How Much Money Firefighters Earn in Every State

Anut21ng Photo / Shutterstock.com

When an explosion, fire or other disaster strikes, most people run away — but not firefighters. They run toward the danger.

Although firefighters are generally well-respected for their commitment, the profession doesn’t always pay well.

The average annual wage for firefighters was $53,240 as of 2018, the most recent year for which this data is available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Firefighters in a few states have annual wages topping $70,000, while firefighters in a few other states are paid less than half that.

Following are the average annual wages that firefighters receive in all 50 states, starting with the lowest paid.

50. Mississippi

VAKSMAN VOLODYMYR / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $30,370

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mississippi’s firefighters are the lowest paid in the country, on average, earning just over $30,000.

Is there any good news for the first responders of the Magnolia State? Yes. Although earnings are low, so too is the amount of money required to live in the state. Mississippi had the eighth-lowest cost of living in the United States in 2019.

49. Louisiana

New Orleans
IrinaK / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $30,600

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2019 signed a bill into law allowing firefighters and police officers to cite post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in workers’ compensation claims.

The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Ryan Gatti, had passed the state legislature unanimously.

48. Kentucky

Anthony Montoya / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $33,520

A Kentucky fire department’s canine and her handler won the “Top Dog” award at a 2019 national competition held in Boston.

Millie, a Bowling Green Fire Department K9, and her handler, Capt. Michael Cornwell, earned the best-in-class award at a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recertification event. They won the top spot by locating various fire-accelerant odors, beating out about 50 other K9 teams from across the nation.

47. North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina, USA - January 8, 2016: A group of industrious firefighters wielding long handled brushes scrub down a firetruck at a Fire Station - Image
J. Bicking / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $35,500

Firefighters in North Carolina are seeking better benefits for colleagues who are diagnosed with cancer.

The North Carolina General Assembly is considering House Bill 520, also called the Firefighters Fighting Cancer Act. It adds nine types of cancer to the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act, allowing firefighters with these diseases to potentially file occupational compensation claims after spending five years or more on the job.

46. South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, USA - August 2015: Fire department in Charleston, South Carolina. A fire truck parked in its garage, ready for emergency calls. No people.
spatuletail / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $36,300

A South Carolina firefighter responded to a rescue call last year and emerged with a new family member.

Capt. Paul Bryant of the North Charleston Fire Department responded to a call by bicyclers who came across a puppy trapped under rocks. The rescued pup, who was not injured, was put up for adoption.

When Bryant learned that no one had claimed the dog, he decided it was meant to live with him. The pup’s new name? Rocky, of course.

45. New Mexico

yotanan chankheaw / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $36,590

New Mexico unveiled its Fallen Wildland Firefighters Memorial in 2019, honoring more than 30 wildland firefighters in the state who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The memorial features a bronze statue of a firefighter kneeling next to the boots of a fallen comrade. It’s located in Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan, New Mexico, and is open to the public.

44. Maine

generic -- no info
Arisha Ray Singh / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $36,750

Two Maine firefighters died in the line of duty in 2019. Their names, along with that of a third colleague who passed away, were added to Maine’s Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Berwick Fire Department Capt. Joel Barnes died while trying to help another firefighter escape a house fire, according to WGME Channel 13.

Farmington Fire Captain Michael Bell was killed in a suspected propane explosion that injured other firefighters, Channel 13 says.

43. West Virginia

Firemen putting out a house on fire, West Virginia - Image
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $36,820

West Virginia suffered a loss in 2019 when two Kanawha County firefighters died and three others were injured in a crash. Their truck hit a rock wall while responding to a call, reports WSAZ Channel 3.

Killed were Pratt Volunteer Fire Department Lieutenant Thomas Craigo and Assistant Fire Chief Michael Edwards. The department’s chief, the vehicle’s driver, was injured.

42. Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, USA - July 19 2017: Red fire truck number 5 with lights on in front of a house in Burlington, Vermont, USA. - Image
Micha Weber / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $37,070

Gov. Phil Scott in 2019 signed a bill expanding Vermont’s aggravated murder statute to include the killing of a firefighter or an emergency medical provider.

