Alaska,AK: How to Become a Firefighter
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The state of Alaska has possibly some of the most alarming fire statistics – with 6.4 deaths and 27.5 injuries per 1,000 fires in 2017, the state is far ahead of the national averages of 2.3 and 9.3 respectively. The statistics for residential structure fires are even worse – with 22.6 deaths and 66.4 injuries per 1,000 fires, as opposed to the national averages of 6.1 and 24.5 respectively. If you want to help out improve this situation, you might want to note down the following information on how to become a firefighter in Alaska.
Requirements to Become a Firefighter in Alaska
Alaska is home to 155 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry. Most of these departments have their own set of minimum requirements for entry. However, generally the requirements are as follows:
- Candidates must be at least 18 years of age
- Candidates must have a valid driver’s license
- Candidates must have a high school diploma or a GED
- Candidates must have a clean criminal record
- Candidates should have an EMT certification
- Candidates should have good communication skills
- Candidates must possess good reasoning and problem-solving skills
Some jurisdictions may also have a state-residency requirement and a minimum educational requirement of an associate or a bachelor’s degree. You are advised to check with your local fire department for the exact set of requirements.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Alaska
The process for becoming a firefighter in Alaska can take as little as 4 to 5 months or as long as 4 to 5 years, depending on the path you choose. For instance, if you choose to begin the application process after completing your high school, you may be able to get short listed and hired within a few months. However, if you go for an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in fire science, it would take you more than 4 years to enter the industry.
How Much Does a Firefighter Make in Alaska
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters in Alaska made an annual mean income of $51,110 in 2018. The top paying industry for firefighters in the US was Scientific Research and Development Services, paying an annual mean income of $67,850. Remediation and Other Waste Management Services paid $67,740, while Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing paid $62,700. The top employer of firefighters was the local government, offering 288,710 jobs at a national level.
Career Outlook for Firefighters in Alaska
As per 2018 data for firefighters, extracted from O*Net Online, this occupation is expected to experience a growth of 2% in the years from 2016 to 2026. This translates into roughly 100 new jobs being added every year in this time period.