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How to Become A Firefighter in Pennsylvania

In 2018, the US Fire Administration reported an average of 2.9 deaths and 9.5 injuries per 1,000 fires in the state of Pennsylvania. Whereas, the national average was reported as 2.5 deaths and 9.8 injuries per 1,000 fires.

Should I Become a Firefighter in Pennsylvania?

If you want to become a Firefighter in the state of Pennsylvania, then you must possess an EMT certification and at least a High School Diploma/GED. However, most of the local fire departments and stations have additional hiring requirements so, it is better to consult them before applying for this position.

Education Required

Have earned a High School Diploma or a GED (at least)

Major Requirement

Fire Science


Be certified as an EMT


On the job training-Firefighter I/II status

Key Skills

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

Annual Mean Salary (2019) -



Annual Mean Salary (2019) -



Job Outlook (2018-2028)

5% (As fast as average)

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

Career Outlook

Firefighters in the US are projected to see a 5% employment rise between 2018 to 2028 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2019, a total of 324,620 Firefighters were working in the US and 4,410 of those were working in the state of Pennsylvania. According to BLS, the employment numbers of Firefighters will rise by up to 350,000 by 2028.

Steps to Becoming a Firefighter in Pennsylvania

Want to work as a Firefighter in the state of Pennsylvania? Here is a complete hiring guide that can help you achieve your goal.

  1. High School Degree/GED

The state of Pennsylvania requires all Firefighters to have earned at least a high school diploma or a GED. On the other hand, many local fire departments and stations set their criteria a bit higher and often hire candidates who possess a college degree in Fire Science.

  1. Tests in the Hiring Process

Once the application for the position of Firefighter in the state of Pennsylvania has been submitted, the candidates must pass the following tests to be considered for this post.

  • The physical ability test (CPAT)
  • Physical exam
  • Psychological assessment
  • A written exam
  • An oral interview
  • Detailed background check, etc.
  1. EMT Certification

All future Firefighters who want to be employed in the state of Pennsylvania must earn the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification. They must do this to ensure the provision of immediate medical care to the rescued.

  1. Firefighter Certification I/II

If you want to be employed in Pennsylvania as a Firefighter, you are required to acquire the Firefighter I/II certification from a Fire Academy. All fresh recruits must get on the job training at a Fire Academy and get this certification before taking on any duties.

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

The whole process from applying for the position to getting hired may take about 4 to 6 months if you apply for this position after completing a High School degree/GED and acquiring the EMT certification.

What Are the Requirements of Becoming a Firefighter in Pennsylvania?

If you want to become a Pennsylvania Firefighter, you must fulfill all requirements such as:

  • Be a US citizen who is 18 years or older
  • Be a resident of this state
  • Clear the civil service exam
  • Pass a background check
  • Possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license
  • Pass a drug screening
  • Clear a medical exam
  • Complete the department’s required training

How Much Can I Make as a Firefighter in Pennsylvania?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean salary of Firefighters employed in the state of Pennsylvania in 2019 was $58,720. Moreover, California was listed as the highest paying state for this career with an annual mean salary of $84,370.

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