Firefighters and other first responders gathered with lawmakers for the ceremonial signing of the new law.

41. Minnesota

MOORHEAD, MN/USA - MAY 2, 2015: Fireman with the Moorhead Police Department in front of fire truck looking back on the scene where an alarm went off previously. - Image
Ben Harding / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $37,690

A Minneapolis-made CPR tool is being put through its paces by two Twin Cities fire departments.

Called the Elegard, the device elevates the head and upper torso of a person receiving CPR, a technique that improves blood flow to the brain and heart.

The Andover and Coon Rapids Fire Departments are testing out the device, which costs about $6,500.

40. Arkansas

generic -- no info
mat277 / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $37,800

A number of firefighters in one Arkansas city have been training to become certified paramedics, which would allow them to monitor heart activity, use an IV and administer medicine.

While firefighters have emergency medical technician skills already, they don’t always have the advanced training required for paramedics. The department aims to have a certified paramedic on every call in the next three to five years, and its first class was set to graduate in August, FOX16 reports.

39. Kansas

firefighter teaching image. no id
mat277 / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $37,930

The fire department in Topeka, Kansas, also is working to give more firefighters paramedic training so they can provide advanced life support.

Paramedic certification requires 68 credit hours of education, compared with the 12 hours required for basic life-support training as an emergency medical technician (EMT), the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

Firefighters who become certified paramedics will receive a $1,000 bonus. The department’s paramedics will receive additional pay: $2,500 in 2020 and $3,000 in 2021.

38. Utah

HEBER CITY, UTAH - JUNE 28, 2014 Wasatch County Fire waters the grass at the local Mormon Church while kids beat the summer heat in the water. Heber City, Utah, USA. 6/28/14 - Image
Johnny Adolphson / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $37,960

Salt Lake City is helping firefighters and other city workers buy homes. The city’s Community Heroes program offers down-payment assistance to qualifying firefighters as well as nurses, teachers, police officers, dispatchers and EMTs.

Qualified home buyers are eligible for zero-interest, deferred-payment loans to cover down payments or closing costs paid for with sales-tax funds from the city’s new Funding Our Future initiative, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

37. Georgia

Four firemen sitting on front of fire truck in Americus Georgia
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $38,060

Firefighters don’t just save people. Whenever possible, they also save pets.

The animal-rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals awarded Georgia’s Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services Department its Compassionate Fire Department Award in 2019 for rescuing six pet rabbits from an apartment fire.

Cobb County’s firefighters carry pet oxygen masks with them on every call and used them to help the rabbits hop back to health.

36. Tennessee

Prath / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $40,280

Tennessee has a new law, the Barry Brady Act, that helps firefighters who’ve been diagnosed with cancer that’s related to their work.

The law, effective in 2019, gives eligible firefighters who get one of four job-related cancers better coverage, even if the disease was contracted up to five years after retirement. The four cancers, skin or colon cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma now can be treated as work-related injuries, provided a firefighter’s claim meets certain eligibility requirements.

35. Wisconsin

Bellchalerm / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $40,310

Wisconsin firefighters face new minimum training standards as of 2019.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported that the changes bring Wisconsin more in line with neighboring states and federal requirements.

A 2015 assessment by the National Fire Protection Association found that 36% of Badger State fire departments had members who weren’t formally trained in structural firefighting.

34. Idaho

Royalty-free stock photo ID: 75733594 Firemen control burning down an old barn in rural Idaho. - Image
PixelDarkroom / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $40,490

A new law is helping first responders who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their work.

Previously, first responders needed a physical injury to receive help with PTSD. According to KTVB.com, Boise’s fire chief, Dennis Doan, said the new law will “save firefighter and police officer lives.”

33. Alabama

generic - no id
sandyman / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $41,740

In 2019, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a bill that allows for supplemental insurance coverage for paid and volunteer firefighters with cancer under certain conditions.

