These Are The 10 Highest Fire Fighter Salaries By State

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 10 months ago
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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do fire fighters get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for fire fighters by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for fire fighters by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for fire fighters after this adjustment? That would be Firefighters.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Washington
  3. Nevada
  4. Illinois
  5. Nebraska
  6. Texas
  7. Missouri
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Oregon
  10. California

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

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How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for fire fighters from the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $71790, so our index value would be:

$71,790 * (100 / 135.9) = $52,825

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for fire fighters.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Fire Fighter Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 New Jersey $67,046 $81,730 121.9
2 Washington $65,522 $68,930 105.2
3 Nevada $60,232 $62,220 103.3
4 Illinois $58,625 $55,460 94.6
5 Nebraska $57,423 $52,600 91.6
6 Texas $56,482 $51,230 90.7
7 Missouri $56,349 $50,940 90.4
8 Pennsylvania $54,497 $55,260 101.4
9 Oregon $54,091 $62,530 115.6
10 California $52,825 $71,790 135.9
11 New York $52,557 $68,850 131.0
12 Indiana $52,089 $46,620 89.5
13 Florida $51,658 $50,780 98.3
14 Michigan $50,101 $44,590 89.0
15 Virginia $49,841 $50,240 100.8
16 Colorado $49,768 $51,660 103.8
17 Wyoming $49,128 $45,100 91.8
18 Montana $48,918 $49,310 100.8
19 Connecticut $48,339 $61,730 127.7
20 Ohio $47,942 $44,970 93.8
21 Oklahoma $47,634 $42,490 89.2
22 Maryland $46,294 $58,100 125.5
23 Rhode Island $46,246 $55,820 120.7
24 Arizona $46,153 $45,230 98.0
25 North Dakota $45,603 $45,330 99.4
26 Delaware $45,098 $45,730 101.4
27 Iowa $44,769 $40,740 91.0
28 Massachusetts $44,715 $59,650 133.4
29 Alaska $44,561 $58,420 131.1
30 Alabama $44,353 $40,450 91.2
31 Tennessee $44,250 $39,560 89.4
32 Idaho $42,280 $38,940 92.1
33 South Dakota $41,523 $43,060 103.7
34 Kansas $41,034 $36,890 89.9
35 Arkansas $40,861 $35,590 87.1
36 Georgia $38,599 $35,280 91.4
37 Wisconsin $38,533 $37,300 96.8
38 New Hampshire $37,829 $44,260 117.0
39 Kentucky $37,602 $34,030 90.5
40 Utah $36,924 $34,340 93.0
41 Mississippi $36,589 $31,430 85.9
42 North Carolina $36,560 $34,330 93.9
43 New Mexico $36,476 $35,200 96.5
44 Louisiana $35,369 $33,530 94.8
45 South Carolina $35,040 $34,760 99.2
46 Minnesota $34,494 $34,770 100.8
47 West Virginia $34,475 $32,200 93.4
48 Hawaii $33,633 $56,470 167.9
49 Vermont $30,437 $36,860 121.1
50 Maine $30,126 $33,380 110.8