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Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in Provo, Utah

Forest firefighters can find many career and educational opportunities in the Provo, Utah area. Currently, 1,970 people work as forest firefighters in Utah. This is expected to grow 21% to 2,380 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%. Forest firefighters generally control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Income for forest firefighters is about $15 hourly or $33,030 yearly on average in Utah. Nationally, their income is about $21 hourly or $44,260 annually. Forest firefighters earn less than people working in the category of Fire Control generally in Utah and less than people in the Fire Control category nationally. People working as forest firefighters can fill a number of jobs, such as: forestry technician , hot shot, and rescue worker.

The Provo area is home to thirty-five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Provo where you can get a degree as a forest firefighter. Given that the most common education level 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 Provo 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

Mountainland Applied Technology College - Orem, UT

Mountainland Applied Technology College, 987 S Geneva Rd, Orem, UT 84058-5857. Mountainland Applied Technology College is a small college located in Orem, Utah. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 310 students. Mountainland Applied Technology College has a less than one year program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated four students in 2008.

Utah Valley University - Orem, UT

Utah Valley University, 800 W University Parkway, Orem, UT 84058-5999. Utah Valley University is a large university located in Orem, Utah. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,696 students. Utah Valley University has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated zero and thirty-three students respectively 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.


Provo, Utah
Provo, Utah photo by Emes

Provo is situated in Utah County, Utah. It has a population of over 118,581, which has grown by 12.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Provo, 92, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Provo cost $296,100 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in Provo, down from one hundred eighty-one the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Provo are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 16 minutes. More than 35.7% of Provo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Provo is 6.4%, which is greater than Utah's average of 6.3%.

The percentage of Provo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 89.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are all churches located in Provo. The most prominent religious groups are the LDS (Mormon) Church, the Catholic Church and the Assemblies of God.

Provo is home to the Provo Temple and the Lakeside Campground as well as Utah Lake State Park and Cougar Stadium. Visitors to Provo can choose from Amenity Motor Inn, Hines Mansion Bed & Breakfast and Travelodge for temporary stays in the area.