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Working & jobs

Become a firefighter

The Philadelphia Fire Department recruits new firefighters about every two years. The last recruitment period was May 6 to July 26, 2019. If you want to be notified when the next recruitment period begins, fill out the job interest form.

Recruitment period

There are several steps to becoming a firefighter. At each step of the process, some people are removed from consideration.

1. A civil service examination. High scorers on the exam will be invited to the next phase.

2. Department interviews, criminal investigations, background investigations, and a medical examination.

3. A 24-week academic, practical, and physical training program at the Philadelphia Fire Academy. At the Academy, cadets learn basic firefighting and emergency medical services.

Once a person has completed training, they are sworn in as a firefighter and assigned to an engine or ladder company. Each new firefighter must complete a six-month probationary period.

Salary and benefits

Pay increases as a firefighter’s career progresses, and opportunities for advancement become available.


The yearly salary for a firefighter recruit in the Fire Academy is $56,227. After graduating the Academy as a firefighter, you receive a pay increase. There are scheduled increases in pay to the present maximum of $78,092 a year.

Overtime is paid at the level of time and a half. There are excellent opportunities for promotion, which include a raise in salary. Firefighters are paid biweekly. Salary does not include your annual uniform allowance or holiday time.


  • Healthcare coverage
  • Retirement pension
  • Deferred compensation (457b plan)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Paid vacation
  • Paid training
  • Career advancement

Employment Requirements


High School graduate or GED

Physical and medical requirements

Ability to physically perform the duties and work in the environmental conditions required of the position.


All candidates must possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license prior to appointment as a firefighter recruit. Anyone with a suspended or revoked license will not pass the background investigation. Any applicant who possesses outstanding fees for traffic violations in the City of Philadelphia must make payment arrangements with the Municipal Court’s Traffic Division.


Applicants must be 18 years of age at the time of hire.