Firefighters respond to emergency calls for a variety of disasters, including fires, chemical spills, gas leaks, rescue missions, and accidents. Their main job is to protect lives and property. They may also help by spreading awareness and education to the wider community about fire safety.
If you can work well under extreme pressure, are fit and healthy, and want to give back to your community, a career as a firefighter could be perfect for you.
- Resilient and confident
- Responsible and reliable
- Can work well under extreme pressure
- Very fit and healthy
- Team player
- Can remain calm in extremely stressful situations
- Great communicator and leader
- Prepared to work on-call and on holidays
- Attending fires and extinguishing them
- Rescuing and evacuating people in dangerous situations
- Operating pumps, hoses, ladders, oxygen tanks, and other equipment
- Participating in search and rescue missions
- Working with other emergency services personnel in emergencies
- Administering first aid
- Maintaining tools and equipment
- Training recruits in procedures and practices
- Educating the community on fire safety
- Implementing fire safety plans and procedures in offices, schools and other places
Lifestyle Impact: High
- Part Time opportunities: Very low – 94% of Firefighters work full-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Slightly above average hours for full-time workers: 48 hours a week, which is above average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Firefighters’ salary (average) $50,000* per year (Source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Moderate (Source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Working as a Firefighter comes with a huge level of responsibility, and you may have to see confronting situations. You need to be prepared to jump into action at any time.
Firefighters are most in demand in these locations:
Around 12,200 people were employed as Firefighters in 2020 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au) and this number is predicted to grow slightly. There are opportunities available across the country, but they can be competitive, and you might want to consider roles in rural and regional areas.
You won’t be able to work from home or remotely as a firefighter, as you need to be on-site to perform all the required duties.
How to become a Firefighter in Australia
To become a Firefighter, you’ll need to follow the application process in each state and territory. This is usually a combination of practical training and vocational learning.
Step 1 – Consider completing your high school certificate and participate in sports to keep up your fitness.
Step 2 – See if you can get work experience or volunteer at your local firefighting station or join a cadet program.
Step 3 – Consider undertaking a relevant VET qualification. This could include courses such as a Certificate III in Fire Protection Control or Diploma of Fire Systems Design. It is also worth learning how to Provide First Aid.
Step 4 – Apply for a firefighter recruit program in your state or territory. You will need to pass several stages to be successful, including fitness tests, criminal history checks, work safety and reliability tests, medical assessments, and maybe even psychometric testing.
Step 5 – Once you complete the recruit program, you graduate and become a full-time firefighter, with opportunities for advancement within your local or state-wide emergency services.
Find out more here –
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Firefighters do?
Firefighters help to protect and preserve buildings, infrastructure and lives from fire and other disasters. They also help educate the community on matters related to fire safety.
Which industries employ Firefighters?
Firefighters work mostly in emergency services, but you could also look at branching out into education or advocacy.
Do I need to go to university to become a Firefighter?
No. You will usually complete your Firefighter training through your local or state fire and rescue centre, or with a registered training organisation.
Where do Firefighters work?
Firefighters mainly work on location where required, which could include anywhere from building fires inner cities to containing with remote bushfires.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Firefighter?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Firefighter is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Work on your fitness, resilience and leadership skills. You can do this through volunteering in your local community, participating in team sports, and even through casual work.
- See if you can get work experience or volunteer with your local fire station. Some places even offer cadet and youth programs that can help you get a leg-up with your applications.
- Talk to a firefighter and see if it sounds like a job you could do. The job comes with a lot of responsibility and can be extremely stressful, but it can also be very rewarding.