Get Hired

C ongratulations on wanting to become a New York City Firefighter. There has never been a better time to join the FDNY. The following steps should be followed to become an FDNY Firefighter.

Step 1: Apply

Apply to take the written Firefighter exam. Exams are typically offered about every four years.

If you want to become a FDNY Firefighter, you must meet eligibility requirements.

You can start your process of becoming an FDNY Firefighter as early as 17 1/2 years of age. You should not reach your 29th birthday by the beginning of the application process. However, there are exceptions to this rule:

  • If you are on the Special Military list for the Firefighter Exam, you cannot turn 36 year old by the beginning of the current application period to be eligible to take the exam.
  • If you were on active military duty, you can subtract up the amount of time you spent on duty from your actual age. The maximum you can subtract is 6 years. This rule is defined in Section 243 of New York State Military Law.

If you meet requirements above, you must:

  • Pass both the computer-based test and physical ability test.
  • Be a U.S. citizen at the time of appointment.
  • Be at least 21 years of age by time of appointment.
  • Be able to prove your identity and the right to obtain employment in the United States under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
  • Pass medical and psychological tests, as well as a drug screening.
  • Demonstrate proof of good character and pass a background investigation.
  • Be able to understand and be understood in English.
  • Hold a valid New York State motor vehicle driver’s license.
  • Be a resident of one of the five boroughs of New York City or live in Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk or Westchester County.

Education/Military/Work Experience Eligibility

  • By the date of appointment, have a four-year high school diploma or its educational equivalent.
  • Have at least 15 college semester credits earned at an accredited college or university.
  • OR, for applicants with a military service background, must have full-time military service with an honorable discharge.
  • OR, six months of full-time, satisfactory, paid work experience.

Other Requirements

In addition, you will be required to be a Certified First Responder with Defibrillation Certificate (CFR-D) by the end of your probationary period. FDNY provides a CFR-D training program during the probationary Firefighter training course. Once the training course is successfully completed and you receive your certificate, $30 per pay period will be deducted until the total cost of the training course is covered. Those who fail to obtain a CFR-D by the end of the probation period will be terminated.

Step 2: Take Written Exam

Take the written exam that includes basic reading, listening, problem-solving, and arithmetic. FDNY hosts FREE prep sessions.

Step 3: Take Physical Exam

Pass Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) that includes an agility and strength test. The FDNY offers work-out sessions to prepare for CPAT.

Step 4: Complete Candidate Review

Pass medical, psychological and background checks. If you join the FDNY mentorship program, your mentor can assist you and prepare you for the Fire Academy

Step 5: Graduate From The Fire Academy

Successfully complete an 18-week classroom and physical fitness program that includes fire service training. Begin the career of a lifetime.

Benefits and Salary

F DNY Firefighters receive an incredible benefits package and a competitive salary.

  • Lifelong medical coverage for you and your family
  • Growth opportunities
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Up to four weeks paid vacation per year
  • Generous pension

Starting salary for a Firefighter is $45,196. But with overtime and holiday pay, which is often required, you can get additional compensation. After five years, a Firefighter can make more than $100,000, including overtime and holiday pay.

Firefighter Salary Guide

Number of Years Base Fringe Total
Starting Salary $43,904 $1,292 $45,196
After 1 Year $46,066 $9,035 $55,101
After 2 Years $50,173 $9,468 $59,641
After 3 Years $55,192 $10,075 $65,267
After 4 Years $60,837 $10,667 $71,504
After 5 Years $85,292 $25,631 $110,293

Firefighter Salary Guide for Promotional Opportunities

Rank Base Fringe Total
Lieutenant $94,300 $31,548 $125,848
Captain $108,244 $40,919 $149,163
Battalion Chief $140,945 $20,336 $161,281


T he Firefighter exam does not require you to have any special knowledge of firefighting or the Fire Department. The exam includes multiple choice questions that test on reading, problem-solving and applying rules and concepts. Once you pass the written test, you also must do an in person interview with FDNY Officers.

Once the exam is completed, your are considered to be an Firefighter Applicant and your name will be put on a civil service list based on order of performance and other factors. Candidates will then be called to take the physical portion of the exam. Applicant also will undergo a medical and psychological evaluation, a drug screening and a background check.

Please note candidates for employment as Firefighter will be called based on the list number and need, which can take up to multiple years. Please also note that candidates on the Promotion to Firefighter Exam list get called before candidates on the Open Competitive Exam list.

Get Current List of Examinations
Get List of Frequently Asked Questions

Get Firefighter Candidate Resources