Fire Fighters respond to fire alarms and emergency calls, control and extinguish fires, and protect life and property.
Specialisations: Fire Engineer (Army), Fire Prevention Officer, Leading Firefighter.
Completing a recruit training program with the relevant state or territory fire authority is needed to work as a Fire Fighter.
Attends the scene of fires and other emergencies.
Rescues and evacuates people stranded or trapped in dangerous situations.
Operates pumps, sprays water, foam and chemicals from hoses, portable extinguishers and other appliances to extinguish fires and to disperse or neutralise dangerous substances.
Cuts openings in buildings and crashed vehicles to free occupants.
Maintains site security systems.
Administers first aid.
Attends and participates in training activities, rescue classes, drills, demonstrations and courses in emergency and fire-fighting techniques.
Trains recruits in emergency procedures and practices.
Visits buildings and potential fire hazards to study access points and locations of hydrants.
Maintains tools and equipment.
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Fire and Emergency Workers, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 94% of people employed as Fire Fighters work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 28 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).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Fire Fighters work in the Public administration and safety industry.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Fire Fighters||All Jobs Average|
Around 48% of Fire Fighters live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
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.
Age and gender
The median age of Fire Fighters 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 6% of the workforce. This is 42 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)
|Age Bracket||Fire Fighters||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||1.4||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Completing a recruit training program with the relevant state or territory fire authority is needed to work as a Fire Fighter.
- 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)
|Type of Qualification||Fire Fighters||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||4.6||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||4.3||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 can be improved through training or experience.
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.
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.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Looking for ways to help people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking to others.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
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.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Maintaining equipment and deciding what maintenance will be needed in the future.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
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.
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.
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.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
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.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
38%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
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.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Quickly move your hand, finger, or foot when a sound, light, picture or something else appears.
Exercise for a long time without your muscles getting tired.
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Decide which thing is closer or further away from you, or decide how far away it is.
Communicate by speaking.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Quickly choose the right movement of the hand, foot, or other body part when there are two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures).
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
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.
Change when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Exercise for a long time without getting winded or out of breath.
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 are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
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.
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.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
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.
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.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.
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.
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.