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.
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 starting annual salary of a firefighter in Austin is $45,926. From the second year, this is likely to go up to $56,871. After the completion of two years with the AFD, you can expect to make around $61,709 annually. This is according to the info available on the Austin Fire Department website.
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 17% between 2016 and 2026. This is way more than the national average of 7%. And as the capital of Texas, you can expect a significant number of these employment opportunities to be created in Austin.