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How to Become A Firefighter in Tennessee

Firefighters are real-life heroes who spend their lives protecting their communities. If you want to join this well-reputed and rewarding profession, then read this comprehensive guide on how to become a Firefighter in Tennessee.

Should I Become a Firefighter in Tennessee?

A firefighting job is not for the weak-hearted. If you have the courage to sacrifice your life for others, then joining this profession is a good idea.

Skim through this section to get an idea about the certification, academic, and skillset requirements for Firefighters. This information has been extracted from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Required

High School Diploma


Fire training program


Certification standards might vary between counties and states.

Key Skills/Qualities

Communication Skills

Decision Making Skills



Physical Strength

Annual Mean Salary (2019) - National


Job Outlook (2018-28)


Annual Mean Salary (2019) - Tennessee



Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the employment opportunities for Firefighters will grow by 5% through 2028.

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Tennessee

The guidelines listed below will help you understand how to become a Firefighter in Tennessee.

Step 1: Get a High School Diploma/GED

The majority of fire departments, including the Nashville Fire Department, require Firefighters to complete high school education. Therefore, aspiring Firefighters should aim at getting a GED or a high school diploma. They can later obtain a 2-year long Associate’s degree or a 4-year long Bachelor’s degree as well.

Step 2: Submit an Application and Clear the Exams

The next step requires candidates to submit a job application. Once the application has been assessed and accepted, the candidate is informed about the decision. He/she is also notified about the location, time, and date of the written test. The purpose of this test is to assess the candidate’s mathematical, writing, and reading ability. Moreover, individuals are also required to pass a physical performance test. After passing these exams, candidates might have to undergo additional screenings and tests before being hired.

Please note that most fire departments communicate with candidates via e-mail, therefore you must ensure that the personal data that you have written down on your application form is accurate. If your contact information is wrong, then you might miss out on important notifications and updates regarding the testing process.

Step 3: Complete the Training and Certification Requirements

After clearing the comprehensive examination process, the candidate is required to enroll in a recruit academy. Some fire departments, such as the Franklin Fire Department, also require individuals to clear the EMT-B National Registry examination and the EMT Basic training within two years of being hired. Obtaining the certifications is not enough; candidates might also have to maintain them.

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

Not many people have the stamina to join the firefighting profession because the process of joining this field is exhausting and time-consuming. After getting done with high school, candidates are required to submit their job applications. If it is approved, the individual is invited to appear for several challenging exams, including a written and a physical performance test. This is usually followed by additional pre-employment assessments and screenings.

Shortlisted applicants are then expected to undergo recruit training at the fire academy. The training programs usually vary in length, depending upon the specific jurisdiction.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in Tennessee?

Candidates who want to launch their Firefighting careers in the 'Volunteer State' are expected to satisfy several conditions. These are highlighted in this section.

Aspiring Firefighters have to:

  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Possess a current driver’s license.
  • Pass a series of aptitude exams and pre-employment tests.

The age requirements in Tennessee vary by city and county. Many fire departments in Tennessee, such as the Nashville Fire Department and the Franklin Fire Department require individuals to be at least 21 years old at the time of the job application. However, some fire departments might also accept candidates who are 18 years old. Therefore, you should consult your local bodies to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

How Much Does a Firefighter Earn in Tennessee?

The wage statistics shared by BLS indicate that Firefighters employed in Tennessee made an annual mean salary of $44,400 in May 2019.

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