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2009 Projected Earnings: Firefighter

2009 Projected Earnings: Firefighter

You’ve heard that your base salary is largely determined by your education level – but did you ever wonder exactly how much education matters? If you’ve got enough smarts, it shouldn’t matter whether or not you have formal training – right?

Wrong. At least, it might not be so simple. As job scarcity continues to drive more competition to each open position, Uncle Sam is hiring more employees with strong educational backgrounds. Because employees with formal training are increasingly preferred, the relationship between compensation and education is becoming even more prominent across different sectors of the economy.

Why Degrees Matter

• Depending on industry and specialty, pay increase per degree will range from 10% – 82%
• Return on investment of tuition within 3 to 5 years

Many fire departments now require at least some college credits before even considering an applicant for a position. Departments that have more lax requirements will sometimes offer pay differentials to employees who have obtained a degree, with the differential being more the higher level of degree.

Promotions are also becoming more competitive, with educational background being taken into account for all leaderships positions within departments. A prospective firefighter may now be expected to have at least an Associate’s degree while a candidate for fire chief may be expected to hold a Master’s degree or even a Doctorate degree.