Becoming a firefighter in Australia is widely considered as being a noble and rewarding career path for any who is fortunate enough to pursue it. But just how challenging is the road to becoming a firefighter in Australia? And what salaries and benefits can you expect to earn in this industry?
If this is a career path that you’ve always dreamed of pursuing, read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about getting started!
Is it hard to become a firefighter in Australia?
How hard is it to become a firefighter in Australia? Is it a fairly accessible career path or do you have to be very lucky to secure your place in the firefighting industry? Let’s take a closer look:
- Competitive: it’s moderately difficult to start a career as a firefighter in Australia. Only a small percentage of applicants are accepted given that there are limited available positions. The competition is fierce as there are many, many people who would love to pursue this career option. Don’t let that put you off, but just be aware that this isn’t for the faint of heart.
- Physical fitness: you must be in excellent physical shape to pass strength, endurance, and fitness tests. Ongoing fitness is also required if and when you secure a position as a firefighter as the work itself is very hazardous and incredibly physically demanding.
- Exams and interviews: there are numerous exams on job knowledge, including panel interviews to assess your suitability for a position as a firefighter. As such, you must expect to do a fair amount of research and revision in order to qualify.
- Training: you will also be required to undertake and pass months of intensive firefighter training at an academy. This is mandatory.
- Prerequisites: meeting minimum education levels and having a valid driver’s license are also required. This is because you may be expected to drive the fire truck – even if this is not your position.
- Psychological evaluation: assessing mental fitness and ability to handle stressful situations. Again, being a firefighter means that you will be subject to incredibly dangerous and stressful scenarios and you will be required to stay focused and functional under immense pressure.
- Medical exam: testing your hearing, vision, and lung function, and ensuring you can use a self-contained breathing apparatus. If you are a heavy smoker the chances of you being accepted as a firefighter will be slim due to the fact that smoking does impair your lung capacity and overall fitness.
- Background checks: screening for criminal history and drug use. A good, clean record is required.
- Citizenship: you must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to qualify for a role as a firefighter.
Overall, you need physical stamina, wit, mental toughness, a clean background, and the drive to succeed. Becoming a firefighter in such a competitive industry is very difficult, though not impossible provided you are dedicated and unwilling to give up on your dreams.
The fact is, you likely won’t get the job on your first attempt, but those who persist and continue to try out for a position as a firefighter will significantly increase their chances of success.
You can find more information on firefighter recruitment in Australia here.
How much are Australian firefighters paid?
Now on to the important question: how much are Australian firefighters paid for their hard work?
- The average salary for a firefighter in Australia can range anywhere from $51,000 to $86,000 annually.
- Hourly wage is around $25 to $50 depending on experience and rank.
- Overtime and weekend penalty rates can add significantly to total pay.
- Allowances are provided for unique job conditions.
- Pay raises as you gain skills and advance through the firefighter ranks.
- Superannuation contributions and leave loading included.
Australian firefighters earn solid middle-class incomes that grow substantially over the course of a career. So, not only can you gain immense job satisfaction from this career, but you can also enjoy a good quality of life as well.
What benefits do firefighters get in Australia?
Now that we’ve covered pay, what sort of benefits can Australian firefighters look forward to?
- Paid training and education support.
- Free counselling and wellbeing services.
- Discounts on health insurance.
- Generous leave entitlements.
- Flexible schedules with multi-day breaks.
- Early retirement options.
- Opportunity to advance into leadership roles.
- Job security and stability.
- Excellent medical and dental coverage.
- Superannuation pension contributions.
- Group life insurance.
- Disability and injury compensation.
- Additional allowances and reimbursements.
- Community respect and appreciation.
Firefighting offers excellent benefits on par with other public service roles. The comprehensive benefits package recognizes the demands and risks of the job. This means that you not only enjoy an attractive salary, but a wealth of other benefits as well.
Becoming a firefighter in Australia takes commitment, grit, and perseverance. But it opens the door to a stable, well-compensated public service career with a strong sense of purpose.
For those willing to put in the hard work during selection and training, it’s an incredibly rewarding vocation.
The demand for skilled firefighters will continue as Australian communities rely on these everyday heroes to protect lives and property.
If you are giving this career path some serious thought, we advise that you start collecting as many relevant qualifications as possible, such as breathing apparatus training and other appropriate certifications that will give you that competitive edge when putting yourself forward for consideration.
We hope that this article has been inspiring and wish you all the best of luck with your future career advancements.