Forest Firefighters

Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Median Annual Wage: $45,970

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (63%); Bachelor's degree (15%); Post-secondary certificate (9%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Forest Ranger; Firefighter; Fire Fighter; Forest Ranger Technician; Forestry Technician (Fire); Engine Boss; Fire Technician; Wildland Firefighter; Squad Boss; Forest Fire Warden

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Forest Firefighters.

More Protective Service Careers

  • Extinguish flames and embers to suppress fires, using shovels or engine- or hand-driven water or chemical pumps.
  • Test and maintain tools, equipment, jump gear, and parachutes to ensure readiness for fire suppression activities.
  • Maintain contact with fire dispatchers at all times to notify them of the need for additional firefighters and supplies, or to detail any difficulties encountered.
  • Rescue fire victims, and administer emergency medical aid.
  • Establish water supplies, connect hoses, and direct water onto fires.
  • Patrol burned areas after fires to locate and eliminate hot spots that may restart fires.
  • Inform and educate the public about fire prevention.
  • Participate in physical training to maintain high levels of physical fitness.
  • Orient self in relation to fire, using compass and map, and collect supplies and equipment dropped by parachute.
  • Fell trees, cut and clear brush, and dig trenches to create firelines, using axes, chainsaws or shovels.
  • Maintain knowledge of current firefighting practices by participating in drills and by attending seminars, conventions, and conferences.
  • Maintain fire equipment and firehouse living quarters.
  • Operate pumps connected to high-pressure hoses.
  • Transport personnel and cargo to and from fire areas.
  • Take action to contain any hazardous chemicals that could catch fire, leak, or spill.
  • Organize fire caches, positioning equipment for the most effective response.
  • Participate in fire prevention and inspection programs.
  • Perform forest maintenance and improvement tasks such as cutting brush, planting trees, building trails and marking timber.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Forest Firefighters.

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Forest Firefighters.

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