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Understanding the Requirements: How to Become a Firefighter



Texas is a big state and needs a bold fire service to tackle major incidents, from fires to medical emergencies. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection maintains specific training requirements for firefighters, including an approved basic fire suppression program and emergency medical qualifications.

Applicants must be between 18 and 35 years old (cannot have attained their 36th birthday at the time of appointment). They must pass a physical examination and background investigation.

Training Requirements

A person interested in becoming a firefighter in Texas should have a clean record and a strong desire to help people in their time of need. Firefighters work in dangerous and stressful situations, including dealing with the aftermath of fires, vehicle accidents, chemical spills, power outages, and significant emergencies like natural disasters.

Many individuals interested in serving their community inquire, How do I become a firefighter in Texas? Seeking guidance on the specific steps and requirements needed to pursue a career in firefighting within the state.

Training is offered at colleges and universities throughout the state. Students should choose a program that matches their career aspirations and the specific needs of local fire departments. Some programs may also offer scholarships and financial aid specifically for firefighters.

During their training, firefighters will learn how to handle equipment and operate vehicles safely. They will also be instructed on emergency medical response. Firefighters in Texas often work alongside EMS personnel to provide immediate care to injured people. They will also conduct inspections and enforce fire codes. Other duties include preparing reports, participating in department meetings, and conducting public education initiatives. Some firefighters may pursue specialized careers in areas like wildfire management and airport rescue operations.

Certification Requirements

Firefighters are required to meet specific physical, mental, and moral standards. A candidate must be between 18 and 35 (cannot have passed their 36th birthday at the time of examination). Must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. Must pass a background investigation. Must have no felony convictions or outstanding court orders other than Class B misdemeanors. Must be able to read, write, and speak English fluently. Must not have been discharged from military service under less than honorable conditions.

Local departments may maintain additional requirements for applicants seeking employment as a firefighter. For example, all firefighters must complete a probationary period of twelve months. During this time, the candidate must pass a written and oral exam. In addition, the candidate must possess a Texas Driver’s license, be able to perform basic emergency medical tasks and maintain physical fitness. Moreover, the candidate must have good corrected visual acuity with no worse than 20/20 vision.

Experience Requirements

In addition to state requirements, cities, and other organizations have rules for hiring firefighters. For example, Burleson requires that applicants be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED certificate. It also says that candidates must pass a physical ability test and have no medical condition or impairment preventing them from performing their duties.

During the application process, applicants must fill out a personal history statement that includes information like their education, employment, military service, and criminal record. They must also submit a physician-certified medical clearance to be considered for the position.

During the interview process, candidates undergo several evaluations, including a psychological assessment. They must also be able to pass the CPAT, which is a fitness test that evaluates strength, agility, and endurance. In addition, they must agree to submit to a background investigation that includes checking their civil, credit, driving, and employment records. Those who do not cooperate with the process may be dropped from consideration.


Firefighters in Texas are paid a competitive salary. In addition to the base pay, firefighters are often eligible for bonus programs, which can further increase their incomes.

Firefighter training programs can last a few months to over a year and combine classroom instruction with hands-on firefighting activities. Similarly, EMT training can take up to six months. Other requirements like a background check and physical agility tests can also add to the total time commitment needed to become a firefighter in Texas.

Once hired, firefighters are responsible for responding to emergency calls at any time of day or night. These emergency calls may be anything from brush fires to life-threatening medical emergencies. This career requires dedication, a commitment to public service, and the ability to work well under pressure. This is a challenging and rewarding career. However, some negatives include the emotional toll of witnessing and responding to tragedies and the dangers involved in fighting fires.