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How to Become a Firefighter in Missouri – Jobs and Career

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How to Become a Firefighter in Missouri

Firefighter Career in Missouri

Firefighters in Missouri are the real heroes to our real lives, helping us to address fire hazards better. According to NFIRS (National Fire Incident Reporting System), the total number of deaths per 1000 fire breakouts was 1.9 in the year 2017, and a total number of injuries were 5.8 per 1000 fires in the state of Missouri. Currently, there are 771 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry in MO, out of which 72.8% are volunteers. Not only the firefighters of Missouri are lifesavers, but they also provide specialized services such as emergency medical services, basic life support, and advance life support to the people of MO.

Firefighters in Missouri are the real heroes to our real lives, helping us to address fire hazards better. According to NFIRS (National Fire Incident Reporting System), the total number of deaths per 1000 fire breakouts was 1.9 in the year 2017, and a total number of injuries were 5.8 per 1000 fires in the state of Missouri. Currently, there are 771 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry in MO, out of which 72.8% are volunteers. Not only the firefighters of Missouri are lifesavers, but they also provide specialized services such as emergency medical services, basic life support, and advance life support to the people of MO.

Firefighters in Missouri are the real heroes to our real lives, helping us to address fire hazards better. According to NFIRS (National Fire Incident Reporting System), the total number of deaths per 1000 fire breakouts was 1.9 in the year 2017, and a total number of injuries were 5.8 per 1000 fires in the state of Missouri. Currently, there are 771 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry in MO, out of which 72.8% are volunteers. Not only the firefighters of Missouri are lifesavers, but they also provide specialized services such as emergency medical services, basic life support, and advance life support to the people of MO.

Along with protecting the homes, possessions, and acreage, Missouri firefighters enlighten people on how to safeguard themselves against the fire hazards and related injuries. Fire science and EMT or paramedics professionals in Missouri respond to emergency situations and help mitigate fire risks, inspect and qualify the buildings, and provide first-response health services.

Opting for the noble career stream of firefighting requires great valor and a selfless spirit. Aspiring candidates can get started with the basic level exploring volunteer firefighter positions in one of the fire stations in Missouri. Once skilled at their job and backing the relevant experience with required technical knowledge, they can seek higher-level jobs in the arena. Candidates looking to begin their career in firefighting can do so by advancing their education with a fire science degree program gained from one of the reputed firefighter training academies in Missouri. You can opt from a wide range of available options after going through the details of each.

Here we have curated some similar details for you if you are looking to build a career as a firefighter in Missouri.

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Missouri

  1. Ensure that you fulfill the eligibility criteria.
  2. Take the tests such as the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) to enter a training program.
  3. Pass the rigorous physical fitness tests to guarantee that you are fit to save lives in adverse conditions.
  4. Become an EMT.
  5. Addend a firefighter academy in Missouri to consider formal education.
  6. Continue learning and evolving.

Eligibility Criteria to Become a Firefighter in Missouri

The job of a firefighter in Missouri is one of the most physically demanding jobs. Candidates need to have a high level of cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular strength, and endurance.

To become a firefighter in Missouri, you must:

  1. Be 18 years of age. However, it varies sometimes from one department to the other in Missouri. For example, municipalities like St. Louis accept candidates only more than 21 years old.
  2. Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED).
  3. Have no felony convictions or any other transgression of a serious type in past 5 years.
  4. Have a valid driver’s license and an insurable driving record.
  5. Meet Missouri’s pre-employment requirements in terms of background, pre-employment physical and drug screening, and psychological evaluation. In Springfield, the candidates are also required to go through a vision test, and they must have a 20/30 vision without wearing glasses in order to pass the screening.
  6. Successfully clear the recruitment tests.

What does a Missouri State Firefighter do?

The job role of a firefighter in Missouri doesn’t end up with just extinguishing fires and rescuing victims. There are many other specialized services that these fire departments are providing to the locals. The percentage of these fire volunteers who offer specialized services is as follows:

Type of Services Percentage
Basic Life Support 61.4%
Advanced Life Support 13.7%
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Ambulance Transport 8.4%
Airport/Aviation 6.5%
Fire/Injury Prevention/Public Education 56.9%
EMS Non-transport Response 41.4%
Departmental (in-house) Training Academy 21.4%
Wildfire/Wildland Urban Interface 66.3%
Juvenile Firesetter Intervention Program 10.8%
Technical/Specialized Rescue 29.4%
Fire Inspection/Code Enforcement 27.5%
Hazardous Materials Team 18.8%
Vehicle Extrication 73.3%
Fireboat 2.6%
Fire Investigation/Fire Cause Determination 31.4%

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

Missouri Firefighter Certification Training

A career in the field of fire science is subject to emergency situations and general danger. For this reason, the aspiring candidates who look forward to building their career in fire science as a firefighter or a fire investigator go through intense training that spans extensive classroom program and on-field training.

Missouri is a hub to a wide range of private and public colleges that enable degrees and certifications in fire science. The program details every student about the roles and responsibilities as firefighters. Additionally, they aim is to guide the students to garner the necessary knowledge and skills of fire science while preparing them to practice these traits on the field.

