15 Highest-Paid Firefighters In California

Firefighters are amazing. It comes as no shock that they get paid so much. They do more than just put out fires. Firefighters help with dangerous materials, car accidents, medical emergencies, floods, and even cats stuck in trees. They are an important part of every society. 

Are you interested in how much firefighters get paid in California? Do you want to know who the highest-paid firefighters in California are? Then this article is for you. We highlighted all of these and so much more. Keep scrolling. 

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How much does an Average Firefighter in California Make? 

As of August 8, 2022, a Federal Firefighter in California makes an average of $63,795 a year. If you need a simple way to figure out how much that is, it comes to about $30.67 an hour. 

This is about $1,226 per week or $5,316 per month. However, firefighters can make more money based on skill level, location, and several years of experience.

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What are the Top Cities in California with the Highest Paid Firefighters? 

These top cities, on average, pay firefighters more than the others. These cities with the salaries are- 

  • San Francisco- $86,305 
  • Bolinas- $85,700 
  • Fremont- $84,283 
  • San Jose- $81,474 
  • Sunnyvale- $79,359 
  • Hayward- $78,979 
  • Inverness- $78,733 
  • Vallejo- $78,488 
  • Concord- $77,582 
  • Santa Rosa- $77,083

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15 Highest-paid Firefighters in California

During our research, we were able to find the fire departments in California with the highest-paid firefighters in California

Alameda County Fire Department

Salary: $84,560

The Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD) serves the unincorporated areas of Alameda County, California. It serves the cities of San Leandro, Dublin, Newark, Union City, and Emeryville. 

With 28 fire stations and 35 companies, the ACFD serves a population of 394,000 people in densely populated urban areas. Over 400 people and 100 Reserve Firefighters help a community of about 508 square miles.

The Alameda County fire department harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.

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#2. Anaheim Fire & Rescue

Salary: $84,000

In California, Anaheim Fire & Rescue harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters. The Anaheim Fire & Rescue department is in charge of protecting the city of Anaheim, California, from fires and taking care of medical emergencies. Anaheim Fire & Rescue is part of the Metro Cities Fire Authority. 

They help multiple departments in and around Orange County talk to each other in an emergency. The department serves over 1.2 million people in an area of 200 square miles with 9-1-1 fire and EMS dispatch (520 km2). 

#3. Bakersfield Fire Department

Salary: $83,760

Bakersfield is a city in the US state of California. It is in Kern County. It is the largest city in Kern County and the county seat. 

As of the 2020 census, 403,455 people were living in Bakersfield. 

This made it the 48th most populous city in the United States and the 9th most populous city in California. 

The firefighters in Bakersfield are resourceful and constantly busy doing their jobs. This is no shock as they harbor most California’s highest-paid firefighters.

#4. The Bennett Valley Fire Protection District

Salary: $83,100

The Bennett Valley Fire District (BVFPD) was a Fire Protection District that served the unincorporated southeast Santa Rosa area outside the city limits in Bennett Valley, California. They provided fire protection, emergency medical services, and risk reduction.

The district was about 65 km2 (25 square miles) and had about 1200 homes. The BVFD also helped with fires and medical emergencies at Annadel State Park. Bennett Valley Fire and the Gold Ridge Fire Protection District. It is a separate special district also in Sonoma County, California. 

The Bennett Valley, Fire Protection District, worked closely with the fire departments and districts around it. 

They help each other with multiple alarms, cover assignments, and other emergencies. It harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.

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#5. Brea Fire Department

Salary: $80,137

The Brea Fire Services Department’s principal objective is to provide life safety services. The agency responds too many urgent circumstances, including fires, explosions, hazardous materials events, medical crises, accidents, and other public assistance requests, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Furthermore, the department has an active Fire Prevention and Emergency Preparedness Program that conducts fire inspections, hazardous process permitting, fire code enforcement, public education, and business emergency planning in line with the California Code of Regulations.

#6. Fire Department of Orange County

Salary: $79,234

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is the organization that protects unincorporated areas of Orange County, California, from fires and takes care of medical emergencies. 

It also contracts its services to 25 cities in the county. The Orange County Fire Department has 11 brigades and 7 divisions.

#7. CDF Fire Aviation Management

Salary: $78,500

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has a CAL FIRE Aviation Management program. Due to how often and bad wildfires are in California, the state has decided to create its aerial firefighting force. This is instead of relying on only national resources. 

It is currently based in McClellan Airfield, which is close to Sacramento, California. The CDF Fire Aviation Management harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.

