Volunteering in a support role will give you an idea of what the job is like, as well as give you access to internal vacancies.
How to become a Firefighter
You can get into this job through:
- applying directly
Volunteering and experience
Every fire service sets its own entry requirements.
Many ask for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths, or equivalent qualifications.
You'll need to pass:
- an online test to assess your judgement ability in a realistic work setting
- number tests
If you’re successful, you'll:
- do practical selection tests to find out whether you can do the physical tasks needed for the job
- be interviewed
Most fire services take on new recruits once every 12 months, so you’ll need to find out when they are recruiting next.
You can ask your local fire and rescue service for a firefighter recruitment pack.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- knowledge of public safety and security
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- sensitivity and understanding
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- the ability to work well with others
- being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.
Restrictions and requirements
You'll need to:
- pass a fitness test
- pass a medical check
- pass enhanced background checks
- have a full UK or EU driving licence, held for at least 12 months
- be over 18 years of age
What you'll do
Every day will be different, but you could be:
- inspecting and maintaining equipment
- carrying out practice drills and taking part in training
- rescuing people and animals from burning buildings and accident sites
- controlling and putting out fires
- dealing with bomb alerts and floods
- managing chemical or hazardous substance spills
- giving presentations to schools and community groups
- inspecting buildings to make sure they meet fire safety regulations
You could work at a fire station, at a client's home or at a client's business.
Your working environment may be at height, physically and emotionally demanding and cramped.
You may need to wear safety clothing and a uniform.
Career path and progression
All fire services run the Integrated Personal Development System (IPDS) which allows you to plan and track your career development.
You could work your way up to crew manager, watch manager or station manager. If you're prepared to move between services, you could also become an area manager, a brigade manager or a chief fire officer.
If you're involved in fire safety and prevention work, you can take professional qualifications leading to membership of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).
You could also get a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) licence for driving fire engines.
Apprenticeships In England
We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Firefighter right now.
The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.
Courses In England
- Provider: Wigan & Leigh College
- Start date: 03 September 2019
- Location: Wigan
- Provider: Loughborough College
- Start date: 03 September 2019
- Location: Loughborough