Firefighter must place themselves in imminently dangerous situations on a regular basis. The career requires physical prowess, endurance and a working knowledge of medical procedures. This why a city or other municipality employing a firefighter isn't shy about extending an attractive benefits package to firefighters, including a competitive wage, health care coverage, retirement pay and fringe benefits. This encourages firefighters to seek a given position.
Salary and Fringe Benefits
Firefighting is usually a paid position in large cities and municipalities across the country. Starting salary for firefighters varies by state. According to the Seattle Fire Department's website, as of January 2011 the starting salary for firefighters is $62,856. By contrast, the starting salary for New York City firefighters is $39,370, but $3,704 in fringe benefits, including sick leave, paid vacation and holiday pay, adds to that total. The salary of New York City firefighters increases to $76,488 after five years of service.
Health Care Coverage
Health coverage is another benefit for the majority of firefighters across the country. Some cities, including New York, offer firefighters lifetime health care benefits, including for immediate family members and spouses. This helps firefighters deal with the lingering health effects of constantly entering conditions with poor air quality and the physical toll of being in harm's way on a daily basis. Coverage options range widely and can include medical benefits with prescription drug coverage and emergency medical care along with dental and vision coverage.
Special Programs and Life Insurance
Firefighters are municipal employees, making these professionals eligible for special programs available only to government workers. These benefits include tuition reimbursement programs, credit union membership and access to disability insurance. Tuition reimbursements allows firefighters to receive more in-depth training to secure promotions with the department. Firefighters also have the opportunity to purchase life insurance from state-certified providers. This coverage allows firefighters to leave a lump sum behind to family members at death to pay for funeral expenses and any bills that may remain.
Retirement benefits for firefighters vary by state across the country. For example, firefighters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, become eligible for retirement within 10 years of service while New York City firefighters become eligible for retirement at 20 years of service. Some states allow firefighters to select either a monthly benefit at retirement or a lump sum payment. Other states guarantee firefighters a state pension plan, meaning the state pays firefighters a retirement salary based on the average of career earnings.
How Much Does Firefighter Gear Weigh?
Firefighters train extensively in the techniques necessary to extinguish hazardous fires in a wide variety of environments, such as homes, buildings and...
What Kind of Commissions Do Insurance Agents Get?
Insurance companies hire sales agents to generate new business and service current clients. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the...
What Kind of Training Does a Firefighter Need?
A firefighter deals with both controlled and uncontrolled fires. This can be a dangerous profession and therefore, proper training is required before...
Can You Become a Firefighter With a DWI?
Laws pertaining to firefighter fitness to serve vary by state and local municipality. Regardless of geographic location, all potential firefighters are subject...
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Firefighter?
Firefighters have jobs where they are expected to be in potential danger frequently to help other individuals within the community. Firefighters respond...
Duties of a Firefighter
The duties of a firefighter are multi-faceted, as firefighters need to know how to respond to all types of situations and emergencies....
How Much Do Firefighters Get Paid?
Only about 10 percent of American firefighters get paid for what they do, but those that do get paid average between $30,000...