Career Definition for Fighter Fighter II
A fire fighter II has undergone additional training to become more knowledgeable in fire fighting techniques. In addition to standard fire fighting duties, fire fighter IIs create fire intervention plans, conduct vehicle extraction, coordinate multiple emergency response teams and even combat wildfires. Fire fighter II's are also the first responders to fires where hazardous materials are involved.
|Education||Fire fighter certification (high school diploma and classroom/practice hours); 200 hours of specialized training|
|Job Skills||Quick thinking, cooperation with others, good decision making and judgment, physical fitness|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$49,080 for all fire fighters|
|Career Outlook* (2016-2026)||7% for all fire fighters|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Fire fighter IIs must be already certified as regular fire fighters, which requires a high school diploma and many hours of classroom and practical training. To become a fire fighter II, one must complete more than 200 hours of additional training in areas such as vehicle extraction and hazardous materials response. A final exam, based on the National Fire Protection Association's professional qualifications, tests the skills and knowledge required for fire fighter II's.
Fire fighter IIs must be brave and in excellent health. Fire fighter II's also must work well with others and have good judgment. Most importantly, fire fighter II's must be able to think quickly, even in extreme circumstances.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for fire fighters was expected to increase 7% from 2016-2026. The BLS cautions that competition for these jobs will be keen. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for firefighters was $49,080 in May 2017.
Alternate Career Options
Other careers relating to firefighting can include:
Emergency Medical Technician
An emergency medical technician (EMT) uses knowledge and techniques gained through highly specialized postsecondary training and testing to provide first-on-the-scene aid to people who are injured or sick. Responding to 911 emergency calls, EMTs quickly evaluate patients, providing first aid as appropriate and transporting patients to the hospital. They also observe and report on patients' condition, both to hospital personnel and for their own records. EMTs are also responsible for maintaining the stock of medical supplies in their ambulances or first aid kits.
A prospective EMT must have a high school diploma and CPR certification to qualify for many EMT training programs. Professional National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification and state licensing is required for employment. A separate training class in driving an ambulance may also be required. The BLS predicts jobs for EMTs will grow 15% from 2016-2026, and said EMTs earned median pay of $33,380 in 2017.
Fire investigators attend to the scene of a fire to see what might have caused it. They collect information such as samples, photographs and witness testimony, and talk to professionals like scientists or engineers to develop a theory of how a fire started. Fire investigators write reports of their findings and may present that information in court when a fire is suspected of having a criminal origin.
Fire inspectors are experienced fire fighters who have at least a high school diploma and a driver's license, and often, a 2-year degree in fire science or a related field. Fire inspectors receive special classroom and field training. Several types of certification are available, and in many states, certification is required. Depending on the employer, some fire investigators must also have a state private investigator license. Fire investigator jobs are expected to increase 7% from 2016-2026, according to the BLS. The agency also reports that these professionals earned median pay of $59,260 in 2017.