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Forest Firefighter

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Life As a Forest Firefighter

Job Description & Duties Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Daily Life Of a Forest Firefighter

  • Operate pumps connected to high-pressure hoses.
  • Maintain fire equipment and firehouse living quarters.
  • Participate in fire prevention and inspection programs.
  • Transport personnel and cargo to and from fire areas.
  • Test and maintain tools, equipment, jump gear, and parachutes to ensure readiness for fire suppression activities.
  • Collaborate with other firefighters as a member of a firefighting crew.

What a Forest Firefighter Should Know

Forest Firefighters state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

  • Firefighter
  • Smoke Chaser
  • Forest Fire Suppression Specialist
  • Fire Technician
  • Forestry Fire Technician

Is There Going to be Demand for Forest Firefighters?

There were about 327,300 jobs for Forest Firefighter in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 23,600 new jobs for Forest Firefighter by 2026. There will be an estimated 24,300 positions for Forest Firefighter per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Forest Firefighters in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Forest Firefighter are Utah, Texas, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Maryland, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Forest Firefighter

The salary for Forest Firefighters ranges between about $25,170 and $88,920 a year.

Salary Ranges for Forest Firefighters

Forest Firefighters who work in New York, New Jersey, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Forest Firefighters make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $41,740
Alaska $51,110
Arizona $45,150
Arkansas $37,800
California $81,580
Colorado $61,160
Connecticut $63,630
Delaware $48,800
Florida $53,340
Georgia $38,060
Hawaii $62,670
Idaho $40,490
Illinois $56,710
Indiana $49,460
Iowa $43,970
Kansas $37,930
Kentucky $33,520
Louisiana $30,600
Maine $36,750
Maryland $61,780
Massachusetts $60,080
Michigan $45,440
Minnesota $37,690
Mississippi $30,370
Missouri $51,100
Montana $49,230
Nebraska $47,880
Nevada $66,830
New Hampshire $48,640
New Jersey $76,530
New Mexico $36,590
New York $73,710
North Carolina $35,500
North Dakota $42,980
Ohio $46,310
Oklahoma $43,450
Oregon $66,330
Pennsylvania $56,090
Rhode Island $55,240
South Carolina $36,300
South Dakota $44,710
Tennessee $40,280
Texas $52,520
Utah $37,960
Vermont $37,070
Virginia $51,510
Washington $73,850
West Virginia $36,820
Wisconsin $40,310
Wyoming $43,810

What Tools do Forest Firefighters Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Forest Firefighters may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Corel WordPerfect
  • Fire incident reporting systems

Becoming a Forest Firefighter

What kind of Forest Firefighter requirements are there?

Forest Firefighter Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Forest Firefighter?

Forest Firefighter Work Experience

Who Employs Forest Firefighters?

Forest Firefighter Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Forest Firefighters employed by various industries.

Forest Firefighter Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Are you already one of the many Forest Firefighter in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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