According to the U.S. Fire Administration’s 2021 statistics, 1,000 reported fires in the nation resulted in 2.3 deaths and 7.2 injuries. Whereas in New Jersey, out of 1,000 reported fires, 2.7 deaths and 7.8 injuries were reported. The state is hard at work to bring these numbers down.
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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6,310 firefighters were employed in Ner Jersey as of May 2022. If you want to play your part in that by becoming a firefighter, then read this article for more details.
Steps to Become a Firefighter in New Jersey
To become a firefighter in New Jersey, the following steps and requirements are generally involved:
- Age: Candidates must be between 18 and 35 years old to apply in most cities.
- Education: A high school diploma or higher is required.
- Residency and Driving License: Applicants should be New Jersey residents and possess a valid driver’s license.
- Physical Fitness: Physical fitness is a crucial requirement.
- While not always mandatory, having volunteer experience is often recommended.
- Some firefighters in New Jersey need to volunteer for around 6 months before being hired full-time.
- Applicants must take the entry-level firefighter written examination and a physical performance test (PPT).
- Medical training is essential, and EMT or paramedic training is highly recommended
- In New Jersey, an emphasis is placed on being able to understand and communicate in both Spanish and English, due to the state’s diverse ethnic makeup.
- New Jersey offers various institutions and fire academies for official training and academic programs, which can be beneficial for improving employment chances.
- Each fire department may have specific additional requirements or rules. It’s advisable to contact the specific department you are interested in for detailed information.
These steps provide a comprehensive overview of what it takes to become a firefighter in New Jersey. It’s important to note that specific requirements can vary slightly depending on the city or department.
Salary of Firefighters in New Jersey
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighter salary in New Jersey was:
- Annual Mean Salary: $77,740.
- Annual Median Salary: $77,020.
Career Outlook for Firefighters in New Jersey
O*Net Online has projected a 5% growth in employment opportunities for firefighters in New Jersey from 2020 to 2030.
Firefighters Training Academies in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are several certified firefighter training academies that offer programs for new recruits. These academies provide the necessary training and certification for individuals aspiring to become firefighters. The training typically involves both classroom instruction and rigorous hands-on drills. Here are some of the academies in New Jersey:
Ocean County Fire & EMS Training Center
- This academy offers a recruit program that is well over 200 hours in length, combining classroom instruction with hands-on drills to earn New Jersey State Firefighter Certification.
Toms River Fire Academy
- New recruits at this academy must complete an NJ State Level 1 and 2 Firefighter course, encompassing 300 hours of introductory training. The training is conducted by state-certified fire instructors.
Statewide Training Coordination
- The Office of Training & Certification in New Jersey coordinates the delivery of U.S. National Fire Academy training programs within the state. This office works in conjunction with county/municipal fire academies and community colleges to provide comprehensive firefighter training.
Other Notable Academies in New Jersey
- Atlantic County Fire Training Center
- Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute, Police, Fire & EMS
- Burlington County Emergency Services Training Center
- Camden County Emergency Training Center
- Cape May County Fire Academy
Each of these academies has its own specific programs and may have unique requirements or specialties. Firefighter recruits in New Jersey are required to complete more than 200 hours of training for certification in interior structural firefighting. For detailed information about specific programs and enrollment procedures, it’s advisable to contact the academies directly.
1)New Jersey Employment Trends – Firefighters: https://www.onetonline.org/link/localtrends/33-2011.00?st=NJ
2)New Jersey Fire Loss and Fire Department Profile: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/states/newjersey.html