Wildland Firefighter Salary 2023| How Much Does a Wildland Firefighter Make?

If you want a career that allows you to help people and save lives, you may consider pursuing a career in wildland firefighting. If this is the face, one of the questions that may bug your mind is, “how much does a wildland firefighter make?” This article discusses all you need to know about an average wildland firefighter salary.

The wildland firefighter career is one of the best and most fulfilling careers to pursue. In this article, you will find out what wildland firefighters do, where they work, how much wildland fighters earn and how to become.

Why don’te we get right into it!

Who is a Wildland Firefighter?

A wildland firefighter is an expert who works with crews to put out and prevent wildfires as well as forest fires all around the US and the world at large.

As much as the career is fulfilling, wildland fighter career can also be dangerous as it involves going into the wild to fight raging fire. However, most crews have successfully fought off fires without incidents.

As a wildland firefighter, you will be trained and equipped with the necessary skills needed to be safe in the field. Also, you will be trained to use specialized equipment to fight fie as well as some protective equipment such as fire resistant pants, shirts, boots, gloves, helmet, eye protection and shelter.

Wildland firefighters also use the Pulaski tool which combines an ax and an adze, and the McLeod tool combining a hoe and a rake used for cutting ranches and raking firelines.

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Where Do Wildland Firefighters Work?

Wildland firefighters work in forests, grasslands and other outdoor places where wildlife hazards are likely to occur.

What Does a Wildland Firefighter Do?

Basically, the responsibilities of a wildlife firefighter involves putting out as well as preventing wildfires. Also, a wildland firefighter may:

  • Fight and extinguish wildfires
  • Perform fire prevention activities such as preparing firebreaks
  • Rescue people trapped in wildfire situations
  • Provide emergency medical treatment as needed
  • Maintain and clean vehicles and equipment
  • Work with fire suppression crews to control and extinguish fires
  • Prepare for fire season by maintaining equipment, conducting training exercises, as well as performing other tasks to ensure readiness.
  • Monitor weather conditions to predict fire danger levels as well as plan fire response.
  • Clear brush from firebreaks and fire lines, as well as thin out trees in high-risk areas.
  • Determine the cause of fires as well as investigate their origins using fire investigation techniques.
  • Estimate fire spread, velocity, and intensity when fighting fires.
  • Conduct fire prevention activities such as public education programs as well as community outreach efforts.
  • Conduct controlled burns in wilderness areas to reduce the risk of uncontrolled fires.

What is the Average Wildland Firefighter Salary?

As a wildland firefighter, your income may be affected by a lot of factors such as location, years of experience and your role as a wildland firefighter. However, the list below are reports from verified sources reporting the average wildland firefighter salary. They will help you determine how much you should expect to earn as a wildland firefighter.

  • According to USNews, the average firefighter salary is between $52,500 – $70,870 per year.
  • According to Recruiter, the average wildland firefighter salary is between $26,940 – $93,790 per year.
  • Also, according to ZipRecruiter, the average wildland firefighter is $48,270 per year and $23 per hour.
  • Indeed reports an average wildland firefighter salary of $19.77 per hour and $46,157 per year.

To conclude, the average wildland firefighter salary is between $26,940 and $93,790 per year.

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What are the Top Highest Paying Cities for Wildland Firefighters?

Below is a table illustrating the top highest paying cities for wildland firefighter jobs in the US:

San Jose, California$125,680
San Francisco, California$109,480
Vallejo, California$105,670
Los Angeles, California$100,230
Oxnard, California$99,260

How Can I Become a Wildland Firefighter?

To become a wildland firefighter, you must first have obtained a high school diploma or GED which is the minimum requirement. Most fire departments will require that you have bachelor’s degree in forestry, biologynatural resources or any other related field.

Otaining these degrees will help to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to work effectivelyin the field.

Also, to become a wildland firefighter, you will need undergo a training through the National Fire Academy and the U.S,. Forest Service.

The National Fire Academy offers a variety of training programs which includes the Firefighter I and II courses, the Firefighter III course as well as the Firefighter Specialist course.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service offers candidates training programs for wildland firefighters.

Also, you will be required to posses certifications and licenses. To obtain these, you will be required to pass a certification exam to show your knowledge as well as your experience in the field.

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What are the Requirements to Become a Wildland Firefighter?

If you are interested in a career as a wildland firefighter, here are te requirements you will need to fulfill:

  • Earn a high school diploma, GED or its equivalent
  • Train to gain the ability to pass the fitness requirement
  • Take the fire science as well as the emergency medical technician courses at a vocational school or community college.
  • Volunteer for firefighter positions to gan some experience
  • Pass the required written and physical ability tests
  • Complete the fire academy training in addition with any other required certifications for wildland firefighting.

Wildland Firefighter Skill Requirements

The following are the skills you are required to posses as a wildland firefighter:

  • Firefighting skills
  • Excellent communication skils
  • Physical fitness
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Compassion
  • Active listening

Eligible Requirements to Become a Wildland Firefighter in the US

Below is a list of the eligibility requirement to become a wildland firefighter in the US:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
  • Must meet Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM) qualifications
  • Position requires a Work Capacity Test (WCT)
  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license
  • Subject to negative drug test prior to entrance on duty
  • Must meet Maximum Entry Age (MEA) requirements, ages 18-37.

Source: USDA.Gov.

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Career Prospect Wildland Firefighter

According to Recruiter, the overall job outlook for wildland firefighters has been positive sinccec 2014 and is expected to rise with an expected 44,460 new jobs filled by 2029.


Although it comes with some risks, a wildland firefighter career is one of the best and most fulfilling careers to pursue. We hope this article will help you find all the answers you need about becoming a wildland firefighter.

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