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How to Become A Firefighter in Michigan

Whenever there is an unforeseen eruption of fire in a home, office, shopping mall, hospital, or any other building, it is the job of firefighters to take care of it. Apart from dealing with an inferno, they also rescue people trapped in a fire and provide on-spot medical help to the injured.

Many fire personnel are also licensed EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), hence the use of the term “Firefighter EMTs.” In 2019, there were about 7,230 employed fire service professionals in the Wolverine State. If you want to join the field, then this guide on how to become a Firefighter in Michigan is definitely for you.

Should I Become a Firefighter in Michigan?


High School Diploma



Area of Study

Fire Engineering, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, Fire Safety, etc.





Key Skills

Critical and Creative Thinking, Problem Sensitivity, Oral/Written Comprehension, Customer Service, Active Listening, Communication, Operation Monitoring, and Control

Annual Mean Salary (2019) - National


Job Outlook (2018-2028)


Annual Mean Salary (2019) - Michigan



Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET OnLine

Life as a firefighter involves a fair bit of stress and pressure. There are also safety concerns, particularly because fire personnel have to regularly enter burning buildings. Therefore, fire departments require people who are physically very fit and agile.

Career Outlook

From 2018 to 2028, employment opportunities for firefighters in America are expected to increase by 5%. This is according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even as building safety standards become stricter and the quality of building material, as well as construction equipment, improves, firefighters would still be needed to take care of sudden outbreaks of fire. 

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Michigan

Follow the process explained below to become a Firefighter in Michigan.

Step 1: Obtain the Education You Need

The minimum required level of education for a firefighter is a High School Diploma. The equivalent GED (General Educational Development) Certificate is acceptable too. Any specialized post-secondary education afterward (Certificate/Associate Degree/Bachelor's Degree) is optional but can certainly be helpful.  

Step 2: Seek Employment

Once you have fulfilled the minimum education requirements, you can apply for a job with your local fire department.

Step 3: Sit for the Initial Test

After your job application is accepted and processed, the first evaluation is usually a written test. It assesses candidates’ ability in Mathematics, Critical and Analytical Thinking, Problem Solving, Language, etc.

Step 4: Qualify the Physical Exam

Following the successful completion of the written test, it is time to prove your physical suitability for the role of a firefighter. Different Michigan fire units may have their own physical assessment in place or they might accept your score on the CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test).

Step 5: Background Investigation

After the physical examination, your candidature will be subjected to a thorough background check involving almost every facet of your life.

Step 7: Medical and Psychological Evaluations

Once the department is satisfied that there is nothing untoward (criminal record, fake educational certificates, etc.) in your past, you will be subjected to a medical and psychological assessment.

Step 8: Drugs Test

This is the last hurdle before you make it to the fire academy for training.

Step 9: Fire Academy Training

You will need about 5 to 6 months to graduate from the fire academy.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Michigan?

The time taken will depend on the route you follow to become a firefighter. If you apply for employment with a Michigan fire unit after completing high school, then it will take you about 1 year to go through the selection and training routine. On the other hand, if you enroll in a specialized post-secondary education program, then it can take around 2 to 5 years.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in Michigan?

To become a Firefighter in Michigan, you need to meet the requirements listed below.

  • Should be at least 18.
  • Must have finished high school.
  • Have a valid Michigan driving license.
  • Be a legal US citizen.
  • Should not have any criminal convictions.

How Much Will I be Able to Earn after Becoming a Firefighter in Michigan?

The latest information provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Michigan’s firefighters pocketed $46,010 in annual mean wage in 2019.

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