How to Become a Firefighter in Oregon

Oregon saw an average of 6.1 deaths per 1,000 fires and 15.2 injuries per 1,000 fires in 2017, which are both significantly higher than the national averages. Residential structure fires also caused a greater number of deaths and injuries in Oregon as compared to the national average.
Oregon is home to 305 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry. These departments are always hard at work trying to prevent and combat fires in the state, attempting to bring down the ever-increasing averages for fire deaths and injuries. If you wish to assist them, the following information would be of great use to you.

Requirements to Become a Firefighter in Oregon

Firefighting in Oregon is highly competitive in nature. Every time the hiring process opens in any department across the state, thousands of applications are received. So if you want to make sure that your application gets through, you ought to be well aware of the exact requirements of your local fire department’s hiring process. Even though this process tends to vary from city to city, the general requirements are generally the same. They are as follows:

  • Candidates must have at least a high school diploma or a GED
  • Candidates must be citizens of the US
  • Candidates must have an EMT certificate of the Basic Level
  • Candidates must clear all the entry tests, including a physical test and a psychological test
  • Candidates must participate in volunteer firefighting activities
  • Candidates must have a valid driver’s license

In addition to these, candidates are also advised to get some of the preferred credentials and qualifications, if they can. These include any past experience as a firefighter, additional NFPA certifications or a college degree.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Oregon?

The amount of time it takes to become a firefighter in Oregon can be as low as 3 to 4 months or as high as 4 to 5 years, depending on which route you prefer to take. The minimum educational qualification is a high school diploma, so you can apply right after that. Or you could go for a 2-year or a 4-year long college degree in fire science before applying. In addition to that, positions at fire departments in Oregon are usually limited, so you might have to wait before being considered for hire.

How Much Does a Firefighter Make in Oregon?

As per 2018 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters in Oregon made an annual mean income of $66,330. This is substantially higher than the national mean of $53,240.

Career Outlook for Firefighters in Oregon

According to data from O*Net Online, the employment outlook for firefighters in Oregon is expected to rise by 8% in the years from 2016 to 2026. The projected annual job openings in this time period are expected to be 280. This is relatively higher than the national growth rate for the same period, which is 7%.