Aspiring candidates can choose from one of the following options according to their career goals and level of expertise:

  1. Certification program in fire science
  2. Associate degree program in fire science
  3. Bachelor’s degree program in fire science
  4. Master’s degree program in fire science
  5. Online course in fire science

Top Fire Fighter Schools in Missouri

1. Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield, MO

It’s a public college with a total enrollment of 12,692 students (5,773 full-time and 6919 part-time). Tuition fees for the year 2017-18 for in-district, in-state and out-state students was $3,192, $4,164 and $5,352 respectively. The college boasts of an open admission policy with no application fee. Average scholarship award for this school is $3,761, and 64% of undergrads receive grants (1).

Application Fee: None

Studen-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

Available Courses: Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science

Fire Officer Certificate

Fundamental Firefighting Certificate

Program Type: Campus and Online

Address: 1001 E Chestnut Expy, Springfield, MO 65802

Contact No. +1 417-447-7500

2. Crowder College, Cassville, MO

It is another public institution and has a total enrollment of 4,960 till date. The college has a semester-based academic year with an open admission policy. It provides credit for life experiences to its students. Tuition fees for the in-district students in the year 2017-18 were $2,664, whereas the same for out-district candidates was $3,840. The average grant provided by this school is $3,708, and a minimum of 55% undergrad students avail these scholarships. Only the Cassville campus is providing fire science programs as of now (2).

Application Fee: $25

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

Available Courses: Associate of Arts in Fire Science

Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science

Program Type: Campus

Address: 4020 Main St, Cassville, MO 65625

Contact No. +1 417-847-1706

3. East Central College, Union, MO

The college is situated in a rural area of Missouri and has a total enrollment of 2,897 students, out of which 1,292 were full-time, and 1,605 were part-time. It also utilizes semester-based academic year, and the highest degree offered in this college is associate degree. The in-district, in-state and out-state tuition fees for 2017-18 were $2,592, $3,480 and $4,896 respectively. A total of 61% of its undergrads have received grants of up to $3,560 (3).

Application Fee: None

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16:1

Available Courses: Certificate Program in Fire Technology

Associates of Applied Science – Fire Technology

Program Type: Campus

Address: 1964 Prairie Dell Rd, Union, MO 63084

Contact No. +1 636-584-6500

4. Rolla Technical Institute, Rolla, MO

It’s a highly rated public college located in Rolla city, Missouri. This institute was established in the year 1967. It’s a small college with a total enrollment of 237 students, as of 2018-19. The school has an acceptance rate of 93% and a retention rate of 84%. The in-state, as well as out-state tuition fees, are $10,750. Financial aids are also available for students seeking scholarships. Around 61% of their students have received federal grants of up to $4672 in the year 2016-17.

Application Fee: $50

Student-Faculty Ratio: 7:1

Available Courses: Certificate in Fire Science/Firefighting

Program Type: Campus

Address: 500 Forum Drive Rolla, MO 65401

Contact No. +1 573-458-0101

5. Moberly Area Community College (MACC), Macon, MO

Degree and certification courses at MACC, Macon Higher Education Center, are partnered by and accredited from the Central Methodist University. They offer a curriculum approved by the Missouri Division of Fire Safety. The course consists of 200 hours of systematic and practical learning to train the students for state-level firefighter I & II certification testing.

Application Fee: None

Available Courses: Certification – Firefighter I & II

Program Type: Campus

Address: 408 Blees Industrial Drive Macon, MO 63552

Contact No. +1 660-395-8060

6. Cass Career Center, Harrisonville, MO

Cass Career Center is a public technical institute accredited by COE located in Harrisonville town, Missouri. The certification program in firefighter training has articulated credit from Metropolitan Community College. You need to have a minimum of 2.5 GPA to enroll for this program.

Application Fee: None

Available Courses: Certification – Firefighter I & II

Program Type: Campus

Address: 1600 E Elm St Harrisonville, MO 64701

Contact No. +1 816-380-3253

Apply for Certification with MDFS

After completing their formal training, all the students are required to apply for the appropriate certification with the Missouri Division of Fire Safety (MDFS). Many firefighter departments in MO require a valid paramedic license, before giving you a job. Some, such as the St. Louis Fire Department, also expect the recruits to hold and maintain the license for a minimum of one year.

Firefighter Salary in Missouri

There are ample opportunities for fire science professionals in Missouri. However, how much Firefighter gets paid in Missouri depends on location, education, and certification. The mean hourly and annual wages in MO for firefighters were $24.57 and $51,100 respectively, as per the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

As per Salary.com, the average pay for a firefighter in Missouri is around $44,228 per year, with wages starting from $33,172 and going up to $55,285 annually as of July 30, 2019. If you are wondering how much do they earn a year as per their experience level, here is what the average annual income for the candidates with 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile look like:

Missouri Fire Science Careers 10th Percentile (Starting Level) 50th Percentile (Mid Level) 90th Percentile (Top Level)
Firefighters $23,800 $47,750 $85,200
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $29,620 $39,030 $75,370
First Line Supervisors – Firefighters $39,390 $77,550 $1,05,590

Information Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics (as of May 2018)

Fire Fighter Job Prospects in Missouri

With community safety and security as the foremost criteria for every authority, firefighters are always in demand through the planet, and Missouri is no exception. According to the BLS May 2018 report, 6500 firefighters were employed in the state. Studies by BLS indicate that employment in the field is expected to grow by 7.21 percent between the years 2016 and 2026.

Another survey report by Datausa shows that Cole, Moniteau, Callaway, and Osage counties PUMA MO are among the top 3 locations in the USA that employ the most number of firefighters. Thus, job prospects for the firefighter aspirants in Missouri are fairly bright, and it can be proven a rewarding career in the state.

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