How to Become a Firefighter in Iowa
Firefighters in Iowa are those bravest of the brave individuals who save people and their property from burning to ashes. Not only do they fight fires erupting in our homes, offices, schools, and other places, firefighters are also among the first people on the scene every time there is a road accident or a similar emergency.
Other than risking their own lives to save others, firefighters are also responsible for providing emergency medical care until the paramedics arrive therefore the role of a firefighter is crucial.
If you are interested in joining this noble profession and serving your community, this guide has all the important information listed down. Read on to learn more about how you can embark on a successful firefighting career in Iowa.
Different Career Opportunities for Iowa Firefighters
- Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
- Fire Alarm Service Technician
- Fire Safety Specialist/Consultant
- Fire Investigator
Requirements to Join the Iowa Firefighting Department
Those who aspire to join the ranks of firefighters in Iowa must meet the following requirements before they can be considered.
- Must be minimum 18 years of age.
- Must have at least a high school diploma (HSD). If not, then the equivalent GED certificate will suffice too.
- Must have a valid Iowa driving license.
- Must have legal citizenship of the US, either by naturalization or birth.
- Must not have any criminal record in Iowa or the rest of the United States.
- Must clear the initial written exam.
- Must get an acceptable score on the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). Different departments in the state may have different thresholds. Therefore, you should try to score as high as possible on this test.
- Some fire departments in Iowa also make it compulsory for their firefighting staff to hold a certification such as an EMT (EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) or a CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).
How Long Will It Take to Become a Firefighter in Iowa?
After you have cleared all the initial evaluations such as the written test and the CPAT, you will be eligible for firefighter training with your local fire department. This will take about 28 to 30 weeks (around 6 to 7 months).
Add to that the time taken by the Iowa Fire Service Training Bureau to complete initial screening, and you can expect to spend around 8 to 12 months in your quest to become a firefighter in Iowa.
What Is the Salary of an Iowa Firefighter?
As per the latest data available with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Iowa firefighters earned an annual mean wage of $43,970 in May, 2018.
Career Outlook for Firefighters in Iowa
As per O*Net Online firefighting jobs are expected to increase by 7% in the United States between 2016 and 2026. In Iowa, the projected growth between 2016 and 2026 is expected to be around 5%.