Should I Become a Firefighter in Houston?

Houston is a beautiful city, but it has been exposed to many natural disasters and extreme weather events in the past. The city has been severely affected by tropical storms, heavy rainfall, and flooding. But residents don’t need to worry, because the Houston Fire Department is going out if its way to ensure the safety of the residents.

If you are passionate about serving the community and protecting the residents of your city, then joining the firefighting profession would be an ideal choice for you. The entire process is lengthy and complex – this guide will help you understand how to become a firefighter in Houston.

Education Required High school education is required.
Training Fire Academy Training is essential.
Licenses/Certifications EMT and CRT Certification.
Key Skills/Qualities Physical Stamina, Decision making, Courage, etc.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National $54,650
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 6%
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Texas $52,520

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Houston

Step 1: Fill in the Recruiting Interest Form and Online Application

Go to the official website of the Houston Fire Department and fill in the interest form. Once you have submitted this form, you will be notified about the exam date. When the exam date is announced, you can submit an online application to take the Civil Service Exam.

Step 1: Appear for the Civil Service Exam

You will be expected to take the Houston Fire Department Civil Service Exam. This exam will test your reasoning and problem solving skills, and will cover a reading portion and a mathematics portion. You will be required to bring along valid photo identification or a driver’s license to be able to sit for the exam.

Step 3: Clear the Screening Tests

If you pass the written exam, you will have to fill out the pre-screening application form. You will also have to undergo the physical ability test, a medical exam, a polygraph test and a drug screening test.

Step 4: Take Part in Fire Academy Training

Once you clear all the steps referred to above, you will have to participate in training at an approved fire academy. The training duration varies from fire department to fire department.

Requirements to Become a Firefighter in Houston

If you are applying for a Non-Certified Firefighter/EMT Trainee position, you need to meet the following requirements to take the Civil Service Exam:

  • 24 transferrable college credit hours with a minimum ‘C’ grade
  • 18 years of age at the time of applying
  • 2 years of active military service with an honorable discharge
  • Valid driver’s license; 2 or less violations in the past 36 months

If you are applying for a Certified Firefighter/EMT Trainee position, you need to meet the following requirements to take the Civil Service Exam:

  • Texas Department of State Health Service Certification (EMT) – Basic or Higher
  • Texas Commission Fire Protection – Basic or Higher
  • 15 transferrable college credit hours with a minimum ‘C’ grade
  • 18 years of age at the time of applying
  • Valid driver’s license; 2 or less violations in the past 36 months

How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Houston?

After 2-4 years of education, the Houston’s firefighter training program is usually 6 to 7 months long. On top of that, the initial screening and applicant shortlisting process can take a few months. So, you will need about 8 to 12 months after studies to become a part of the Houston Fire Department, depending on the availability of the positions.

What Salary Do Firefighters in Houston Get?

The following table shows the annual compensation received by firefighters in Houston beginning March 1, 2014:

Rank Annual
Firefighter Trainee $28,024
Probationary Firefighter $40,170
1st Year Firefighter $43,528
2nd Year Firefighter $45,791