Wildland firefighters combat and prevent forest or prairie fires. Forest Fire Tower Watchmen reside in fire towers to observe a particular area for fires and then notify the proper authorities.
What responsibilities will I have?
What education and training is required?
The wildland firefighter field is competitive, so while a high school diploma will suffice, it is recommended that you pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in fire science or natural resources.
Possessing a physical training regimen is also preferable, as wildland firefighters should be in top physical condition. You must be able to lift heavy equipment and be on your feet for long periods of time. Fires may last several hours, so you also must be prepared to work significant overtime during fire season.
To pursue a career as a Wildland Firefighter:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, natural resources, environmental science, biology, chemistry, physical education, and mathematics.
Wildland firefighters and fire tower watchmen typically work for specialized fire departments and wildland firefighting agencies, fire safety organizations and associations, preserves and parks, or other conservation and natural resources organizations. A position as a wildland firefighter or fire tower watchman may be full-time or you may be employed only during fire season.
Future Job Market/Outlook
The future outlook for a wildland firefighter will be fair over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations