Austin,TX: How to Become a Firefighter

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The AFD (Austin Fire Department) is one of the largest among the 1,526 nationally registered fire departments in Texas. It has the responsibility to protect more than 2 million residents of Austin from fire-related emergencies.
Every year, the AFD receives over 85,000 calls. As one of the leading fire services in Texas, the AFD strives to incorporate latest technologies and best practices in firefighting to ensure the utmost safety of the residents of the city.

Austin Fire Department

The Austin Fire Department (AFD) gets more than 85,000 calls annually and most of the time the team responds to medical emergencies. The firefighters in Austin also respond to fires, hazardous conditions, and are involved in rescue operations. According to the 2019 annual report, more than 1,200 men and women have been employed by the Austin Fire Department. The hiring process by the department involves two phases:

  • Application Period: This includes written exam and Structured Oral Assessment Process (SOP).
  • Pre-hire Assessments: Meeting eligibility requirements, applying for the next hiring session, and clearing the general aptitude test that includes verbal comprehension, mechanical aptitude, and deductive reasoning.

Austin Fire Department provides AFD Written Exam Study Guide that help the candidates prepare for the process.

According to O*Net Online, 24,590 firefighters were employed by the state of Texas till 2020. 14% growth is expected between 2020-2030 in the profession in Texas.

Requirements for a Firefighting Career in Austin

  • Must be at least 18 years old when applying. Also, no candidate should be over 35 when taking the preliminary written test
  • Must have at least a high school diploma (HSD) or the equivalent GED (General Educational Development) certificate
  • Must have legal American citizenship, whether on the basis of naturalization or birth in US
  • Must hold a valid Texas driving license
  • Must have a valid Texas Social Security Card
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for becoming certified by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Personnel Standards and Education
  • Fulfill the requirements of the Texas Department of Health to earn the EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) certification

How Much Time Is Needed to Become a Part of the Austin Fire Department?

The Austin Fire Academy runs a 28-week long training program for fire cadets. This comes to around 7 months. Before that, their initial applicant selection procedure is likely to take a few months. So, depending upon the availability of positions with the AFD, you will need about 8 to 12 months (1 year) to become a firefighter in Austin.

Salary of an Austin Firefighter

The overall annual mean salary of firefighters in the state of Texas was $ 53,310 in 2021, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Austin Fire Department Job Growth Outlook

Over the coming years, Texas is expected to experience one of the biggest growth spurts in firefighting jobs in the United States. O*Net Online has projected it to be 14% between 2020 and 2030. This is way more than the national average of 4% projected for the years 2021-2031. And as the capital of Texas, significant number of these employment opportunities are to be created in Austin. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021, Texas tops the states with the highest employment level for firefighters. By 2021, as many as 29,530 firefighters were employed by the state.

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