And at Opelika, Alabama’s Fire Station 1 last year, new baby celebrations ensued in rapid succession. The small-town firehouse welcomed the births of seven babies in four months to its firefighters, most of them first-time fathers.

“I’m a lot more empathetic about somebody else’s child than I used to be prior to having my son,” one new father told the local CBS News affiliate.

32. North Dakota

generic
Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $42,980

Firefighters in West Fargo, North Dakota, have a new way to do their jobs. The Grand Forks Herald says that the department is using four fully equipped medic bicycles, which are Trek mountain bikes stocked with medical bags and supplies.

The bikes make it easier for first responders to maneuver through crowds at festivals and other events to help in emergency situations.

31. Oklahoma

Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $43,450

When Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation donated nearly half a million dollars to 136 rural fire departments in 2019, each department was given a check for $3,500 — $476,000 in all.

The money from the tribe helps buy fuel, equipment and other items needed to protect the people of rural northeastern Oklahoma, the Tahlequah Daily Press reports.

30. Wyoming

Anut21ng Photo / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $43,810

A Wyoming airport received almost $9 million in federal government funds to improve its ability to train firefighters in extinguishing aircraft fires, the Casper Star Tribune reports.

The Casper/Natrona County International Airport plans to use the funds to renovate its Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting training facility.

29. Iowa

Burlington, Iowa fire department putting out fire hydrants and hoses
Ken’s Clicks / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $43,970

The new $7.2 million fire station being built in Marion, Iowa, is planned with modern firefighters and their health in mind, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports.

The station, the city’s third, will incorporate decontamination areas to remove carcinogens from firefighting gear, protecting firefighters and their living space. And the entire station will be built with a focus on nature — with floor-to-ceiling windows, outdoor patios and possibly water features and plant walls — to help support the mental health of those working there.

28. South Dakota

generic -- no id
urbans / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $44,710

When state and local officials in South Dakota need help that goes beyond their expertise, they call on South Dakota Task Force 1. The group consists of about 90 state firefighters from four cities who provide supplemental search and rescue help in emergency response situations.

The highly trained team has specialized skills in handling hazardous materials and technical rescues, such as rescues from swift water, confined spaces and structural collapse.

27. Arizona

Anut21ng Photo / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $45,150

In honor of National Firefighters Memorial Service Day last fall, flags at Arizona state buildings flew at half-mast for firefighters killed in the line of duty.

Many in Arizona were remembering the tragic 2013 Yarnell Hill wildfire, which started from a lightning strike. The fast-moving fire trapped a crew of firefighters in a box canyon, killing 19 of them. They succumbed to the 2,000-degree heat despite using their fire shelters.

26. Michigan

CHINA, MI, USA / JULY 24, 2014: Firefighters respond to a house fire on July 24, 2014 in China, MI. The house was not destroyed, but sustained major damage. - Image
John E Heintz Jr / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $45,440

Michigan fire departments hadn’t been receiving enough money for their work protecting the state’s many colleges and universities until last year. The state uses a formula to determine the amount departments are to receive, but for more than a decade, they’ve only received a percentage of the amounts determined by the formula determined.

A new plan enacted in 2019 changes that. The state is now ensuring that each affected department receives its entire amount due, MLive.com reports.

25. Ohio

PAINESVILLE - OCTOBER 15: Firefighters fighting fire during training on October 15, 2009 in Painesville, Ohio - Image
Jerry Sharp / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $46,310

Firefighters from Norwood, Ohio, earned praise in 2019 for creating and installing a wheelchair ramp for 11-year-old Kailie Worley, who until then had to rely on family to carry her chair up and down the porch steps at her home.

After Kailie’s mother, Emily, asked a local Facebook group for advice, the firefighters, to the mother’s amazement, took on the project, reports WCPO-TV Cincinnati.

24. Nebraska

Dave Weaver / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $47,880

Four new mobile medic units hit the streets of Nebraska’s largest city in 2019, WOWT-TV reports.

