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How to Become A Firefighter in Missouri

In 2018, the US Fire Administration reported that the state of Missouri had an average of 1.8 deaths and 6.1 injuries per 1,000 fires. On the other hand, the national average was reported as 2.5 deaths and 9.8 injuries per 1,000 fires. The number of deaths and injuries in Missouri was quite lower than the overall national average which shows that Missouri has an excellent fire emergency system.

Should I Become a Firefighter in Missouri?

The state of Missouri has not it mandatory for its Firefighters to earn an EMT or Paramedic certification, but they are highly recommended to do so. That is because most of the local fire departments/stations typically prefer hiring individuals who hold such certifications. Further hiring requirements are explained below.

Education Required

Complete a High School Diploma or a GED

Major Requirement

Fire Science


Acquiring EMT/Paramedic Certification is highly recommended


Graduation from a Fire Academy is mandatory

Key Skills

Decision making, Compassion, Communication, Physical Strength & Stamina, and Courage, etc.

Annual Mean Salary (2019) -



Annual Mean Salary (2019) -



Job Outlook (2018-2028)


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Career Outlook

A 5% employment increase has been forecasted for Firefighters from 2018 to 2028 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2019, the number of Firefighters that were reported to be employed in the US was 324,620 and 6,360 of those were from the state of Missouri.

Steps to Becoming a Firefighter in Missouri

If you are interested in working as a Firefighter in the state of Missouri, this detailed stepwise guide may interest you.

  1. Get a High School Degree or a GED

All prospective firefighters in the state of Missouri must obtain at least a high school diploma or a GED. However, most of the local fire departments/stations require candidates to possess a college degree in Fire Science (associate’s or bachelor’s degree).

  1. Pass the State-required Tests

After you officially apply for the position of Firefighter, the hiring process begins. It includes numerous tests that must be cleared by all candidates for successful hiring. These tests include,

  • Physical health exam
  • Psychological health exam
  • The Candidates’ Physical Agility Test (CPAT)
  • A detailed background check
  • A written test
  • An oral interview, etc.
  1. Acquire the Recommended Certifications

The state of Missouri has not mandated all Firefighters to be certified as EMTs or Paramedics. However, the state strongly recommends its Firefighters to do so. On the other hand, many local fire departments and stations prefer to hire candidates who possess such certifications.

  1. Complete Training at a Fire Academy or Volunteer at a Fire Department/Station

The Division of Fire Safety’s Training and Certification Unit of Missouri is responsible for developing, providing, and managing the training curriculum that is used to train firefighters. All recruits are required to either enroll at a fire academy or volunteer at a fire department/station to get training.

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

If you apply for the position of Firefighter right after graduating from High School, you will have to go through multiple tests that are a part of the hiring process. You will be required to either attend a Fire Academy for training or volunteer at a Fire Department/Station for approx. 3-4 months and get trained for the job. Completion of that training makes you eligible to sit for a written exam that must be cleared to become employed as a Firefighter.

Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in Missouri?

  • Be 18 years old, at least
  • Be a legal citizen of the United States
  • Earn a High School Diploma or a GED
  • Possess a valid state-issued driving license
  • Pass the Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT).
  • Clear the drug test
  • Have a clear criminal record
  • Be physically and mentally healthy
  • Hold a Paramedic/EMT license

How Much Can I Make as a Firefighter in Missouri?

In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that firefighters in Missouri earned $51,110 as annual mean income.

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