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Summary Report for:
33-2011.02 - Forest Firefighters

Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Sample of reported job titles: Firefighter, Fire Fighter, Engine Boss, Forest Fire Warden, Forest Ranger, Wildland Firefighter, Forest Ranger Technician, Forestry Technician (Fire), Squad Boss, Fire Technician

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Collaborate with other firefighters as a member of a firefighting crew.
  • Extinguish flames and embers to suppress fires, using shovels, or engine- or hand-driven water or chemical pumps.
  • Test and maintain tools, equipment, jump gear and parachutes to ensure readiness for fire suppression activities.
  • Maintain contact with fire dispatchers at all times to notify them of the need for additional firefighters and supplies, or to detail any difficulties encountered.
  • Rescue fire victims, and administer emergency medical aid.
  • Establish water supplies, connect hoses, and direct water onto fires.
  • Patrol burned areas after fires to locate and eliminate hot spots that may restart fires.
  • Inform and educate the public about fire prevention.
  • Participate in physical training to maintain high levels of physical fitness.
  • Orient self in relation to fire, using compass and map, and collect supplies and equipment dropped by parachute.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Fire hoses or nozzles — Fire hose nozzles; Fire hoses; High pressure fire hoses; Synthetic fire hoses
Fire pump sets — Backpack pumps; Foam pumps; Power pumps
Fire suppression hand tools — Fire axes; McLeod tools; Pulaski tools; Single-bit axes
Picks — Mattocks
Shovels — Forest fire shovels

Technology used in this occupation:

Data base user interface and query software — Fire incident reporting systems; Microsoft Access
Electronic mail software — Email software
Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Corel WordPerfect software; Microsoft Word

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Knowledge

Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

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Skills

Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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Abilities

Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.

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Work Activities

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Work Context

Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — How often does this job require working in a closed vehicle or equipment (e.g., car)?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?
Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

There are 2 recognized apprenticeable specialties associated with this occupation:
Wildland Fire Fighter Specialist; Fire Suppression Technician

To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information external site website.

For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship external site website.

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
63   High school diploma or equivalent Help
15   Bachelor's degree
  Post-secondary certificate Help

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Interests

Interest code: RS

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

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Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

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Related Occupations

19-4093.00 Forest and Conservation Technicians Green Occupation
33-1021.01 Municipal Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors
33-1021.02 Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors
33-2011.01 Municipal Firefighters   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
37-1012.00 First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers
47-4041.00 Hazardous Materials Removal Workers Green Occupation
47-5012.00 Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas
47-5031.00 Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters
49-9051.00 Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers   Green Occupation Green
53-5021.01 Ship and Boat Captains

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages data collected from Firefighters.
Employment data collected from Firefighters.
Industry data collected from Firefighters.

Median wages (2012) $21.75 hourly, $45,250 annual
Employment (2012) 307,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 104,000
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Forest Firefighters

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Firefighters external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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