How to Become a Firefighter in Seattle

Firefighters in Seattle are divided across 5 battalions with 33 stations and 211 on-duty members working in Operations. The department operates on principles of integrity, teamwork, compassion, courage and diversity. The job of a Seattle firefighter involves responding to fires, medical emergencies, fire inspections, fire prevention drills, training and maintenance activities.

If you wish to join the Seattle Fire Department in its fight for a safer city for all, here is all the information you need on how to become a firefighter in Seattle.

Requirements to Become a Firefighter in Seattle

To become a firefighter in Seattle, you will have to meet certain requirements. These are applicable to the date a candidate is hired.

  • Candidate should be 18 years old minimum
  • Candidate should have a high school diploma or a GED at least
  • Candidate must have a valid driver’s license
  • Candidate must have an EMT Certification through Washington State. The selected candidates who do not have the EMT Certification will have to undergo an EMT course offered by the Seattle Fire Department

Hiring Process for Firefighters in Seattle

The hiring process involves clearing a series of tests and checks. These are as follows:

Work Attitudes Questionnaire

This will take one-half hour to complete online

FireTEAM Test

This will include questions on reading, math and mechanical reasoning and will take 2.5 hours to complete in an on-site format

Oral Board Exam

If you pass the first two tests, you will be eligible for the Oral Board exam

Applicants who pass all parts of the hiring process successfully will be placed on a Firefighter Register for that year. The top 25 % of the candidates on the register will be put on a certified hiring list, which is then provided to the Seattle Fire Department for further processing.
Further screening would involve a sustainability assessment, a physical ability test, medical, psychological and background checks and an interview with the Fire Chief.

How Much Do Firefighters Make in Seattle?

The starting salary of firefighters in Seattle is $72,900, as per the Seattle Fire Department. The department also offers medical, dental and vision benefits, paid vacation leaves and pension plans among other things. Firefighters are also offered 20% premium pay for special assignments. Salary increments occur at 6 months, 18 months, 30 months and 42 months.

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

The application filing and processing time for a Seattle firefighter can take several months to complete. Following this, the training program would take 15.5 weeks to complete with 700 hours clocked. Candidates who meet these requirements are able to earn the Firefighter I Certification. If you want to complete an undergraduate degree before applying, you will have to spend an additional 2 to 4 years on your educational qualifications.