The role of firefighters continues to expand as it’s not just limited to controlling fires and preventing loss of life. Firefighters are required to gain more extensive training in public safety, which includes understanding about buildings and constructions, EMT, and mechanical.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the 2022 National Fire Department Registry has registered 27,178 fire departments. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 317,200 firefighters in the US in its 2020 employment stats. As per BLS, below are the top 5 states with the highest employment level in Firefighters in 2021.

North Carolina15,410

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Since the duties of firefighters have a lot to do with saving lives and rescuing people in distress, it is very important to be properly educated and trained before getting into this field. For those of you interested in this field, firefighter salary data would also be of great interest. The following guide provides detailed information on the salaries of firefighters, along with a quick look into how to become a firefighter in US.

Firefighters in the US – A Quick Glance

According to the US Fire Department Profile report published by National Fire Protection Association in 2020, there were approximately 1,041,200 career and volunteer firefighters in the country. This number shows a decrease of 4% from the previous year (2019) and is the lowest total since 1991. The percentage downgrade is due to the lesser number of volunteer firefighters.

The same report showed that there were 364,300 career firefighters in 2020. This represented an increase of 2% from 2019. As per NFPA’s 2020 report, out of this total figure, 9% firefighters were female (89,600); 17,200 out of which were career firefighters and 72,400 were female volunteer firefighters.

Firefighter Salary in Texas, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois

Firefighters all around the US enjoy job security, as their job description not just requires putting out fires but also responding to vehicle accidents, chemical spills, and other emergencies.

There are many financial benefits of being a firefighter that includes earning a mean annual wage of $ 55,290, according to the 2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other perks include overtime pay, healthcare insurance, pension, sick leave, and vacation. Below is the salary breakdown and job outlook of some of the top US states.



Annual Mean WageEmploymentProjected Growth (2020-2030)











Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021) and O*NET Online

According to the BLS, below are the top 5 highest paying states for this occupation in the US in 2021.

StateAnnual Mean Wage
New Jersey$84,930
New York$72,670

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Firefighter Salary Trends in the US

Job Outlook for Firefighters

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an 8% growth in employment opportunities for firefighters in the US between 2020 and 2030. The employment opportunity arises when firefighters retire or replace their job with other occupations.