Fire and Emergency Workers

ANZSCO ID 4412

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
12,800
Future Growth
1.9%
Weekly Earnings
$2,046
Full-Time Share
93%
Female Share
7%
Average age
44

Summary

Fire and Emergency Workers attend emergencies to minimise risk to community safety and security and protect life and property.

Tasks

  • attending the scene of fires and other emergencies reported to authorities

  • rescuing and evacuating people stranded or trapped in dangerous situations

  • operating pumps, spraying water, foam and chemicals from hoses, portable extinguishers and other appliances to extinguish fires and to disperse or neutralise dangerous substances

  • cutting openings in buildings and crashed vehicles to free occupants

  • maintaining site security systems

  • administering first aid

  • attending and participating in training activities, rescue classes, drills, demonstrations and courses in emergency and fire-fighting techniques

  • training recruits in emergency procedures and practices

  • visiting buildings and potential fire hazards to study access points and locations of hydrants

  • maintaining tools and equipment

Characteristics

Job Type
Community And Personal Service Workers
Skill Level
Medium skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Below average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Practical
  • Helping
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy
  • Very Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
1.9%
(or 500 jobs)
From
24,400
in 2021
To
24,900
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 14,000
2012 18,500
2013 16,400
2014 19,200
2015 18,100
2016 14,400
2017 18,200
2018 14,900
2019 13,900
2020 17,800
2021 24,400
2026 24,900

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 93% of people employed as Fire and Emergency Workers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 27 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 48 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,046 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,850
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,508

    Median hourly earnings are $52, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Fire and Emergency Workers All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,046 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Public Administration and Safety
92.5%
2
Mining
2.0%
3
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
1.5%
4
Arts and Recreation Services
1.5%
5
Other industries
2.5%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

31.0% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

24.5% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

19.5% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.1% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

11.0% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.7% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

2.1% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

1.9% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Fire and Emergency Workers All Jobs Average
NSW 31.0 31.6
VIC 24.5 25.6
QLD 19.5 20.0
SA 7.1 7.0
WA 11.0 10.8
TAS 2.7 2.0
NT 2.1 1.0
ACT 1.9 1.9


  • Around 49% of Fire and Emergency Workers live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
44
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
7%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Fire and Emergency Workers is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.

    Females make up 7% of the workforce. This is 41 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Fire and Emergency Workers All Jobs Average
15-19 0.2 5.0
20-24 2.6 9.3
25-34 21.2 22.9
35-44 28.7 22.0
45-54 29.1 21.6
55-59 12.1 9.0
60-64 4.5 6.0
65 and Over 1.5 4.2
Median Age 44 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Fire or Emergency Worker. Although most workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in fire technology or public safety.

Visit

  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Public Safety VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Fire and Emergency Workers All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 4.6 10.1
Bachelor degree 13.8 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 21.4 11.6
Certificate III/IV 41.5 21.1
Year 12 11.6 18.1
Year 11 2.6 4.8
Year 10 and below 4.5 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Fire and Emergency Workers who have strong interpersonal skills, can communicate clearly and have strong attention to detail.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 54%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 52%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 50%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 50%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 50%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 48%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 48%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 48%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 48%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 46%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

  • 45%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 45%

    Operation and control

    Controlling equipment or systems.

  • 45%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 43%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 43%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 43%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 43%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 43%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 41%

    Equipment maintenance

    Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.

  • 41%

    Troubleshooting

    Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 79%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 67%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 64%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 59%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 52%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 47%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 47%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 46%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 46%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 45%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 45%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 44%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 44%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 40%

    Therapy and counselling

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  • 39%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 38%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 38%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 37%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • 32%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 32%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 61%

    Reaction time

    Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.

  • 61%

    Dynamic strength

    Exercise for a long time without your muscles getting tired.

  • 61%

    Static strength

    Lift, push, pull, or carry things.

  • 57%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 55%

    Multilimb coordination

    Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.

  • 55%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 55%

    Depth perception

    Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.

  • 55%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 54%

    Arm-hand steadiness

    Keep your hand or arm steady.

  • 54%

    Manual dexterity

    Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

  • 54%

    Extent flexibility

    Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.

  • 52%

    Response orientation

    Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).

  • 52%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 52%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 50%

    Auditory attention

    Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.

  • 50%

    Control precision

    Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

  • 50%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 50%

    Rate control

    Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

  • 50%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 50%

    Stamina

    Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 85%

    Helping and caring for others

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.

  • 84%

    Doing physically active work

    Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.

  • 83%

    Handling and moving objects

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.

  • 78%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 73%

    Controlling equipment or machines

    Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  • 70%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 69%

    Driving vehicles or equipment

    Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

  • 68%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  • 68%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 68%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 68%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 68%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 67%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 66%

    Working with the public

    Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.

  • 63%

    Working with mechanical equipment

    Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.

  • 63%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 58%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 58%

    Coaching and developing others

    Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.

  • 56%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 55%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 76%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 52%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 33%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 19%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 19%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 86%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.

  • 76%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 71%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 67%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 67%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 62%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 90%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 87%

    In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

    Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

  • 86%

    Physically close to people

    Work physically close to other people.

  • 84%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 84%

    Outdoors, exposed to weather

    Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

  • 83%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 83%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 82%

    Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

  • 82%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 81%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 81%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 80%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 79%

    Indoors, not heat controlled

    Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).

  • 78%

    Dangerous equipment

    Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.

  • 76%

    Dangerous conditions

    Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.

  • 76%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 76%

    Very hot or cold temperatures

    Work in very hot or cold temperatures.

  • 76%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 75%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 75%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-2011.01 - Municipal Firefighters.


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