Climate change is a subject that is dear to the heart of the US government, and they are doing everything humanly possible to alleviate its impact on their citizens. One of the effects of climate change is wildfires that are wiping out wild lives all over the world – the incidence of the Amazonian Rainforest fires of 2019 that ravaged about 3500 square miles of the world’s largest rainforest readily comes to mind. Let us know about ‘Salaries for Wildland Firefighters’.
With that in mind, there is a need for more firefighters, and the first question that comes to mind is how much you are likely to earn if you want to become a wildland firefighter. According to Indeed, firefighters make an average of about $47,000 per year, while a wildland firefighter currently makes over $100,000 on average per year. Such a huge difference, right? You should keep reading to find out what makes wildland firefighters special and how much you are likely to earn if you do become one.
Government policy concerning wildland firefighters’ salaries
As of June 2022, the Biden government has signed a document to increase the base wage of wildland firefighters to $15 from its previous $13. There is even a plan to make the payment retroactive to October 2021, which means that firefighters who have been working since at least October 2021 get to be paid in arrears. This is of course the minimum pay per hour. The pay could increase based on some factors that will be discussed later in this article. One of the reasons for which the government is making this increase is that they want the career to attract more people seeing the problem with wildland firefighting. Also, as earlier mentioned, global warming is making all kinds of changes to our ecosystem. This accounts for the heat waves, flash floods, extreme winters, and many other changes to the prevalent weather conditions that we are used to. It is therefore important to prepare and ensure more people are attracted to becoming wildland firefighters by making the salary scale more attractive.
What determines how much you get paid as a wildland firefighter?
Yes, the federal government has declared $15 per hour as the minimum wage for firefighters. However, it may interest you to know that some other factors can boost how much you take home at the end of the month or year. Here are some of those factors –
- Your city – The city of San Diego in the State of California holds the record for paying wildland firefighters the most at about $21 per hour. This is closely followed by Boise in Idaho, which pays about $18 per hour.
- Your state of residence – It is on record that as of July 2022, the best paying states for wildland firefighters are the States of California and New York. The states pay more than $20 per hour on average.
- Your employer – As of the date and based on employee reviews, the best paying employers of wildland firefighters are Wildfire Defense Systems ($25.69 per hour), Colorado Department of Public Safety ($25.61per hour), Boulder County, Colorado ($20.91 per hour), Dust Busters Plus LLC ($20.36 per hour), and Global Medical Response ($18.72per hour).
- Position or rank – As would be expected, the higher you go in rank, the better the pay you get to take home at the end of the month.
- Education – Much like any other career, getting an education will increase your chances of getting hired. However, to be a firefighter – wildland or not, the least requirement is a high school diploma since officers would be trained before they are allowed to work anyway. What you need on the field is mostly your physical strength and the ability to think on your feet.
Why are wildland firefighters getting so much increase in pay?
Wildland firefighters is a high-risk job – much like a soldier going into battle, only they battle with fire and not enemy combatants or insurgents. The truth is, fire can be very unpredictable and many firefighters lose their life on duty or get disabled. For this reason, the federal government is choosing to increase their pay such that the career looks more lucrative and worth the risk to any aspiring American who would like to join the fight against forest fires. Also, with increased pay, wildland firefighters get to provide their families with the essentials and they can live as comfortably as possible.
Do I need a college degree to be a wildland firefighter?
Although the minimum educational requirement to be a firefighter is a high school diploma, getting a degree in subjects like forestry or any related course can increase your chance of a higher-ranking position as well as bump you up the ladder faster.
This is because you get to learn things that would aid you and can give you an edge over the others on the field.
What license do I need to be a wildland firefighter?
As a firefighter, you can be called upon to drive the fire truck at any time. What this means is that you must be a certified driver to be employable.
Wildland firefighters Salaries is a noble profession, especially with the changing climate. Or you could just be interested in the profession based on the fact that you like being one of the men and women in uniform. The fact remains that all hands need to be on deck. The recent salary increase is also a good enough motivation.
- Am I being paid fairly as a wildland firefighter?
Many verified websites will give you an idea of how much firefighters all over the country are making. An example is Indeed’s Salary calculator. That should help you decide if you should approach your employer for a pay raise.
- Can I be a seasonal wildland firefighter?
Yes. Seasonal wildland firefighters only work when there is too much work and the personnel is overworked.
- How much do seasonal firefighters make?
Seasonal firefighters make up an average of about $50,000 per year. Some make as high as $95,000 per year.