Jacksonville,FL: How to Become a Firefighter

Firefighters work in a community to protect and rescue people from different emergencies that include fire, floods, chemical spills, severe road accidents, chemical spills, and catastrophes. Trained in public safety, firefighters are required to have knowledge in building and construction, using tools and equipment for rescue operation, and providing emergency medical services. To become a firefighter in Jacksonville, FL, a minimum high school diploma is required. People who want an advanced career in the field also opt for an associate or bachelor’s degree. Following initial screening and application process, candidates are required to enroll in Firefighter Training Academy.

Featured Programs and Schools

It comprises of five divisions which include Rescue, Operations, Emergency Preparedness, Fire Prevention and Training. To perform its duties effectively, the JFRD has 58 fire stations, 56 full-time rescue units and 55 engine companies to call upon.

In 2020, Florida had averaged 2.1 casualties per 1,000 fires. This was below the national average of 2.3 and the JFRD played a major role in keeping this number down. If you feel you can also contribute to the good work done by the department every day, this guide has all the information to get you started.

Jacksonville Firefighting Requirements

  • Must be 18 years old at least when applying
  • Must have cleared high school. In cases where a candidate doesn’t have a high school diploma (HSD), they can also apply with the alternative GED certificate
  • Must possess a State of Florida EMT or Paramedic Certificate
  • Must have a legal driving license in Florida (class E)
  • Must hold a State of Florida Certificate of Compliance for Firefighter
  • Must not use tobacco or products containing significant amounts of tobacco
Educational RequirementsPostsecondary nondegree award
Area of StudyEMT, Mechanical, Telecommunication, Public Safety
Licensure/CertificationCertification and License is mandatory
Experience/TrainingLong-term on-the-job training
Key SkillsQuick reflexes, fast respond time, courage, static strength, arm-hand steadiness
Annual Mean Salary – Florida (2021)$53,480 per year
Job Outlook – Florida (2020 – 2030)7%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020) and O*Net Online

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Jacksonville

You must complete the following steps to join the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department.

  • Qualify the written exam
  • Pass the physical abilities test
  • Clear the polygraph test
  • Clear all background checks
  • Pass the interview
  • Clear the post-employment offer drug screening and physical exam

How Long Does It Take to Become One of Jacksonville’s Bravest?

$53,480 was the mean annual salary of firefighters in Florida as per BLS in 2021. The national mean annual salary in the US for firefighters is $55,290. Below are the top 5 highest paying states for this occupation in the US in 2021.

Firefighting Programs in Jacksonville

Below is a list of some firefighting programs offered in Jacksonville, Florida:

Florida State College at Jacksonville Fire Academy – This program offers basic firefighting and emergency medical services (EMS) training.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Training Academy – This academy provides training to those who aspire to become firefighters and also provides continuing education for those who are already firefighters.

Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Department – This department offers training programs for volunteer firefighters.

Florida Fire College – This college offers fire and emergency services training programs for firefighters and other emergency personnel.

St. Johns River State College Fire Academy – This academy offers basic and advanced firefighting courses.

It is essential to note that different firefighting programs may have their unique strengths and weaknesses, and selecting a program to pursue would depend on an individual’s preference, career goals, and educational needs. Therefore, I recommend researching each program to identify the best fit for you.

How Much Does a Firefighter Make in Jacksonville?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ official website, firefighters in Florida draw an annual mean salary of $53,480. Below are the top 5 paying states in the US for this occupation in 2021.

StateAnnual Mean Wage
New Jersey$ 84,930
California$ 80,990
Washington$ 76,280
New York$ 72,670
Colorado$ 68,300

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Jacksonville Firefighting Career Outlook

O*Net Online forecasts an 8% growth in employment opportunities for firefighters in Florida between 2020 and 2030. The corresponding national average for this occupation is 4% between 2021 and 2031.