Omaha’s new modern ambulances cost approximately $258,000 apiece. They have liquid suspension systems, which helps them to give patients a smoother ride, and each ambulance has a Knox Box, which works like a master key for participating businesses to allow first responders easy access to buildings.

23. New Hampshire

possohh / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $48,640

A video of a New Hampshire fire lieutenant using American Sign Language to communicate with a nonverbal boy went viral last year.

When Lt. Mike Rheault responded to a fire-alarm call in Manchester, he held a brief signing conversation with the young boy, who has cerebral palsy and cannot speak. Rheault taught the child the sign for “firefighter.”

Rheault’s parents were deaf, he told WMUR-TV, which for him meant that ASL was his first language. He has used it during about a dozen fire calls.

22. Delaware

mat277 / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $48,800

A Delaware woman, reportedly angry over “her living situation and unhappy with her life” received a 30-year prison sentence in 2019 for starting a fire that resulted in the deaths of three Wilmington firefighters. She pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder.

Some family members of firefighters injured and killed in that fire have filed a federal lawsuit against the city, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia reports. The lawsuit includes claims that understaffing and cost-cutting at the fire department contributed to deaths and injuries, the report says.

21. Montana

Karin Hildebrand Lau / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $49,230

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock signed the Firefighter Protection Act in 2019, providing workers’ compensation benefits for certain work-related cancers and other illnesses, the Great Falls Tribune reports.

Montana had been one of a handful of states without such a law, which should help firefighters diagnosed with certain job-related illnesses receive compensation.

20. Indiana

photoiva / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $49,460

In part to help recruit badly needed volunteer firefighters, Indiana’s Ivy Tech Community College is offering scholarships totaling at least $250,000.

The community college last year announced a pilot program that will run for two years, in 2020 and 2021, to support scholarships offering free tuition for eligible students working toward a two-year certificate.

Recipients need not enroll in fire science or EMT training courses. But active volunteer firefighters and EMTs who complete a FAFSA financial aid application and get a letter from their department are eligible for the scholarships, says WBIW.com.

Like many fire departments across the country, Indiana fire stations may have too few volunteers to staff emergency calls, the site says, adding that “some departments across the state have (volunteer) rosters in the single digits.”

19. Missouri

Elijah Lovkoff / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $51,100

Volunteer firefighters are getting harder to find across the country. In Missouri, one fire department is tackling the shortage with humor.

The Scott County Rural Fire Protection District posted a “help wanted” sign advertising the job honestly, noting that it features “hard labor, odd hours, low pay, cool helmet.”

18. Alaska

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $51,110

According to the Juneau Empire newspaper, Alaska state troopers, police and firefighters have blamed the lack of a pension in the state’s retirement system as an impediment to adding new employees.

They say the state’s use of a 401(k)-style system rather than a defined benefit package means first responders are seeking work in other states, such as Washington.

17. Virginia

Firefighter
Cindy Goff / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $51,510

Firefighting is a stressful profession, and a group in Virginia is seeking to help relieve some of that anxiety.

According to a report from public radio station WCVE, the Northern Virginia Federal Fire Peer Support Team has trained peer team members in suicide intervention, stress mitigation and related issues. Team members try to break the stigma around mental health care.

16. Texas

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS - APRIL 16 2016: San Marcos Fire Department Smeal custom fire engine
Philip Arno Photography / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $52,520

Texas is trying to help firefighters pay for treatment for cancers related to their jobs. A 2019 law is making it possible for firefighters to file for workers’ compensation covers for one of 11 cancers designated by the state to be related to firefighting.

Those cancers include cancer of the stomach, colon, rectum, skin, prostate, testes and brain as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, malignant melanoma and renal cell carcinoma.

Still, not all cancers, and not all firefighters, meet the eligibility requirements. The Texas State Association of Firefighters is pushing to include more cancers on the list, WFAA TV reports.

