There is no single path to become a fire fighter in Washington State, but there are some basic qualifications: you should be over 18 years of age, have earned a high school diploma or GED, and possess a valid driver’s license.
Fire fighting is a physically demanding job. A first step might be to complete the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT). This test is designed to provide fire departments with pools of candidates who are physically able to perform essential tasks at fire scenes.
Every fire department uses a different process for recruiting, training, and hiring. To learn what these requirements are, contact your City, Fire District, or Regional Fire Authority.
The WSFF JATC offers career fire fighters a disciplined career training and development program that integrates:
- On-the-Job Training (OJT)
- Professional Certifications: IFSAC, ProBoard
- College-level Academic Studies
Fire Science degrees are offered at several educational institutions around the state, including:
- Bates Technical College
- Everett Community College
- Spokane Community College
- Walla Walla Community College
- Central Washington University Paramedicine Program
- Harborview Medical Center – University of Washington
- Tacoma Fire Department
- Bellingham Technical College
Volunteering, particularly in rural communities, can be a great way to learn more about the fire service.
Many departments rely on centralized private training organizations to test candidates for jobs. The National Testing Network and Public Safety Testing provide testing and forward test scores and information to departments with open positions.
For more information on how to become a firefighter, visit the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) website.