All About Forest Firefighters
Job Description: Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.
Life As a Forest Firefighter
- Organize fire caches, positioning equipment for the most effective response.
- Participate in fire prevention and inspection programs.
- Observe forest areas from fire lookout towers to spot potential problems.
- Inform and educate the public about fire prevention.
- Train new employees to control and suppress forest fires.
- Maintain knowledge of current firefighting practices by participating in drills and by attending seminars, conventions, and conferences.
What Every Forest Firefighter Should Know
These are the skills Forest Firefighters say are the most useful in their careers:
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Wildland Fire Fighter Specialist
- Water and Fire Technician
- Rescue Worker
- Fire Rescue Technician
- Fire Management Specialist
Are There Job Opportunities for Forest Firefighters?
There were about 327,300 jobs for Forest Firefighter in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 23,600 new jobs for Forest Firefighter by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 24,300 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Forest Firefighter are Utah, Texas, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Maryland, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
What is the Average Salary of a Forest Firefighter
Forest Firefighters make between $25,170 and $88,920 a year.
Forest Firefighters who work in New York, New Jersey, or Washington, make the highest salaries.
How much do Forest Firefighters make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
Tools & Technologies Used by Forest Firefighters
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Forest Firefighters:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
- Corel WordPerfect
- Fire incident reporting systems
How to Become a Forest Firefighter
What education or degrees do I need to become a Forest Firefighter?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Forest Firefighter?
Where do Forest Firefighters Work?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Are you already one of the many Forest Firefighter in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:
Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa via Public domain
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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