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Career Information

Career Path

Getting Hired at a Fire Department

Begin by researching the entry-level requirements of fire departments. Although they vary, typical requirements include: a High School diploma or GED, a valid driver's license, a physical agility or ability exam, a written exam, a variety of oral interviews and quite probably a psychological evaluation.

Basic Training for Entry Level Positions

Associate degrees are not widely required at the entry level. When entry requirements are met and an individual is selected, the fire department then provides all of the basic training.

Attend CLC for Career Advancement

The fire science technology (FST) program now becomes a viable option for obtaining the education for advancing in the fire service career. A typical advancement would be to FAE (Fire Apparatus Engineer), specialized education in areas such as hazardous materials, fire instructor, tactics and strategy, management and fire prevention. The required and elective classes offered in the FST program will prepare the student for career advancement to first and second level fire officer.

CLC's Fire Science Technology Courses Count Toward State Certification

The classes taught in the FST Program are articulated with the Office of the State Fire Marshal and count toward State Certification for Instructor I and II, Fire Officer I and II, Fire Apparatus Engineer and Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations. Successful completion of these classes will allow the student to apply for certification with the fire marshal's office without having to take additional certification testing. In order to certify with the fire marshal's office, a student must be a member of a recognized fire department in the State of Illinois and meet the additional requirements outlined in the State of Illinois Administrative Code.

Typical Jobs

  • Firefighter
  • Firefighter/EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)
  • Firefighter/Paramedic
  • Fire Engineer
  • Apparatus Operator
  • Driver Engineer
  • Fire Captain
  • Fire Chief
  • Forest Ranger
  • Forestry Technician
  • Engine Boss
  • Wildland Firefighter
  • Forestry Crew Chief
  • Handcrew Chief

Salary Range, Job Outlook and Employers

To learn more, refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for Firefighters.