Should I Become a Firefighter in Texas?

Whether you are a high school graduate looking to become a firefighter or want to change your career path, make sure you have all the information before entering  the field. According to the 2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Texas tops the list of the states with the highest employment level for firefighters. The estimated employment for firefighters in Texas is 29,530.

Firefighting is a rewarding career and provides plenty of job satisfaction. As first responders, they get to save lives and property, work as a team, and play a positive role in community. No doubt a challenging profession, it comes with many risks and being constantly on call. So, before you decide to go ahead with the profession, make sure you are completely convinced that it is the right job for you.

Featured Programs and Schools

Educational RequirementsPostsecondary nondegree award
Licensure/CertificationCertification and License is mandatory
Experience/TrainingFirefighter Training Academy
Key SkillsQuick Response, Teamwork, Courage, Physical Fitness, Adaptability, Work Under Pressure, Mechanical Aptitude, First Aid
Annual Mean Salary – US (2021)$ 55,290
Annual Mean Salary – Texas (2021)$ 53,310
Job Outlook – US (2021 – 2031)4%

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Guide to Become a Firefighter in Texas

To become a firefighter in Texas, you have to complete the following steps:

Step 1: Get High School Education

To become a firefighter in Texas, you will have to complete high school education or get an equivalent GED. These educational credentials will make you eligible to complete a fire suppression training program.

Step 2: Get an EMT Certification

Getting an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification might or might not be mandatory. This requirement varies from city to state and from state to state so, it is advisable that you conduct proper research before applying for the position of a firefighter.

Step 3: Apply for the Job

Once you have completed all the prerequisites, you can apply for the position of a firefighter at the fire department of your choice.

Step 4: Clear the Screening Process

Once your application is accepted, you will have to pass a comprehensive screening process. Every fire station has its own criteria, but generally you will have to pass a written exam, an oral interview, a background check, drug screening, and a medical exam, etc.

Step 5: Get Certification

Once you have passed the screening process, you will have to get the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Basic Fire Suppression Certificate. You will have to pay a certain fee to obtain this certificate.

Step 6: Complete Fire Academy Training

You will also have to pass fire academy training. The duration will depend on the fire department you apply to.

How to Become a Firefighter in Texas
How to Become a Firefighter in Texas

Choosing the Right Firefighting Degree and Concentrations

Once you have determined your passion for firefighting and know that it is the right career choice for you, then the next step is to set education goals and make a degree plan. Which degree is best suited for you? Are you thinking of working on voluntary basis or want to make a real career out of firefighting and explore all the avenues of the field? Set your career path as it will help you in deciding which level of degree you should pursue to succeed in the fire service. We have compiled a list that will make selection easier for you.


Education Requirement/Career Goals





Associate’s Degree


Bachelor’s Degree


Master’s Degree


Online Program


A professional firefighter looking to earn degree from an accredited program without having to leave job or attend college physically.



Best Suited


A high school graduate interested in pursuing career in firefighting with the desire to have great knowledge on the subject and looking for a degree program that can provide a springboard for educational development.


Best Suited


Strong passion for firefighting and desire to thrive in several fire related fields, like fire investigation, hazards management, and emergency specialists.



Best Suited


A firefighter veteran seeking valuable career advantage and want to excel in the field. Also, looking to take promotional exams, transition to a supervisory role, or taking up challenging and demanding roles.


Best Suited


Inspired by the firefighting profession but not sure if it is the right job for you. Acquiring basic training and learning safety protocols in a low-cost, fast-track manner.


Best Suited

How Old Do You Have to Be to Become a Firefighter in Texas?

To become a firefighter in Texas, you have to follow the guidelines laid out by The Texas Commission on Fire Protection. The minimum age requirement to join the field of firefighting in Texas is 18 years. In order to become a firefighter in Texas you will have to meet other requirements as well so, it is important that you go through the entire process beforehand.

Eligibility Requirements to Become a Firefighter in Texas

  • Meet the minimum and maximum age requirement
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be certified as EMT-B (or higher) by the State of Texas or enrolled in a qualifying course
  • Be willing to graduate from a firefighter training academy, or
  • Be certified/certifiable by The Texas Commission on Fire Protection
  • Be able to pass a background check
  • Have no felony convictions and no recent misdemeanors
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have a clean driving record

These are some of the minimum qualifications for you to meet if you want to work as a firefighter in the state of Texas. In addition to these your city’s fire department may have its own requirements such as passing the entrance exam, etc.

However, there is one requirement which is mandatory across all fire departments in the state of Texas and that is getting certified as a firefighter with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP). This is mandatory especially if you want to work as a paid firefighter in Texas.

TCFP Basic Fire Suppression Certification

You can earn this certification by fulfilling the following 6-steps:

  • Finish a basic fire fighter training program
  • Exhibit that you can perform basic firefighting skills
  • Pass the state certification test
  • Complete your emergency medical responder training
  • Pass a criminal history background check and get fingerprinted
  • Apply for the certification

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

To earn TCFP Basic Fire Suppression Certification, it will take you months, if not years. This is in addition to spending time on fulfilling the minimum and specific qualifications to become a firefighter in your city. In short, the time it will take you to become a firefighter in Texas may be as little as a few months to 5 years, going up to 7 years.

How Much Does a Firefighter Make in Texas?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage of firefighters in Texas (as reported in May 2021) was $53,310. Below is a list of the highest paying US states for firefighters.

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

Career Outlook for Firefighters in Texas

According to BLS (2021), the state of Texas is the biggest employer of firefighters in the US. There were 29,530 firefighters in the state in May 2021. Here is a list of the US states with the highest employment level for firefighters in 2021.

North Carolina15,410

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics


The Texas City Fire Department is always looking to expand and recruits energetic, motivated, and courageous individuals. If you are career oriented and have the desire to move up the ladder in the fire department, then obtain the mandatory fire training and apply for a position that allows you to rescue and practice life-saving disciplines.


Other States