Steps to Become a Firefighter in Vermont

Firefighters in Vermont have done a tremendous job of keeping the fire statistics at favorable averages. For instance, the state had 8.1 injuries per 1,000 fires, as compared to the national average of 9.3 in 2017. The state also had a low death and injuries’ average for residential structure fires, in comparison to national averages. However, the average for deaths in all kinds of fires was higher than the national average – 2.7 per 1,000 fires as compared to the national 2.3 per 1,000 fires. To work as a firefighter in Vermont, you have to complete the following steps. Please note that these are general steps and the exact requirements may vary from fire department to fire department.

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Step 1: Complete the Required Education

Every prospective firefighter who wants to work in the state of Vermont should at least have a high school diploma or an alternative GED certificate. Having said that, certain fire departments also require a college degree.

Step 2: Meet the Age Requirement

Every candidate should be at least 18 years old and also have a valid driver’s license.

Step 3: Obtain Necessary Certification

Vermont has made it mandatory for aspiring firefighters to possess an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) certification. Candidates should also have Firefighter I and II credentials, which should be renewed annually after completing a certain amount of continuing education credits.

Step 4: Pass a Strict Hiring Process

Firefighters are recruited after a very strict hiring process containing multiple steps. These stages involve passing a mental and psychological evaluation, a background check, drug screening, a written test, an oral interview, etc.

Step 5: Clear Fire Academy Training

Once all the steps mentioned above are cleared, prospective firefighters have to enroll in a fire academy and complete the required training. The training duration is different for every fire department.

Requirements to Become a Firefighter in Vermont

Vermont is home to 203 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Registry. Each of these departments has its own set of requirements for firefighters. However, generally, the requirements are as follows:

  • Candidate should be at least 18 years of age
  • Candidate should be a citizen of the US
  • Candidate should have a valid driver’s license
  • Candidate should possess an EMT certification
  • Candidate should not have a criminal record
  • Candidate should have at least a high school diploma or a GED
  • Candidate should be in a good physical and mental shape

Most fire departments in Vermont do not require candidates to have an undergraduate degree. However, it would make your application a lot stronger if you invest in an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in fire science.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in Vermont

It would typically take you around 3 to 4 months to complete the application and training process to become a firefighter in Vermont. However, if you go for an undergraduate degree, you might need to invest around 2 to 4 years of additional time.

How Much Does a Firefighter Make in Vermont

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Firefighters made an annual mean income of $39,970 in the year 2019.

Career Outlook for Firefighters in Vermont

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters in the US are expected to enjoy a 6% growth in employment opportunities between 2019 and 2029. The number of jobs is expected to increase by 20 on an annual basis. The top employer of firefighters at a national level is the government, with 24,300 jobs available nationally. The projected national growth rate for this occupation is 5% to 9%.
Even though improved structures, building materials and regulations have decreased the number of fires and fire fatalities, the need for firefighters will continue to exist. If you want to become part of the firefighting force in Vermont, then this is the time to start the process.