Whether you’ve always wanted to become a firefighter or you’ve just been thinking about a career change in that direction, you’ve probably realized that firefighting is a noble profession. If you’re seriously considering the question “how do I become a firefighter in Texas?”, then there are some things you need to know in order to help make your dreams a reality. Here are 4 requirements you should be aware of before trying to join the fire department.
1. Pass the Physical Exam
Did you know there are physical requirements that applicants need to pass in order to become a firefighter? Because of the nature of the job, being in peak physical condition is a must. Duties while on the job include carrying and extending huge ladders, forcing entry through heavy doors, carrying equipment (and/or people) up and down flights of stairs, dragging heavy hoses, search, rescue and much more. To be able to potentially save others’ lives and make a living doing it, you need to be in the right physical shape.
2. Pass the Written Exam
In order to pass the written exam portion of the application, you’ll need to do a LOT of studying. The test is typically divided up into multiple-choice questions that pertain to specific sections/categories. On top of lots of test prep as far as learning the material, there are also some test-taking basics you can learn to help give yourself a better chance at passing.
3. Meet Basic Requirements
On top of the physical and mental tests that are required to be able to join the fire department, there are some other basic requirements that have to be met in order to even apply. For one, you have to be at least 18 years old. Persons younger than 18 that want to help in the department can typically join as a junior firefighter in a limited capacity, but it’s typically unpaid. You’ll also need to be able to present a valid driver’s license. Be aware that some departments also have a max-age limit you’ll need to be under in order to apply.
4. Graduate From a Fire Academy
This one isn’t necessarily a requirement as much as it is a great way to increase the odds you’ll make the squad. Getting entry-level firefighter certifications is always looked on positively by potential employers. Each department usually has its own academy, but having your Firefighter I and II certifications will give you a leg up on other applicants and may better your chances of moving up in salary quicker.