15. Florida

FLORIDA, USA - DEC 22: Fire trucks in Key West, Florida, USA. December 22, 2009 in Everglades, Florida, USA
Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $53,340

The job of fighting fires can stress first responders even when they’re not physically present at a fire. Inspired by the rigors of his dad’s firefighting job, a college student in Florida invented an innovative device that could save lives.

According to the St. Augustine Record, Blake Richardson had always heard from his father, who works for the Fernandina Beach Fire Department, that heart attacks are the leading cause of death for firefighters. So he created EaseAwake, a wearable wristband that vibrates for five seconds before the station alarm goes off.

The idea is, if a firefighter is in a deep sleep, the vibrations will wake them more calmly than the jolt of hearing an alarm, and thus would be easier on their hearts. Richardson is hoping to pursue creating the device full-time after graduating from college.

14. Rhode Island

Bristol, Rhode Island, USA - July 4, 2011: Firefighters aboard antique fire engine at Independence Day parade in Bristol, Rhode Island
Dan Logan / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $55,240

Rhode Island lawmakers in 2019 approved bills to mandate time-and-a-half pay for firefighters who average more than 42 hours a week.

Gov. Gina Raimondo allowed the controversial bill to become law without her signature, the Providence Journal reports.

13. Pennsylvania

RAFinkPhotography / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $56,090

Reporting in 2019 by students of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs shows Pennsylvania’s volunteer firefighter population fell from about 300,000 in the 1970s to about 38,000 in 2018.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the report suggests that, among other options, surplus equipment could be sold to raise money to pay for more full-time firefighter salaries.

12. Illinois

FiledIMAGE / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $56,710

Firefighting is more than a job for many — it’s a calling. One Illinois firefighter was off the clock on May 1, 2019, when he heard a radio report of a single-family home on fire in suburban Lisle.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the off-duty firefighter entered the home and rescued all three family members, who were treated at the scene and released. Sometimes, off-duty doesn’t mean what the dictionary says it does.

11. Massachusetts

Maxim Gorishniak / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $60,080

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker in early 2019 vetoed a bill banning the use in household goods of certain flame-retardant chemicals deemed dangerous to firefighters, who breathe them in when treated items burn. He was concerned about banning such flame retardants in car seats and mattresses, The Berkshire Eagle reports.

State lawmakers and firefighters didn’t give up, however. Lawmakers picked up the legislation, which enjoyed bipartisan support, again in late 2019.

10. Colorado

Denver, Colorado - July 28, 2017: Denver Fire Department launches Summer Young Adult Career Exploration Camp.
photo-denver / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $61,160

Colorado firefighters are heroes in many ways, not all of them involving putting out fires. Near Christmas, responders in the town of Fountain rescued a 2-year-old dog that had climbed 20 feet up in a tree and could not get down.

KKTV-11 reports that Lily, the pup, had recently moved with her family to Fountain. After she got stuck in the tree, a firefighter climbed a ladder and lifted her to safety.

9. Maryland

Keith Muratori / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $61,780

Firefighters risk their lives at each fire, but according to the International Association of Fire Fighters, cancer is now the leading cause of death in the line of duty for firefighters, who are exposed to many toxic chemicals through their work.

In 2019, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed two bills to improve cancer-coverage benefits for firefighters. House Bill 595 adds bladder and kidney, or renal cell, cancers to the types of cancers considered as occupational diseases for firefighters under the state’s workers’ compensation law.

House Bill 604/Senate Bill 646 honored Jesse McCullough, a firefighter in Prince George’s County who died in 2018 from metastatic colon cancer related to his job. This bill expands workers’ compensation coverage by closing loopholes relating to time served.

8. Hawaii

Robert Cravens / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $62,670

Firefighters in the Aloha State celebrated good news in 2019. According to the Associated Press, state government and the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association agreed to 2% pay increases in each of the next two years and one-time bonuses each year.

Firefighters will also receive an increase in regular raises depending on their years of service.

7. Connecticut

Seymour, CT Structure Fire
Keith Muratori / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $63,630

A video declaring Connecticut’s need for volunteer firefighters was nominated last year for a regional Emmy Award.

