How to Become a Firefighter in Alabama

Treat the following list as a general guideline since requirements to become a firefighter in Alabama differ from city to city. Furthermore, these are bare minimum qualifications, fulfillment of which alone does not guarantee a firefighter’s job in the state.

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older
  • Applicants must have graduated from a high school or hold an equivalent qualification
  • Applicants must hold the State of Alabama’s valid driver’s license
  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States
  • Applicants must have successfully completed the Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT)
  • Applicants must hold the State of Alabama’s EMS certification at the EMT-Basic level or above
  • Applicants must pass firefighter written exam with a passing score of 70%
How to Become a Firefighter in Alabama
How to Become a Firefighter in Alabama

Requirements to Become a Firefighter in Alabama

Treat the following list as a general guideline since requirements to become a firefighter in Alabama differ from city to city. Furthermore, these are bare minimum qualifications, fulfillment of which alone does not guarantee a firefighter’s job in the state.

  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older
  • Applicants must have graduated from a high school or hold an equivalent qualification
  • Applicants must hold the State of Alabama’s valid driver’s license
  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States
  • Applicants must have successfully completed the Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT)
  • Applicants must hold the State of Alabama’s EMS certification at the EMT-Basic level or above
  • Applicants must pass firefighter written exam with a passing score of 70%

The Next Steps

If your application is approved, you may be asked to undergo the following steps:

  • Interview with the Mayor
  • Employment Background Screening
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • NFPA 1582 Physical Exam

Training

If you successfully complete all the above mentioned steps, you will be asked to join a fire academy to get trained as a firefighter. The duration of the course will differ but will generally last from four to six months, during which a recruit is taught:

  • Orientation and safety
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Fire behavior
  • Loss control
  • Ropes and knots
  • Building construction
  • Fire department communications
  • Protecting evidence
  • Hazardous materials
  • Fire control
  • Fire streams and foam streams
  • Sprinkler and alarm systems
  • Rescue and extrication
  • Fire hoses
  • Portable extinguishers
  • Water supply
  • Forcible entry
  • Ventilation
  • Ladders
  • Fire prevention and public education

There may also be an exam or series of exams at the end, which recruits must pass before being certified as firefighters.

Since firefighters also provide first aid help to those who might need it, recruits may also be taught the National Registry Emergency Medical Technician course. Courses include but are not limited to:

  • CPR training
  • Injuries
  • Bleeding and shock
  • Basic training in diabetic emergencies
  • Correct procedures in lifting and moving patients
  • Taking a patient’s history
  • Vital signs
  • General pharmacology instruction

How Much Do Firefighters Earn in Alabama

The following set of statistics is of May 2017 and taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Occupation Title Employment Annual Mean Wage
Firefighters 4,700 $40,850

Future Job Prospects

According to O*NET OnLine, from years 2016 to 2026, firefighters’ jobs in the State of Alabama will grow at the rate of 5%, which means that approximately 330 new jobs will be added in this field in ten years. Since there will be more applicants and fewer vacancies, you can expect a stiff competition during job hunting. However, you can beat the competition with college level education.