the state. Of this, 8.8 deaths and 12.7 injuries were estimated from per 1000 residential structural fires.

To begin with, firefighters can choose to work their way up starting with a volunteer firefighter opportunity at a local fire station in Mississippi, and then can advance to couple their skills with advanced high school diploma. Ones looking to achieve greater in the realm can also back their skills with a fire science degree that gets them geared up for responsibilities at the state or federal level. Getting detailed insights into each type of the course and what each of it entails helps you make an informed choice.

To help you with the same, here is our comprehensive guide.

Eligibility Criteria to Become a Firefighter in Mississippi

On acquiring relevant education from one of the firefighting academies in Mississippi and significant experience, you can begin your career as a firefighter in Mississippi. However, there are some other eligibility criteria that you need to take care of.

Educational Qualifications Candidate must possess a high school diploma along with a relevant degree in fire science specialization.
Age Bracket At least 18 years of age (to pursue fire science certification) 30-35 years (for the advanced-level course)
Legal records Candidates with criminal history stand disqualified.
Physical prerequisites Aspiring firefighters must clear their physical tests to demonstrate that they are fit to take the job that requires vigilance round-the-clock.
Medical ailments Applicants with respiratory conditions are not allowed to take the job as a firefighter in Mississippi.
License Requirements  Candidate must hold a valid license to drive across the Mississippi state.
Certification requirements Candidate must possess an EMT certification.
  Firefighters should be certified by the Mississippi Minimum Standards Certification Board within one year of hire.

( Source)

What does a Mississippi State Firefighter do?

Firefighters are the heroes who work to save lives by putting out the fires as well as help people if they get stuck in the buildings. In some cases, they are supposed to inspect the fire and dig deep into the cause. Some of the general duties of a firefighter in the Mississippi state include:

Type of Service Percentage
Advanced Life Support 11.80%
Airport/Aviation 5.60%
Basic Life Support 65.70%
Departmental (in-house) Training Academy 18.80%
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Ambulance Transport 2.90%
EMS Non-transport Response 47.80%
Fireboat 1.00%
Fire/Injury Prevention/Public Education 54.30%
Fire Inspection/Code Enforcement 34.30%
Fire Investigation/Fire Cause Determination 24.40%
Hazardous Materials Team 18.40%
Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program 6.30%
Technical/Specialized Rescue 30.40%
Vehicle Extrication 71.70%
Wildfire/Wildland Urban Interface 62.10%

Source:  U.S. Fire Administration (As of 2019)

Mississippi Firefighter Certification Training

Fire science profession requires a lot of skills garnered by adequate training during the education and certification of Mississippi students. Aspiring candidates are required to earn their career certification by going through basic course curriculum and clearing the standard examinations. That said, they can also choose from available advanced options.

Students can opt for technical certificates in fire administration like fire risk management, etc. and pave their way to specific career streams. Various types of fire science degrees include:

  1. Online course in fire science: for those who are already working as a firefighter but would like to enhance the skills without going through long classroom teaching.
  2. Associate fire science degree or related: For the ones who are skilled to become a firefighter but would like to attain the knowledge to pass the tests.
  3. Bachelor’s fire science degree or related: For professionals who are determined to make firefighting a lifelong career backed by education and management skills. The goal is to serve until retirement as a fire chief.
  4. Master’s Fire Science Degree or related: For firefighters with experience in homeland security work and would want to leap to a federal position.
  5. Certification in fire science: for aspiring professionals who are looking to become a firefighter and less time and more knowledge.

Top Firefighter Schools in Mississippi

Meridian Community College

Meridian Community College is the only firefighter training academy in the state of Mississippi. Here are the highlights for you:

  1. Tuition and fees: $2,200 for in-state and $3,600 for out-of-state candidates
  2. Mode of education: Online and campus teaching
  3. Courses offered: Certificate in Fire Science and Associates in Fire Science
  4. Contact: 662.803.2974; 910-Hwy 19 North, Meridian, MS 39307

Firefighter Salary in Mississippi

Similar to every other profession, how much firefighters get paid in Mississippi can vary and often depend on the location and employee’s experience, certifications, education, and skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters can expand their careers with postsecondary education and certifications, specifically at the paramedic level. Additionally, while some firefighters work in very small departments subjected to limited budgets, others work in urban areas with much higher financial coffers.

According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters recruited in Mississippi earn an average hourly and annual income of $14.60 and $30,370, respectively. If you are wondering how much do they earn in a year, here is how the average annual income for the candidates with 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile look like:

Mississippi Fire Science Career 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $19,020 $28,690 $45,820

Source:  BLS

Firefighter Jobs in Mississippi

The work profile of a firefighter is integral to community safety and security, thereby creating a massive demand across the globe. With over 414 fire stations across the state of Mississippi, there are plenty of opportunities for the firefighters.

The state recruits over 3,000 firefighters to protect against wild and urban fires. It has nearly 100 fire inspectors and investigators along with over 2,060 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. Further, the employment of firefighters is expected to increase by 5% every year between 2014 and 2024.