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#8. Fire Department of Cathedral City

Salary: $75,490

Cathedral City also called “Cat City” harbours most of the highest-paid firefighters in California. It has the second most people in the Coachella Valley, after Indio.

 At the 2020 census, t51,493 people were living there. In 2010, 51,200 people were living there. Due to its vast population, the firefighters in Cathedral City are constantly on their toes.

 They are paid as much as they work, making the most of the highest-paid firefighters in California. 

#9. Chula Vista Fire Department

Salary: $73,659

The Chula Vista Fire Department is located in the second-largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area. As of the 2020 census, 275,487 people were living there, up from 243,916 in the 2010 census. 

There is excess wildlife and forestry in Chula Vista. This makes it a source of tourism. Firefighters in Chula Vista are always busy here. They are either putting out fires or rescuing people from emergencies. 

It harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.

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#10. Compton City Fire Department

Salary: $73,000

Compton is an American city in the southern part of Los Angeles County. It is south of downtown Los Angeles. Compton is one of the country’s oldest cities. It became a city on May 11, 1888, making it the eighth city in Los Angeles County. 

It is popularly called the “Hub City” because it is in the middle of Los Angeles County. This fire department is not only popular, but it is also known for paying its firefighters well. 

No doubt, Compton City Fire Department harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.


Salary: $72,950

FIRESCOPE, which stands for “Firefighting Resources of Southern California Organized for Potential Emergencies” houses most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.

It is a way for agencies in the southern California area of the United States to work together to coordinate their resources for fires and other emergencies. Large wildfires happen every year in Southern California, which has a warm climate and is usually almost completely dry for 4 to 6 months. 

Also, flooding, earthquakes, and fires can cause urban emergencies that happen rarely but could be very bad for the area. FIRESCOPE helps fire services work better together and be more effective when responding to a major incident. 

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#12. Fremont Fire Department

Salary: $72,000

Fremont is a city in the East Bay area of the Bay Area. It is in Alameda County, California. As of 2020, there will be 230,504 people living in Fremont. This makes it the fourth most populous city in the Bay Area, after San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland.

#13. Fresno Fire Department

Salary: $72,000

Fresno is a big city in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Its name comes from the Spanish word for “ash tree.” It is the biggest city in the Central Valley area and the county seat of Fresno County. 

It covers about 112 square miles (290 km2) and had a population of 542,107 in 2020, making it the fifth most populous city in California. 

The firefighters at Fresno do a lot of jobs. As such, they get great compensation. 

Fresno Fire Department harbours most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.

#14. Idyllwild Fire Protection District 

Salary: $69,500

In Southern California, the unincorporated communities of Idyllwild and Fern Valley get served by the Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD)., They are in charge of firefighting, rescue, emergency medical services, and ambulance transport. 

The Idyllwild fire protection district harbours most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.

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#15. Kern County Fire Department

Salary: $68,769

The Kern County Fire Department (KCFD) protects unincorporated areas of Kern County, California. They are responsible for several cities in the county from fires and respond to emergencies. 

The department oversees more than 8,000 square miles of land (21,000 km2). The department serves the cities of Arvin, Delano, Maricopa, McFarland, Ridgecrest, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, and Wasco, as well as the parts of Kern County that are not cities. 

It harbours most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.

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People need firefighters because they save lives. That’s the simplest answer, but it’s not the whole story. There are many good reasons why firefighting is a highly skilled job that makes a big difference in the community it serves. The highest-paid firefighters in California are worth every cent they are paid. 

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FAQS on 15 Highest-Paid Firefighters In California

Who gets paid the most as a firefighter?

In California, the average salary for a firefighter is $77,640. There are more high-paying jobs for fire inspectors and investigators than for other types of firefighters.

Do firefighters in California get paid well?

The average salary for a firefighter is $77,640 per year. Most salaries start at $47,850 and go as high as $123,750. On average, the pay is reasonable. 

What does a fire captain in California get paid?

As of July 26, 2022, the average salary for a Fire Captain in California is $94,131. The range is usually between $86,963 and $110,360.

How much do firefighters at the LAFD make?

In Los Angeles, CA, the average salary for a firefighter is $56,522 per year. As of February 15, 2022, there were 110 reported salaries.

Where do firefighters get the most money?

New York- $84,930
California- $80,990 
New York City- $72,670

How much do firefighters in California who are also paramedics make?

In California, a firefighter who is also an EMT makes an average of $118,000 per year. In California, a firefighter paramedic’s salary ranges from $42,000 to $201,500. This depends on skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.



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