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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in Irving, Texas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for forest firefighters in the Irving, Texas area. Currently, 26,260 people work as forest firefighters in Texas. This is expected to grow 21% to 31,770 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for forest firefighters are expected to grow by about 18.5%. In general, forest firefighters control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

The income of a forest firefighter is about $21 per hour or $45,300 per year on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,260 yearly on average. Incomes for forest firefighters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Fire Control in Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Fire Control category nationally. People working as forest firefighters can fill a number of jobs, such as: fire technician, smoke eater, and forestry technician .

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Irving area, including one within twenty-five miles of Irving 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 it will take only a short time to learn 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 Irving 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

Collin County Community College District - Plano, TX

Collin County Community College District, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093. Collin County Community College District is a large college located in Plano, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,000 students. Collin County Community College District has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated fifty students in 2008.


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.


Irving, Texas
Irving, Texas photo by Ansem27

Irving is located in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 201,358, which has grown by 5.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Irving, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Irving cost $273,600 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, four hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in Irving, down from seven hundred ninety-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Irving are finance and insurance, educational services, and health care. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 30.0% of Irving residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Irving is 7.8%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Irving residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. African Baptist Church of Irving, Plymouth Park Church and Chapel of the Bells Church are all churches located in Irving. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Irving is home to the Dallas Gun Club and the Trinity Valley Marketplace as well as Senter Park and Revere Park. Shopping centers in the area include Irving Shopping Center, Plymouth Park Shopping Center and MacArthur Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Irving can choose from American Hospitality Services Corporation, Best Western DFW Airport and Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas for temporary stays in the area.