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Career and Education Opportunities for Fire Fighters in Baltimore, Maryland

Fire fighters can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Baltimore, Maryland area. There are currently 5,360 jobs for fire fighters in Maryland and this is projected to grow by 10% to about 5,880 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for fire fighters, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.5% over the next eight years. Fire fighters generally control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.

Fire fighters earn about $23 per hour or $48,630 per year on average in Maryland and about $21 per hour or $44,260 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fire Control, people working as fire fighters in Maryland earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Fire Control nationally. Jobs in this field include: crash, fire, and rescue fire fighter, fire apparatus engineer, and rescue worker.

The Baltimore area is home to 102 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Baltimore where you can get a degree as a fire fighter. The most common level of education for fire fighters is a post-secondary certificate. You can expect to spend a short time training to become a fire fighter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fire Fighter

In general, fire fighters control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.

Fire fighters decide on and attach hose nozzles, depending on fire type, and direct streams of water or chemicals onto fires. They also lay hose lines and connect them to water supplies. Equally important, fire fighters have to respond to fire alarms and other calls for assistance. They are often called upon to dress with equipment such as fire resistant clothing and breathing apparatus. They are expected to clean and maintain fire stations and fire fighting equipment and apparatus. Finally, fire fighters ready written reports that detail specifics of fire incidents.

Every day, fire fighters are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to respond quickly in general. It is also important that they exert themselves over and over again for long periods of time.

It is important for fire fighters to spray foam onto runways and rescue aircraft crew and passengers in air-crash emergencies. They are often called upon to examine buildings for fire hazards and adherence to fire prevention ordinances, testing and checking smoke alarms and fire suppression equipment as needed. They also salvage property by removing broken glass, pumping out water, and ventilating buildings to remove smoke. They are sometimes expected to establish firelines to inhibit unauthorized persons from entering areas near fires. Somewhat less frequently, fire fighters are also expected to examine fire sites after flames have been extinguished to insure that there is no further danger.

Fire fighters sometimes are asked to protect property from water and smoke using waterproof salvage covers and deodorants. They also have to be able to take action to contain hazardous chemicals that might catch fire or spill and participate in courses, seminars and conferences, and study fire science literature, to learn firefighting techniques. And finally, they sometimes have to lay hose lines and connect them to water supplies.

Like many other jobs, fire fighters must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Baltimore include:

  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
  • Forest Fire Lookout. Enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards. Report forest fires and weather conditions.
  • Forest Firefighter. Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.
  • Lifeguard. Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fire Fighter Training

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated four and three students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Oxygen Administration: Prepares laypersons and professional rescuers with the knowledge and skills needed to know when and how to use supplemental oxygen and breathing devices.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

Incident Safety Officer - Fire Suppression Certification: A fire department incident safety officer's mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community.

For more information, see the Fire Department Safety Officers Association website.

Health & Safety Officer Certification: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Programs.

For more information, see the Fire Department Safety Officers Association website.

Special Hazards Suppression Systems: This certification program is designed for engineering technicians engaged in the detailing and layout and/or installation and maintenance related to special hazards suppression systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland photo by Nfutvol

Baltimore is located in Baltimore City County, Maryland. It has a population of over 636,919, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Baltimore, 96, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Baltimore cost $139,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-three new homes were built in Baltimore, down from two hundred four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Baltimore are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, educational services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 19.1% of Baltimore residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Baltimore is 10.8%, which is greater than Maryland's average of 7.2%.

A W Wilson Memorial United Methodist Church, Abbott Memorial Presbyterian Church and Rogers Avenue Synagogue are all churches located in Baltimore.

Baltimore is home to the Governors Yacht Club and the Oriole Park at Camden Yards as well as Venable Park and Eutaw-Madison Apartment House Historic District. Shopping centers in the area include Alameda Shopping Center, Village Square of Cross Keys Shopping Center and Waverly Tower Shopping Center. Visitors to Baltimore can choose from Four Seasons Complete Camper Care Center, Knights Inn and Hilton & Towers for temporary stays in the area.