Fire and Emergency Workers attend emergencies to minimise risk to community safety and security and protect life and property.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Most workers have a Certificate III or higher Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • attending the scene of fires and other emergencies reported to authorities
  • rescuing and evacuating people stranded or trapped in dangerous situations
  • operating pumps, spraying water, foam and chemicals from hoses, portable extinguishers and other appliances to extinguish fires and to disperse or neutralise dangerous substances
  • cutting openings in buildings and crashed vehicles to free occupants
  • maintaining site security systems
  • administering first aid
  • attending and participating in training activities, rescue classes, drills, demonstrations and courses in emergency and fire-fighting techniques
  • training recruits in emergency procedures and practices
  • visiting buildings and potential fire hazards to study access points and locations of hydrants
  • maintaining tools and equipment

Job Titles

  • Emergency Service Worker
  • Fire Fighter
  • Emergency Service Worker (also called Emergency Response Officer)

    Attends the scene of emergencies to minimise risk to community safety and security.

    Specialisations: Industrial Paramedic

  • Fire Fighter

    Responds to fire alarms and emergency calls, controls and extinguishes fires, and protects life and property. Registration or licensing is required.

    Specialisations: Fire Engineer (Army), Fire Prevention Officer, Leading Firefighter

Fast Facts

  • $1,601 Weekly Pay
  • 18,400 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 95.4% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 35.8 hours Average full-time
  • 44 years Average age
  • 7.4% female Gender Share

The number of Fire and Emergency Workers grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
from 18,400 in 2018 to 19,600 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 400 a year).

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Fire and Emergency Workers work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Public Administration and Safety; Transport, Postal and Warehousing; and Mining.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,601 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (95.4%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 35.8 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 7.4% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200812500
200914600
201013600
201118100
201215600
201315300
201417000
201518800
201619800
201713600
201818400
202319600

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsFire and Emergency WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings16011230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety85.4
Transport, Postal and Warehousing4.5
Mining3.4
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing1.8
Other Industries4.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateFire and Emergency WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW34.831.6
VIC22.726.2
QLD14.819.7
SA8.96.7
WA10.010.8
TAS3.82.0
NT3.01.1
ACT2.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketFire and Emergency WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-248.8-9.99.9
25-3413.3-23.623.6
35-4431.0-21.721.7
45-5426.9-20.820.8
55-5911.1-8.88.8
60-648.4-6.06.0
65 and Over0.5-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationFire and Emergency WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree0-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma27.7-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV66.3-18.918.9
Year 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 106-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed. Most workers have a Certificate III or higher Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed. Registration or licensing may be required.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Public Safety VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Fire and Emergency Workers who have strong interpersonal skills, can communicate clearly and have strong attention to detail.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Public Safety and Security

    85% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    78% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. Education and Training

    76% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  4. Mechanical

    75% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  5. Building and Construction

    72% Important

    Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-2011.01 - Municipal Firefighters.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Assisting and Caring for Others

    91% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

  2. Operating Vehicles or Equipment

    90% Important

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  3. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    88% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  4. Performing General Physical Activities

    87% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  5. Handling and Moving Objects

    87% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-2011.01 - Municipal Firefighters.

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