In 2024, embarking on a career as a firefighter in Nebraska represents an opportunity to make a significant impact in the community. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May, 2022, 1080 firefighters were employed in Nebraska.According to the figures published by the US Fire Administration, Nebraska reported 1.3 deaths and 8.1 injuries per 1,000 fires. The national average was 2.3 deaths and 7.2 injuries per 1,000 fires.

If you want to become a firefighter in Nebraska, then read this guide to get all the relevant information.

Featured Programs and Schools

Steps to Become a Firefighter in Nebraska

To become a firefighter in Nebraska, there are several steps and requirements to consider:

Basic Qualifications

  • Aspiring firefighters in Nebraska must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma or GED, be U.S. citizens, local residents, and possess a valid state driver’s license.
Education and Training
  • Various educational and training options are available in Nebraska, particularly in Lincoln and Omaha. These institutions offer programs ranging from fire science degrees to specialized training in firefighting​​​​.
Nebraska Fire Marshal Training Division
  • This division in Lincoln provides comprehensive training for entry-level firefighting positions, covering essential firefighting skills, equipment usage, procedures, and strategies for various emergency situations. They also offer advanced courses in vehicle extraction, rope rescue, hazardous materials, and more.
Volunteer and Paid Positions
  • Most firefighters in Nebraska work in volunteer departments, especially in smaller communities. However, paid positions are available in larger cities like Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, and Bellevue.
Firefighter I and II Certifications
  • The Firefighter I course is based on the NFPA 1001 standard, preparing individuals to operate within an Incident Command structure and handle various types of fires. The course includes both classroom and hands-on training. The Firefighter II course builds upon the skills learned in Firefighter I, preparing individuals to assume the role of an incident commander and handle more advanced firefighting tasks.
Examination Process
  • The process to become a firefighter in Nebraska includes a written exam, a physical exam measuring strength and endurance, and, in some cases like the Omaha department, a human relations video test. Please note that different departments may have varying requirements.

These steps highlight the comprehensive process involved in becoming a firefighter in Nebraska, combining basic qualifications, education, specialized training, and a series of examinations to ensure the readiness and capability of aspiring firefighters.

Salary of Firefighters in Nebraska

The latest figures published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that firefighters employed in Nebraska earned:

  • Annual Mean Salary: $60,990.
  • Annual Median Salary: $55,500.

The below table illustrates firefighter’s salaries for two major fire departments in Nebraska:

Omaha Fire DepartmentFirefighter$61,647.04 per year
Lincoln Fire DepartmentFirefighter (F01)$21.694 per hour

Career Outlook for Firefighters in Nebraska

Between 2020 and 2030, firefighters in Nebraska are expected to enjoy a better than average job growth of 7%, according to O*Net Online.

Firefighters Training Academies in Nebraska

In Nebraska, several institutions offer firefighter training and fire science programs:

Nebraska State Fire Marshal Training Division

This division offers a variety of training programs for firefighters. These include:

  • Firefighter Training: Courses cover firefighting basics, Fire Fighter I and II certifications, and live fire training.
  • Fire Officer Training: This includes NIMS, leadership, Fire Officer I certification, and strategy and tactics.
  • Hazardous Materials Training: This covers awareness, operations, technician, and propane handling.
  • Instructor Training: Offers Instructor I and II courses.
  • Technical Rescue Training: Includes rope rescue and vehicle extrication.
  • Wildland Training: Provides Wildland Fire Fighter courses and S-130/S-190 (Basic Red Card) certification.

Metropolitan Community College (MCC) – Fire Science Technology

Located in Omaha, NE, MCC’s Fire Science Technology program prepares students for a career in firefighting. The program offers hands-on education in fire safety, prevention, first aid, and crisis management. Students are trained to become effective first responders. MCC offers several degrees and certificates in this field:

  • Associate in Applied Science: Fire Science Technology (FSAAS)
  • Certificate of Achievement: Advanced Firefighter Operations (FSACE)
  • Career Certificate: Basic Firefighter Operations (FSBCC)​​​​.

Other Notable Colleges

  • Metropolitan Community College Area: Located in Omaha, offers one Fire Science/Fire-Fighting degree program, with graduates earning Associate’s degrees.
  • Mid-Plains Community College: In North Platte, provides two Fire Science/Fire-Fighting degree programs.
  • Southeast Community College Area: Based in Lincoln, offers three Fire Science/Fire-Fighting degree programs, with graduates earning Associate’s degrees and certificates.

These institutions provide comprehensive training and education, equipping aspiring firefighters with the necessary skills and knowledge for a successful career in firefighting.

1)Nebraska Fire Loss and Fire Department Profile:
2)Nebraska Employment Trends – Firefighters:

Other States