Process to Become a Firefighter in Maine

Despite being one of the least populated states in the US, Maine still has fourth-highest concentration of firefighters in the nation. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3.49 employment per thousand jobs was recorded in Maine in 2021. While the national demand for firefighters is increasing at a rate of 4% (2021-2031), in Maine 3% growth is projected between 2020-2030.

The requirements to become a firefighter in Maine vary from city to city. Overall, a minimum high school diploma is required but in Portland, Saco, and Bangor applicants must have additional qualifications like three years of post-high school work, along with EMT certification. Below are the requirements by the top cities in Maine.

Featured Programs and Schools





EMT Certification, Firefighter Certification upon completion of training, Physical Fitness Exam
PortlandEMT Certification, Firefighter I and II Certification, Physical Fitness Exam
SacoEMT Certification, Firefighter II Level Certification, Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) clearance to operate respiratory protective gear


EMT Certification, Firefighter I Certification even for Part-time Firefighters, Physical Fitness Exam

The 336 registered fire departments in Maine work around the clock to keep all fires under control. That is illustrated by the nearly 26% drop in deaths caused by structural fires in the state in 2017. Furthermore, instances of deaths due to residential fires during this period went down by almost 23%.
18 of Maine’s bravest have lost their lives on duty since 1990 through to 2018. If you are inspired by the hardworking firefighters of Maine and want to be like them, these are the steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Complete Minimum Education

If you want to work as a firefighter in the state of Maine, you need high school education as the minimum educational requirement. You can also work later on go for postsecondary education.

Step 2: Look Out for Job Openings

Keep an eye on the job openings at your local fire department and check when they open the recruitment cycle. This will help you stay one step ahead of the curve and you can apply for a job as soon as a vacancy opens up.

Step 3: Get Through the Hiring Process

If you are shortlisted, the fire department will inform you. You will then have to clear a strict hiring process consisting of different stages like a medical test, a psychological evaluation, a drugs test, a background check, etc. You will also have to sit through a written test and an oral interview.

Step 4: Complete Training

Once you navigate the entire hiring stages, you will be sent for training at a fire academy designated by the fire department. The time you spend there will equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to combat fires and safeguarding lives.

Types of Careers for Firefighters in Maine

  • Firefighter (Both Voluntary and Non-Voluntary)
  • Fire Equipment Operator
  • Fire Investigation Specialist
  • Fire Alarm Service Technician
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Fire Apparatus Engineer

What Education Do I Need to Be a Firefighter?

Anyone looking to become a firefighter in Maine can opt for either fire science certification, an associate’s degree in fire science, or a bachelor’s degree in fire science or a related field. During these degree programs, courses are taught on:

  • Fire Protection System.
  • Fire Service Hydraulics.
  • Fire Behavior and Combustion.
  • Principles of Fire and Emergency Services.
  • Fire Investigation.

To start working as a firefighter in Maine, candidates require Firefighter I and II training that covers important areas like live-burn skills. During the training, candidates learn about Class-A combustibles, passenger vehicle fire, storage containers, and exterior ignitable liquids. Many fire departments in Maine require applicants to have an EMT certification as well.

Eligibility Criteria to Join a Fire Department in Maine

Make sure you are fulfilling the following requirements before floating your employment application to any fire department in Maine.

  • Minimum age of 18.
  • US citizenship, either on the basis of naturalization or birth.
  • Valid driver’s license for the state of Maine.
  • Possessing at least a high school diploma (HSD). If not, then the equivalent GED certificate is acceptable too.
  • No criminal record whatsoever. This goes for Maine as well as every other state.
  • Clear the written evaluation.
  • High score on the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). Different fire departments in Maine may have different CPAT cutoffs. So, aim to score as high as possible on this exam.
  • Many fire departments in Maine also make it mandatory for their fire service personnel to acquire some basic medical certifications like EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).
  • A college degree is not mandatory to join a firefighting academy but it is desirable. If you plan to go for one, there are various certificate programs (3 to 6 months) available as well as a two-year associate’s degree.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Maine Firefighter?

In general, a firefighting training program is likely to take 6 to 7 months. On top of that, most fire units take 3 to 4 months for the initial screening process. So, you can expect to spend 8 to 12 months in your quest to become a firefighter in Maine.

Maine Firefighter Salary

As of May, 2021, firefighters in Maine had an annual mean wage of $ 44,920. This is as per the information provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Prospects for Firefighters in Maine

According to O*Net OnLine, a 3% increase is projected for firefighting jobs in Maine for the period of 2020-2030. The expected employment of firefighters till 2030 is 2,280 employees. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) 2022 statistics, there are 338 registered fire departments in Maine. There are many areas where firefighters can work in Maine including jobs in forestry department as Wildland Firefighter, EMT Advanced Paramedic, Firefighter Engineer, and Fire Investigator.

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