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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in Henderson, Nevada

There are many career and education opportunities for forest firefighters in the Henderson, Nevada area. About 1,760 people are currently employed as forest firefighters in Nevada. By 2016, this is expected to grow 51% to about 2,660 people employed. This is better than the national trend for forest firefighters, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.5% over the next eight years. Forest firefighters generally control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Income for forest firefighters is about $24 hourly or $51,870 per year on average in Nevada. Nationally, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,260 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fire Control, people working as forest firefighters in Nevada earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Fire Control nationally. Jobs in this field include: ranger, handcrew foreman, and forestry technician .

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Henderson area, including one within twenty-five miles of Henderson where you can get a degree to start your career as a forest firefighter. Forest firefighters usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a forest firefighter if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Forest Firefighter

Forest Firefighter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, forest firefighters control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Forest firefighters patrol burned areas after fires to identify and eliminate hot spots that may restart fires. They also extinguish flames and embers to suppress fires, using shovels, or engine- or hand-driven water or chemical pumps. Equally important, forest firefighters have to manage knowledge of current firefighting practices by participating in drills and by attending seminars and conferences. They are often called upon to fell trees, cut and clear brush, and dig trenches to generate firelines, using axes, chainsaws or shovels. They are expected to manage fire equipment and firehouse living quarters. Finally, forest firefighters manage contact with fire dispatchers at all times to notify them of the need for additional firefighters and supplies, or to detail any difficulties encountered.

Every day, forest firefighters are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for forest firefighters to perform forest maintenance and improvement tasks such as cutting brush, planting trees, building trails and marking timber. They are often called upon to inform and educate the public about fire prevention. They also operate pumps connected to high-pressure hoses. They are sometimes expected to transport staff and cargo to and from fire areas. Somewhat less frequently, forest firefighters are also expected to participate in physical training to maintain high levels of physical fitness.

Forest firefighters sometimes are asked to serve as fully trained lead helicopter crewmember and as helispot manager. They also have to be able to observe forest areas from fire lookout towers to spot potential problems and test and maintain tools, equipment, jump gear and parachutes to insure readiness for fire suppression efforts. And finally, they sometimes have to manage fire equipment and firehouse living quarters.

Like many other jobs, forest firefighters must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Henderson include:

  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Fighter. Control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forest Firefighter Training

College of Southern Nevada - Las Vegas, NV

College of Southern Nevada, 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146-1164. College of Southern Nevada is a large college located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 27,035 students. College of Southern Nevada has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated two and eleven 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: Henderson, Nevada

Henderson, Nevada
Henderson, Nevada photo by Katie Claypoole

Henderson is located in Clark County, Nevada. It has a population of over 252,064, which has grown by 43.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Henderson, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Henderson are valued at $135,800 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,063 new homes were constructed in Henderson, down from 2,224 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Henderson are accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and health care. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 23.7% of Henderson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Henderson is 10.7%, which is less than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of Henderson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Henderson is home to the Amargosa Substation and the Las Vegas Downs as well as Henderson City Park and O'Callaghan Park. Shopping malls in the area include Boulder - Lake Mead Shopping Center and Lake Mead Shopping Center. Visitors to Henderson can choose from The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas, Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino and Fuego for temporary stays in the area.