How to Become a Firefighter in New Jersey

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To become a firefighter in New Jersey, there are several things you need to consider. Firefighters have to pass a series of physical and written examinations, so minimum employment requirements dictate that firefighters be very physically fit and have at least a high school diploma. You must also study fire science, fire engineering and New Jersey building codes, and you must be certified in first aid medical rescue. Firefighters, in some circumstances, must volunteer for 6 months to a year before they are allowed to entered into paid positions. Here are some other tips if you want to become a firefighter in New Jersey.

  • Get a fire science degree. Many colleges have 2- or 4-year degree programs in either fire science or fire engineering. Although a degree is not a condition of employment, it will help your chances to secure a good job later. New Jersey has lots of educational opportunities with more than 30 colleges that offer fire science or other firefighting education programs.

  • Complete training at a local or county firefighter's training facility. Entry-level trainees are required to complete additional firefighting training at an academy. There are more than 20 New Jersey counties that currently have county firefighter training facilities. Middlesex, Morris and Camden counties have some of the oldest and most reputable fire training facilities approved by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

  • Apply for a job in the county of your choice after you have completed your academic and job training requirements. Graduating from a 2- or 4-year school or a training academy does not mean you will be able to find a job. The New Jersey Department of Personnel has a waiting list for some New Jersey counties. This means that you may have to wait for employment opportunities to open up. In this case, you might want to volunteer to get much-needed on-the-job experience.

  • Pass examinations. There are a series of physical, written and medical examinations you must pass to become a firefighter in New Jersey. Applicants must also fill out a Firefighter Medical Clearance and Disclaimer of Liability form. If you want to become a firefighter in New Jersey, a doctor must fill out this form to prove it is safe for you to train and work as a firefighter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Applications and other firefighter exams typically cost between $35 and $50 dollars.
  • You cannot be more than 35 years old if you want to become a firefighter in New Jersey.

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