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How to Become a Firefighter

Prepare for extreme conditioning and self-sacrifice to join one of the most valued professions in the world.


  • Step 1: Educate yourself Educate yourself about firefighting by reading books and asking questions of firefighters.
  • Step 2: Acquire diploma or GED Achieve a high school diploma or GED by the age of 18 to qualify to become a firefighter.
  • TIP: Online firefighting programs accommodate those trying to change careers.
  • Step 3: Exercise to build stamina Maintain superior physical condition through rigorous exercises to prepare for firefighting demands.
  • Step 4: Take the test Prepare for and take written fire department exams. The tests can be taken multiple times.
  • Step 5: Pass medical and drug tests Register for and pass a medical exam and a drug screen.
  • TIP: Firefighters are often certified medical technicians, so look for C.P.R. classes and emergency training.
  • Step 6: Enter training Complete firefighter training, including prevention, technique, hazardous material education, and emergency medical procedures.
  • Step 7: Complete probation Complete the department’s probationary employment, which is three to six months, and you will be a full-fledged fire fighter.
  • FACT: A recent survey found firefighting to be the most respected career in America.

You Will Need

  • Education
  • Strength and stamina
  • Bravery
  • Military service (optional) (optional) (optional)

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