How to Become a Firefighter in Texas
If you want to become a firefighter in Texas, you need to check your city’s official website to find out the requirements in detail. This is because these requirements vary from city to city especially when it comes to minimum age requirements. Therefore the following list of requirements to become a firefighter in Texas must be treated as a general guideline:
Requirements to Become a Firefighter in Texas
- Meet the minimum and maximum age requirement
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be certified as EMT-B (or higher) by the State of Texas or enrolled in a qualifying course
- Be willing to graduate from a firefighter training academy, or
- Be certified/certifiable by The Texas Commission on Fire Protection
- Be able to pass a background check
- Have no felony convictions and no recent misdemeanors
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have a clean driving record
These are some of the minimum qualifications for you to meet if you want to work as a firefighter in the state of Texas. In addition to these your city’s fire department may have its own requirements such as passing the entrance exam, etc.
However, there is one requirement which is mandatory across all fire departments in the state of Texas and that is getting certified as a firefighter with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP). This is mandatory especially if you want to work as a paid firefighter in Texas.
TCFP Basic Fire Suppression Certification
You can earn this certification by fulfilling the following 6-steps:
- Finish a basic fire fighter training program
- Exhibit that you can perform basic firefighting skills
- Pass the state certification test
- Complete your emergency medical responder training
- Pass a criminal history background check and get fingerprinted
- Apply for the certification
How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Texas?
To earn TCFP Basic Fire Suppression Certification, it will take you months, if not years. This is in addition to spending time on fulfilling the minimum and specific qualifications to become a firefighter in your city. In short, the time it will take you to become a firefighter in Texas may be as little as a few months to 5 years, going up to 7 years.
How Much Does a Firefighter Make in Texas?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage of firefighters in Texas (as reported in May 2017) was $53,480.
Career Outlook for Firefighters in Texas
According to BLS, in May 2017, the state of Texas was the second biggest employer of firefighters in the US after California. There were 27,900 firefighters in the state in May 2017. The biggest concentration of firefighters was reported in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land areas and Dallas-Plano-Irving areas.
In 2017, the state of Texas was the second biggest employer of firefighters in the US. Therefore if you are thinking of becoming a firefighter in Texas then you may find ample employment opportunities in the field; however, you will have to fulfill certain requirements and qualification before you can be considered for a firefighter’s position.