How to Become a Firefighter in San Francisco

Formed in 1866, the San Francisco Fire Department is rich in tradition and history. The dedicated team of firefighters is working on the front lines to keep the city’s neighborhoods safe. Today, it serves more than 1.5 million people, offering fire prevention and suppression services, emergency medical assistance and fire safety education to the city’s residents.
If you are passionate about joining this field and want to protect the lives of countless people, then you have come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will explain to you how to become a firefighter in San Francisco.

Requirements to Become a Firefighter in San Francisco

In order to be eligible to apply, the candidate has to meet a number of requirements. These are stated below:

  • Age Requirements: Should be 19 years old at the time of application
  • Education Requirements: High School Diploma or a GED
  • Driving License Requirements: Must hold a valid California Driver’s license by the time of appointment
  • Screening Requirements: The applicant must not have a criminal record
  • Physical/Mental Health Requirements: Should be in good mental and physical shape

Skills and Abilities

If a person wants to pursue a career in fire service, then having the following abilities and skills are crucial:

  • Effective problem solving skills and reasoning skills
  • Good decision making skills
  • Effective communication skills
  • Must be a team player
  • Ability to work under immense pressure
  • Ability to take instruction and follow orders
  • Attention to detail is required

How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in San Francisco?

First of all, you have to complete the online application form and submit it. After submitting the form, you will receive an email confirming the receipt of the application. Then, you will have to register for the exam and pay a fee for it. Applicants with demonstrated financial hardships can request to have that fee waived off. The candidates will also have to appear for the physical ability test and will be expected to clear the interview and background screening process to be shortlisted.
The background screening will involve checking the candidate’s criminal record, employment history, and driving record. They can be rejected if they have serious violations of law or felony convictions on their criminal record.
After clearing all these stages, the applicants will receive a conditional letter. They will then be required to clear a medical exam given by the Fire Department Physician. This exam will include an evaluation of the applicant’s general medical condition, hearing and vision, along with a drug screening test. The selected candidates will then be appointed and sent to the Fire Academy to complete their training before the probationary period begins.

What Compensation Do Firefighters Receive in San Francisco?

Entry Level (H-2) Firefighters earn a salary of $81,042 to $125,060 per year. Thus, this profession offers lucrative career opportunities.