What it Takes

General Qualifications


Fire Fighter Training

The general qualifications for any individual seeking to enter a career in the fire service must meet the following requirements to the best of their ability:

  • Minimum Requirements:

    • 18 years of age

    • valid CA driver’s License

    • Clean driving record

    • HS Diploma or GED

  • Physical Requirements:

    • Visual acuity of 20/70 uncorrected in each eye

    • 20/25 correctable vision in both eyes

    • Normal range depth perception

    • Ability to identify primary colors

    • Normal hearing range

    • Weight proportional to height

    • Excellent physical condition

  • Personal Attributes

    • Good Judgement

    • Good communication skills

    • Demonstrate mechanical aptitude and basic math skills

    • Ability to understand and learn firefighting material

    • Ability to face hazardous and life threatening situations

    • Possess coping skills for managing various situations

    • Must be able to work as a team member

    • Ability to get along with people in close environments

    • Ability to follow orders

    • Ability to work in a paramilitary organization

    • Ability to promote diversity and customer service


Types of Fire Department Positions

There are many different positions available to anyone seeking a career in the fire service. some of the most common positions are:

  • Firefighter

  • Paramedic

  • Hazardous Material Specialist

  • Arson Investigator

  • Public Information Officer

  • Community Service Representative

  • Fire Inspector

  • Budget Analyst

  • Fire Dispatcher


Selection Process

Most jurisdictions will distribute a flyer or request you go on their website to apply. All information relating to the hiring process will be provided on their site. To get specific information about a particular agency, contact their Human Resources office. The application and selection process will be described in the announcement - which will be published when a Firefighter position opens. Most selection processes for entry-level Firefighter consist of an application screening, a written exam, a physical ability test, and one or more oral interviews. The hiring process for entry level Firefighter is extremely competitive. It is not uncommon for a department to have as many as 5,000 applicants for as few as three or four positions. However, this situation may not apply to other positions, such as fire inspector, hazardous materials specialist, arson investigator, public information officer, or community service representative.