General Qualifications

In the past, the minimum requirements for the average Firefighter testing process have included:
  • A minimum age of 18
  • Possession of a valid California drivers license
  • Clean driving record
  • Education equivalent to a high school graduation
Physical requirements have included visual acuity of 20/70 uncorrected in each eye and correctable to 20/50 in both eyes, with normal range depth perception and ability to identify primary colors. Hearing has been expected to be within normal range and weight in proportion to height.

Other Requirements
A Firefighter must have good judgment, good communication skills, demonstrated mechanical aptitude, basic math skills, and ability to understand and learn fire fighting material. In addition, a firefighter must be able to face hazardous, life threatening situations, and have coping skills for managing unpleasant and difficult situations. At the same time, they must be team players able to get along with a variety of people in close quarters. The ability to follow orders and work in a paramilitary organization is also important. Fire fighting is physically demanding and personnel in the fire service must be in excellent physical condition.

Selection Process
Most jurisdictions will distribute an examination announcement. To get specific information about a particular agency, contact their personnel office. The application and selection process will be described in the announcement which will be published when a Firefighter position opens. Most selection processes for entry-level firefighter consist of an application screening, a written exam, a physical ability test, and 1 or more oral interviews. A qualifying background investigation and a medical evaluation are usually required.