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Firefighters protect the public from the dangers of fire and other hazards by controlling and putting out fires. They also provide pre-hospital care after rescuing people, respond to dangerous goods incidents, maintain equipment, practice fire prevention and provide emergency paramedical services.

  • Avg. Salary $79,824.00
  • Avg. Wage $40.83
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 4,600
  • In Demand Lower
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Firefighters (6262) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Firefighters (G612) 
  • 2011 NOC: Firefighters (4312) 
  • 2016 NOC: Firefighters (4312) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Firefighter is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Interest in ensuring proper operation and maintenance of firefighting equipment


Interest in compiling information to administer first aid and other assistance and to use various firefighting chemicals; and in training to maintain a high level of physical fitness; may provide para-medical aid to accident victims or ill persons


Interest in persuading to inform and educate the public on fire prevention; may supervise and co-ordinate the work of other firefighters

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 02, 2021

Firefighters are trained to promote safety and respond quickly and efficiently to situations that may endanger citizens or their property. For example, they may respond to fires, motor vehicle accidents or hazardous goods spills. They provide medical aid, rescue services, and property and environmental loss control services.

When there is a fire, firefighters:

  • Rescue and evacuate people from the involved structures
  • Establish a water supply
  • Lay out and connect hoses and nozzles, and direct water onto fires
  • Use different methods to suppress different types of fires
  • Enter burning buildings
  • Manage and control ladders to gain access to fires and help people to safety
  • Provide pre-hospital care for fire victims who may be injured or overcome by smoke or toxic atmosphere
  • Try to protect property during or after fire-fighting operations
  • Inspect the site to ensure it is safe once a fire has been put out
  • Deal with hazardous chemicals that may catch fire or spill

When there are other types of emergencies, firefighters:

  • Provide rescue services and medical attention for all involved in incidents including wildland fires, water or technical rescues (such as rope rescues, confined-space rescues or building-collapse rescues)
  • Provide support and direction during disasters
  • Minimize property loss and environmental impact
  • Contribute to or write cause and determination reports for the proper authorities

Between emergencies, firefighters:

  • Take part in activities to educate the public about fire prevention
  • Conduct fire inspection and preplanning activities
  • Maintain and develop skills through continuing education
  • Maintain their equipment
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Firefighters in large centres work shifts with rotating days off. In smaller centres, they may work part time or be on call.

The work is physically demanding, sometimes dangerous and often involves short periods of intense physical labour. Firefighters often have to work at heights, in confined places and in very dark areas. They must wear heavy gear while working in environments that include smoke and extreme high or low temperatures. Like most jobs that involve emergency situations, the work also is emotionally demanding and stressful.

Lifting, pulling and carrying over 20 kilograms frequently is required during emergency situations.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Firefighters need:

  • To maintain top physical condition such as aerobic endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance and agility
  • Good judgement and quick decision-making based on knowledge and experience
  • Ability to give and take orders and function well in a close team environment
  • Ability to learn about related technologies

They should enjoy working with tools, equipment and machinery, having clear rules and organized work methods, and educating people about fire prevention.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Requirements for employment as a firefighter vary from one fire department to another. For example, minimum education requirements range from Grade 10 to a high school diploma with specific courses in physics, math and chemistry. The candidate also may be required to be at least 18 years of age and have:

  • Canadian citizenship or equivalent status
  • Security clearance
  • 20/30 vision without glasses and no abnormalities in colour vision
  • No hearing impairments
  • A valid Class 5 Alberta driver's licence without restrictions (some employers require an Alberta Class 3 and air brake licence)
  • Training or experience in related technologies or trades, first aid or rescue work
  • A better-than-average ability to get along with people
  • An ability to climb great heights and withstand extreme cold and intense heat
  • An ability to perform under great stress
  • Completed accredited fire-protection courses
  • Taken medical emergency training

Depending on the fire department, firefighters may take a training course varying in length from 6 to 12 weeks after they are employed. The minimum mark required to pass the examination at the end of the course is 70%. Afterward, there is a probationary period (6 months to 1 year) of working in a fire station.

Competition for firefighter positions is keen, especially in large urban centres. The selection process includes aptitude tests, fitness tests, medical examinations, security and reference checks and personal interviews. Related experience or training is an asset.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 02, 2021

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Firefighters may be employed full time by city or industrial fire departments or part time in smaller centres.

Most of Alberta is served by volunteer on-call firefighters. Typically, recruitment is done by local jurisdictions. Free accredited training is usually given, in return for service and availability to the local community.

Firefighters who have the necessary experience, seniority and abilities may specialize in areas such as hazardous materials or technical rescues. They also may become apparatus operators, fire officers, training officers, public safety educators, fire inspectors, investigators or chief officers.

In Alberta, 89% of people employed as firefighters work in the Public Administration [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Public Administration industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 4312: Firefighters occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 59 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 02, 2021
Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.09 $57.27 $38.16 $40.79
Overall $18.46 $57.27 $40.83 $42.27
Top $20.00 $57.27 $43.04 $46.36

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Driver Training
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Alberta Firefighters Association website:

Alberta Fire Chiefs Association website:

International Association of Firefighters website:

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website:

University of Alberta, firefighter fitness testing website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 02, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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