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How to Become A Firefighter in The District of Columbia

Firefighters use their knowledge of building codes and construction materials to help people get out of emergencies. They break down doors, windows and climb rooftops to gain access to burning houses or buildings.

Should I Become a Firefighter in the District of Columbia?

Education Required

High school diploma

Major Requirement

Fire Science


Required for EMT positions


On-the-job training

Key Skills

Problem-solving Skills,  Decision-making Skills, Physical Stamina, Compassion, Physical Strength and Courage

Annual Mean Salary (2019)


Job Outlook (2018-2028)


Annual Mean Salary- the District of Columbia (2019)


Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The firefighting profession involves various high risk and hazardous situations. These professionals have to wear protective gear to protect themselves from the danger. These professionals do not have a specific work schedule and may be required to work on weekends.

Career Outlook

Although fire incidents have reduced over the years due to improved building codes and materials yet firefighters will be demanded in the coming years. Since fires spread swiftly, it is essential to control them as quickly as possible. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for firefighters are expected to grow 5% from 2018-2028.

Steps to Become a Firefighter in the District of Columbia

Step 1: Get the Necessary Education

Aspiring firefighters are required to have a high school diploma or GED. They study various subjects during these programs.

Students may also need to have the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification which is obtained after getting medical training.

Step 2: Get a Degree

Some students get a college degree to have better chances of employment in this competitive field. Some of them choose to get an associate’s degree which lasts for 2 years, while others opt for a bachelor’s degree which spans for a period of 4 years.

Step 3: Complete the Requirements

To become firefighters in the District of Columbia, candidates need to pass the EMT entry-level examination/written firefighter exam. They are also required to pass a physical test and a background check.

Step 4: Join a Fire Academy

Candidates have to get enrolled in a fire academy run by the state or fire department. These academies provide training to all the candidates about the essential concepts of firefighting, including building codes, fire-prevention techniques, emergency medical procedures, etc. They also learn how to use various equipment.

Step 5: Career Advancement

Individuals who want to advance their careers are required to have additional exposure and training. They need to have a college degree to be able to advance their career.

Duration to Become a Firefighter in the District of Columbia?

Prospective firefighters need to get a high school diploma or GED from a recognized educational institute. They have to submit an application and take a few tests. Once they’ve passed the exams and completed all other requirements, they become eligible to join a fire academy.

Requirements to Become a Firefighter in the District of Columbia?

Following are the requirements to become a firefighter in the District of Columbia:

  • Following are the requirements to become a firefighter in the District of Columbia:
  • Be at least 19 years old at the time of application submission
  • Obtain a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be a US citizen
  • Pass the written and physical exam
  • Pass the background check
  • Pass the employment suitability and medical assessment
  • Have sound mental and physical health
  • Have a motor vehicle operator’s permit
  • Go through drug screening and submit a urinalysis
  • Have a high moral character

How Much Can I Earn as a Firefighter in the District of Columbia?

Firefighters working in the District of Columbia were getting $76,970 in 2019 as annual mean income as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Firefighters in Other Cities and States:

How to Become a Firefighter in Columbus Ohio

If you want to find out how to become a firefighter in Columbus Ohio, then you have come to the right place. To join the firefighting force in the city, you will have to meet the minimum age limit as the first step. On top of that, you will also need a valid driver’s license, have a high school diploma or GED, should have a clean criminal record, should be mentally and physically fit, etc. You will also have to pass training at the fire academy to be sworn in as a firefighter in Columbus, Ohio.

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