10 cities where firefighters earn more than the average wage

FireRescue1 has uncovered numerous areas where firefighter salaries are higher than average.


By Megan Wells, FireRescue1 Contributor 

While most firefighters didn't get into the line of work for the pay, a higher salary can go a long way to improving a person's quality of life, arguably making them more effective, professionally, too. And a profession that saves lives should be worth more than minimum wage, right?

FireRescue1 analyzed 450 areas to see how firefighter wages measured up to other occupations. We've listed the top 10 areas paying the largest (and most favorable) pay difference, and included an interactive map detailing which areas are above the mark when it comes to paying firefighters. A full methodology can be found below.

HERE ARE THE TOP 10 AREAS WITH THE MOST FAVORABLE DIFFERENCE IN PAY:

1. Tacoma, Washington    

  • Firefighter average salary: $79,290.00    
  • All industry average salary: $48,320.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $30,970.00

2. Hialeah, Florida    

  • Firefighter average salary: $74,750.00    
  • All industry average salary: $45,110.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $29,640.00

3. Miami, Florida    

  • Firefighter average salary: $74,750.00    
  • All industry average salary: $45,110.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $29,640.00

4. Medford, Oregon    

  • Firefighter average salary: $69,950.00    
  • All industry average salary: $42,750.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $27,200.00

5. Elizabeth, New Jersey    

  • Firefighter average salary: $85,120.00    
  • All industry average salary: $58,330.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $26,790.00

6. Newark, New Jersey    

  • Firefighter average salary: $85,120.00    
  • All industry average salary: $58,330.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $26,790.00

7. Long Beach, California    

  • Firefighter average salary:$79,130.00    
  • All industry average salary: $54,000.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $25,130.00

8. Henderson, Nevada    

  • Firefighter average salary: $66,660.00    
  • All industry average salary: $42,070.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $24,590.00

9. Las Vegas, Nevada    

  • Firefighter average salary: $66,660.00    
  • All industry average salary: $42,070.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $24,590.00

10. Los Angeles, California    

  • Firefighter average salary: $78,520.00    
  • All industry average salary: $54,000.00    
  • Difference in annual wage: $24,520.00

Full methodology:

  • We used the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary data, to identify the mean wage in 450 metro areas for all occupations.
  • BLS collects wage data over the course of a three-year period that samples nearly 1.2 establishments and allows for a detailed estimate of salary data based on geography, industry, and occupation. 
  • Using the same set of data we identified the mean wage for firefighters in the same 450 metro areas.

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