A career fighting fire and saving lives might be perfect for you, with your sense of responsibility and bravery. Firefighters do everything from taming huge wildfires in the wilderness to responding to car accidents to saving people from dangerous house fires. They are frequently the first emergency personnel at the scene of a traffic accident or medical emergency.

Fire fighters work in a variety of settings, including metropolitan areas, rural areas with grasslands and forests, airports, chemical plants and other industrial sites.

• About 9 out of 10 fire fighting workers were employed by local governments.
• Applicants for city fire fighting jobs generally must pass written, physical, and medical examinations.
• Although employment is expected to grow faster than the average, fierce competition for jobs is expected because this occupation attracts many qualified candidates.

Median Salary
$45,264 (some city departments range as high as $76,000 annually)

Education Requirements
Most fire fighters have a high school diploma, however, an associate degree in fire science may improve an applicant’s chances for a job. A number of colleges and universities offer courses leading to 2- or 4-year degrees in fire engineering or fire science.

Job Outlook
Employment of workers in fire fighting occupations is expected to grow by 12 percent over the 2006-2016 decade, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. Most job growth will stem from volunteer fire fighting positions being converted to paid positions.

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