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Working as a Fire Chief

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a fire chief. For example, did you know that they make an average of $48.4 an hour? That's $100,663 a year!

What Does a Fire Chief Do

There are certain skills that many fire chiefs have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed critical-thinking skills, detail oriented and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a fire chief, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.8% of fire chiefs included fire service, while 7.2% of resumes included personnel management, and 7.1% of resumes included public safety. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the fire chief job title. But what industry to start with? Most fire chiefs actually find jobs in the technology and government industries.

How To Become a Fire Chief

If you're interested in becoming a fire chief, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 27.2% of fire chiefs have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 9.7% of fire chiefs have master's degrees. Even though some fire chiefs have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a fire chief. When we researched the most common majors for a fire chief, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on fire chief resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a fire chief. In fact, many fire chief jobs require experience in a role such as emergency medical technician. Meanwhile, many fire chiefs also have previous career experience in roles such as captain or fire captain.

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Average Salary$100,663

Fire Chief Jobs

Fire Chief Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Fire Chief. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Fire Chief Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Fire Chief resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Fire Chief Career Paths

Top Careers Before Fire Chief

Top Careers After Fire Chief

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Fire Chief

Fire Chiefs in America make an average salary of $100,663 per year or $48 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $166,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $60,000 per year.
Average Salary
$100,663

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range83k - 178k$122k$122,149
Salary Range89k - 164k$121k$120,914
Salary Range84k - 161k$116k$116,429
Salary Range79k - 164k$114k$114,373
Salary Range77k - 161k$112k$112,267
Salary Range75k - 158k$110k$109,559
$65k
$178k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Fire Chief
Fire Chief
City of Johnson-Recruitment
City of Johnson-Recruitment
10/31/2020
10/31/2020
$58,00010/31/2020
$58,000
Fire Chief
Fire Chief
International City Management
International City Management
10/30/2020
10/30/2020
$208,22310/30/2020
$208,223
Fire Chief
Fire Chief
International City Management
International City Management
10/23/2020
10/23/2020
$81,03610/23/2020
$81,036
Fire Chief
Fire Chief
International City Management
International City Management
10/23/2020
10/23/2020
$92,32510/23/2020
$92,325
Fire Chief
Fire Chief
City of Pasadena, Ca
City of Pasadena, Ca
10/15/2020
10/15/2020
$208,22310/15/2020
$208,223
See More Recent Salaries

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Fire Chief Demographics

Gender

male

90.5%

female

6.3%

unknown

3.2%

Ethnicity

White

70.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Black or African American

10.4%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0%

German

20.0%

Korean

15.0%
See More Demographics

Fire Chief Education

Degrees

Bachelors

27.2%

Associate

24.8%

High School Diploma

21.8%

Top Colleges for Fire Chiefs

1. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA

Tuition and fees
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

2. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Tuition and fees
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

3. Providence College

Providence, RI

Tuition and fees
$50,528
Enrollment
4,079

4. John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York

New York, NY

Tuition and fees
$7,270
Enrollment
12,852

5. California State University - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$6,749
Enrollment
24,163

6. Worldwide Campus

Daytona Beach, FL

Tuition and fees
$9,360
Enrollment
10,254

7. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach, FL

Tuition and fees
$35,814
Enrollment
5,925

8. Vermont Technical College

Randolph, VT

Tuition and fees
$15,108
Enrollment
1,350

9. Lewis University

Romeoville, IL

Tuition and fees
$32,450
Enrollment
4,217

10. Saint Thomas University

Miami Gardens, FL

Tuition and fees
$31,830
Enrollment
986
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Fire Chief

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Fire Chief

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.8% of fire chiefs listed fire service on their resume, but soft skills such as critical-thinking skills and detail oriented are important as well.

  • Fire Service, 8.8%
  • Personnel Management, 7.2%
  • Public Safety, 7.1%
  • Fire Prevention, 6.1%
  • Fire Apparatus, 4.9%
  • Other Skills, 65.9%
  • See All Fire Chief Skills

Best States For a Fire Chief

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a fire chief. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Fire chiefs make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $156,700. Whereas in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, they would average $124,152 and $123,798, respectively. While fire chiefs would only make an average of $123,207 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Fire Chief Jobs:
2
Highest 10% Earn:
$216,000
Location Quotient:
1.91
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Maine

Total Fire Chief Jobs:
8
Highest 10% Earn:
$209,000
Location Quotient:
3.52
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Connecticut

Total Fire Chief Jobs:
17
Highest 10% Earn:
$206,000
Location Quotient:
2.33
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Fire Chief Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a fire chief. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless fire chief resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Fire Chief Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless fire chief resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Fire Chief Employers

1. US Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$53,674
Fire Chiefs Hired: 
98+
2. US MARINE CORPS
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$57,440
Fire Chiefs Hired: 
35+
3. KBR
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$56,787
Fire Chiefs Hired: 
12+
4. Air National Guard
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$52,840
Fire Chiefs Hired: 
10+
5. DynCorp International
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$55,806
Fire Chiefs Hired: 
10+
6. United States Department of Defense
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$49,096
Fire Chiefs Hired: 
8+

Fire Chief Videos

Recently Added Fire Chief Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020