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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in Newark, New Jersey

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for forest firefighters in the Newark, New Jersey area. There are currently 5,900 working forest firefighters in New Jersey; this should grow by 3% to 6,100 working forest firefighters in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

The income of a forest firefighter is about $34 per hour or $72,680 yearly on average in New Jersey. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,260 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fire Control, people working as forest firefighters in New Jersey earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Fire Control nationally. Jobs in this field include: forest ranger technician, rescue worker, and smoke jumper.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Newark where you can study to be a forest firefighter, among 318 schools of higher education total in the Newark area. The most common level of education for forest firefighters is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 Newark 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.
  • Lifeguard. Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.
  • Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Forest Firefighter Training

CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice - New York, NY

CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice, 899 Tenth Ave, New York, NY 10019. CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice is a large college located in New York, New York. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,066 students and an admission rate of 77%. CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice has a bachelor's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated six students in 2008.

New Jersey City University - Jersey City, NJ

New Jersey City University, 2039 Kennedy Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305. New Jersey City University is a medium sized university located in Jersey City, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,993 students and an admission rate of 32%. New Jersey City University has a bachelor's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated eleven students 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: Newark, New Jersey

Newark, New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey photo by Gik%C3%BC

Newark is located in Essex County, New Jersey. It has a population of over 278,980, which has grown by 2.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Newark, 140, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Newark are priced at $83,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-nine new homes were built in Newark, up from twenty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Newark are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 32 minutes. More than 9.0% of Newark residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Newark is 14.8%, which is greater than New Jersey's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Newark residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. First Mount Zion Baptist Church, First Newborn Tabernacle Church and First Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Newark. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Newark is home to the Clinton Branch Newark Public Library and the Brills Yard as well as Rippel Field and River Bank Park. Visitors to Newark can choose from Fairfield Inn and Suites, Days Hotel Newark Airport and Broad Street Hotel LLC for temporary stays in the area.