The public service announcement was shot by Matthew Troy, who is a professional cinematographer as well as a volunteer firefighter himself.

It shows the work such volunteers do and the variety of day jobs they hold. Most fire departments in the state are experiencing a volunteer shortage, the Hartford Courant reports.

6. Oregon

ROSEBURG, OR - MARCH 19: Emergency workers extricate a victim from a single car, rollover accident during a spring rain in Roseburg Oregon, March 19, 2013
TFoxFoto / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $66,330

Nine Oregon public employees have filed suit to overturn new state retirement plan cost-sharing provisions approved by the Oregon Legislature in 2019. The cuts were adopted to help reduce Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System’s $27 billion deficit.

Firefighters and other public workers stand to receive smaller benefits under the measure. The controversial provisions apply only to workers earning $30,000 a year or more.

The state’s pension system only has about 73% of the money needed to pay future benefits, according to the Salem Reporter.

5. Nevada

CDBennett / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $66,830

The Professional Fire Fighters of Nevada broke ground last year on the Nevada Fallen Firefighters Memorial, on the grounds of the State Capitol in Carson City.

The memorial honors firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty. In addition to black granite walls carrying names of Nevada’s fallen firefighters, the memorial includes five live-size bronze sculptures. The $500,000 monument is being funded by corporate and private donations.

4. New York

New York, United States of America - November 18, 2016: FDNY Engine 10 and Ladder 10 Firehouse across from World Trade Center site and the 9-11 Memorial in Manhattan
Oliver Foerstner / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $73,710

The words “fireman” and “policeman” don’t represent the gender diversity of those first responders, and now New York state recognized that formally in 2019.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill changing references in state law to those professions to “firefighter” and “police officer.”

3. Washington

SEASTOCK / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $73,850

Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation in 2019 that allows state agencies to ban chemicals and require disclosure of harmful chemicals in a wide range of products.

A representative for the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters praised the decision, saying it “prioritizes action on some of the most dangerous chemicals that can be contributing to cancer in the fire service.”

2. New Jersey

Cherry Hill, NJ - May 8,2012: Cherry Hill Fire Department, with 125 plus firefighters, conducts frequent training sessions.
Alan Budman / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $76,530

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy angered some firefighters and lawmakers in the Garden State last year when he proposed taking $33 million from a hardship fund for state firefighters. Murphy wanted to transfer the money into the state’s general fund, but he changed his mind after a public outcry.

The fund is supposed to be used for burials, medical bills, health care and related costs for active and retired firefighters and their families.

1. California

betto rodrigues / Shutterstock.com

Average wage: $81,580

California may pay the highest wages, but Golden State firefighters work hard for their money. And California firefighters are braced for danger ahead.

In the spring of 2019, Orange County Fire Authority Fire Chief Brian Fennessy told NBC Los Angeles that, on a scale of 1 to 10, the state’s devastating 2018 fire season scored a 10.

At that time, he anticipated the same in 2019, but according to state statistics, the 2019 fire season was milder in comparison. California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection figures for the year (as of Dec. 22) showed more reported fires but far fewer affected acres compared with 2018.

How do firefighters fare in your state? What do you think is a fair wage for this hazardous occupation? Tell us in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Donna Freedman contributed to this post.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Simple Steps to an Awesome Retirement
5 Simple Steps to an Awesome Retirement

The path to your dream retirement begins with these five steps. How many have you already taken?

It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items
It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items

Here’s where to find the sweet spot at the intersection of price and quality.

The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them
The 3 Biggest Regrets of Retirees — and How to Avoid Them

Rescuing a retirement from regret starts with these steps well before it’s time to quit working.

7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon
7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon

Use these websites and other tools to save money — or earn extra cash — when shopping at Amazon.

10 Bad Money Habits That Are Robbing You Blind
10 Bad Money Habits That Are Robbing You Blind

Here’s how to change those bad behaviors.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.