5 best and worst states for landing a career firefighting job

Looking for a career in fire? May the odds be ever in your favor.


Both career and volunteer firefighters are needed to keep fire departments running without a hitch. But for those who were born for a career in fire, finding a department that depends more heavily on career than volunteer firefighters may be cumbersome. 

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, only two states in the nation have a higher percentage of “mostly career” fire departments than volunteer. Some states have nearly 100 percent “mostly volunteer” or entirely volunteer departments. If you’re looking to land a career in fire, here are the best and worst places to look. 

5 best states for career firefighters

These five states have the highest percentage of career fire departments in the nation: 

 

1. Hawaii

  • Number of registered fire departments: 11
  • Percentage of career departments: 90.9 percent

2. Florida

  • Number of registered fire departments: 477
  • Percentage of career departments: 51.8 percent

3. Massachusetts

  • Number of registered fire departments: 362
  • Percentage of career departments: 43.6 percent

4. Arizona

  • Number of registered fire departments: 249
  • Percentage of career departments: 42.7 percent

5. California

  • Number of registered fire departments: 872
  • Percentage of career departments: 41.8 percent

5 worst states for career firefighters

These five states have the lowest percentage of career fire departments in the nation and rely almost entirely on volunteers:


1.Delaware

  • Number of registered fire departments: 58
  • Percentage of volunteer departments: 98.3 percent

2. Minnesota

  • Number of registered fire departments: 726
  • Percentage of volunteer departments: 97.2 percent

3. Pennsylvania

  • Number of registered fire departments: 1,796
  • Percentage of volunteer departments: 97.1 percent

4. North Dakota

  • Number of registered fire departments: 325
  • Percentage of volunteer departments: 96.9 percent

5. South Dakota

  • Number of registered fire departments: 293
  • Percentage of volunteer departments: 96.6 percent

For further reading, learn which states are best for making a living as a firefighter, and which cities are becoming too expensive for firefighters to live in

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