How to Become a Firefighter in Los Angeles

The LAFD (Los Angeles Fire Department) is one of 876 firefighting units in California listed with the National Fire Department Registry. It ranks amongst the nation’s premier fire services. The daring men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department can always be relied upon to get things under control whenever there is a fire or similar emergency.
In 2017, California witnessed an average of 1.2 deaths and 4.4 injuries per 1,000 fires. The corresponding national average was 2.3 casualties and 9.3 injuries for every 1,000 fires. The LAFD had a major role to play in keeping these numbers down. They are always looking for competent people to join them. If you are interested, then this piece is for you.

Firefighting Career Types in Los Angeles

  • Firefighter (Volunteer and Non-Volunteer)
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Fire Equipment Expert
  • Fire Investigator
  • Fire Safety Consultant

Los Angeles Firefighter Eligibility Criteria

To join a fire department in LA, you need to fulfill the requirements outlined below.

  • All candidates must be at least 18 years old at the time of application.
  • All candidates need to have a high school diploma (HSD) at least. The alternative GED (General Educational Development) or CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Examination) certificates are acceptable too.
  • All applicants need to have a valid California driver’s license (at the time of appointment).
  • All aspirant firefighters must be lawful and law-abiding US citizens. These include both naturalized Americans and those born in this country.
  • Any candidate aspiring to become a firefighter in Los Angeles must not have a criminal record anywhere in the United States.
  • All applicants must clear the FCA (Firefighter Candidate Assessment).
  • All candidates have to pass the CPAT (Candidate Physical Abilities Test).
  • All selected applicants must obtain their EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) certification before appointment to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Time Taken to Become a Firefighter in Los Angeles

About 6 to 7 months are needed to complete firefighter training in Los Angeles. Other than that, the Los Angeles Fire Department’s selection process normally takes some months to complete as well. So, you are looking at a period of 8 to 12 months in total.

How Much Is a Firefighter Paid in Los Angeles?

In California, firefighters earned $81,580 in annual mean wages in May, 2018. This is as recorded by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual salaries of most LAFD personnel range from $65,000 to $90,000 (as of January, 2018). The department pays full wages to all its recruits during training. Furthermore, staff members who speak more than one language may also receive a bilingual bonus.

Career Outlook for Los Angeles’s Bravest

According to O*Net Online, there is a 5% rise predicted in firefighting jobs in California from 2016 to 2026. Similar growth can be expected in Los Angeles during this time. Furthermore, the national average growth rate during this period is projected to be 7%.