Fire Fighters respond to fire alarms and emergency calls, control and extinguish fires, and protect life and property.

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

You can work as a Fire Fighter without formal qualifications. You will need to do a recruit training program with your state or territory fire authority as well as continued on the job training.

Tasks

  • Attends the scene of fires and other emergencies.
  • Rescues and evacuates people stranded or trapped in dangerous situations.
  • Operates pumps, sprays water, foam and chemicals from hoses, portable extinguishers and other appliances to extinguish fires and to disperse or neutralise dangerous substances.
  • Cuts openings in buildings and crashed vehicles to free occupants.
  • Maintains site security systems.
  • Administers first aid.
  • Attends and participates in training activities, rescue classes, drills, demonstrations and courses in emergency and fire-fighting techniques.
  • Trains recruits in emergency procedures and practices.
  • Visits buildings and potential fire hazards to study access points and locations of hydrants.
  • Maintains tools and equipment.

More about Fire and Emergency Workers

All Fire and Emergency Workers

  • $2,066 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Fire Fighters

  • 12,200 workers Employment Size
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • 94% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 48 hours Average full-time
  • 44 years Average age
  • 6% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Fire Fighters (in their main job) grew strongly over 5 years:
from 11,200 in 2011 to 12,200 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Location: Fire Fighters work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Public Administration and Safety industry.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (94%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 48 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 44 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 6% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety90.3
Transport, Postal and Warehousing4.7
Construction1.6
Arts and Recreation Services1.1
Other Industries2.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateFire FightersAll Jobs Average
NSW32.131.6
VIC24.925.6
QLD19.420.0
SA7.27.0
WA9.410.8
TAS2.82.0
NT2.11.0
ACT2.01.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketFire FightersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.2-5.05.0
20-242.5-9.39.3
25-3421.2-22.922.9
35-4428.9-22.022.0
45-5429.1-21.621.6
55-5912.2-9.09.0
60-644.4-6.06.0
65 and Over1.4-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationFire FightersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate4.6-10.110.1
Bachelor degree14.0-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma20.6-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV42.3-21.121.1
Year 1211.6-18.118.1
Year 112.6-4.84.8
Year 10 and below4.3-12.512.5

You can work as a Fire Fighter without formal qualifications. You will need to do a recruit training program with your state or territory fire authority as well as continued on the job training.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • manual drivers licence
  • national police check
  • first aid certificate
  • medical test
  • fitness test
  • Psychometric or aptitude tests

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • 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.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and personal service

    79% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Public safety and security

    67% Skill level

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

  3. Mechanical

    64% Skill level

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

  4. Education and training

    59% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  5. Building and construction

    52% Skill level

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Wear common protective or safety equipment

    90% Important

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  2. In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

    87% Important

    Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

  3. Physically close to people

    86% Important

    Work physically close to other people.

  4. Face-to-face discussions

    84% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  5. Outdoors, exposed to weather

    84% Important

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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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