Firefighter

Get Hired

Congratulations 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

FDNY 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

Exam

The 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


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is the mission of the FDNY?
As first responders to fires, public safety, and medical emergencies, disasters and terrorist acts, FDNY protects the lives and property of New York City residents and visitors. The Department advances public safety through its fire prevention, investigation, and education programs. The timely delivery of these services enables the FDNY to make significant contributions to the safety of New York City and homeland security efforts.
2What does a Firefighter’s job involve?
The community counts on FDNY Firefighters to respond to emergency situations and protecting the public. This includes extinguishing fires, technical rescues, responding to biological and chemical threats and more. Firefighters are depended on to promote fire safety and enforce fire safety standards. There are amazing opportunities to advance in your career. This is just the beginning. Part of the excitement of being a firefighters is that you never know what to expect.
3Can a woman be a Firefighter?
Yes. The Fire Department strongly encourages women to become Firefighters.
4What benefits do you receive as a FDNY Firefighter?
As an FDNY Firefighter, you receive a competitive benefits package that includes lifelong medical coverage for you and your family, flexible work schedules, growth opportunities, up to four weeks paid vacation per year, and a generous pension.
5When is the next written exam?
The last Firefighter exam was administered in September and October of 2017. The application period for the Firefighter exam typically opens every 4-5 years. However, this timeline is subject to change.
6Does the written exam test my knowledge of firefighting or the FDNY?
No. The computer-based test is an examination that gauges a candidate's ability to learn and perform the work of a Firefighter. It may include questions on reading comprehension, problem-solving, spatial recognition, and applying rules to general concepts.
7After I pass the test, what should I expect?
Based on your performance on the exam, your name will be put on a civil service list in list number order. You will then be called to take the physical portion of the exam. The physical ability test is a series of challenges designed to test ability in four categories of fitness that are crucial in firefighting. Once your number is called for consideration, you will also take a medical and psychological exam, be subject to a drug screening, and begin your character and background investigation. Your eligibility requirements will also be checked at this time.
8Where can I find an application?
The application can be found on the Department of CityWide Administrative Services website.
9Do you have to be a NYC resident to be a FDNY Firefighter?
You must live in one of the five boroughs; Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, or one of these New York counties: Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Nassau, or Suffolk County.
10Do you have to live in NYC or New York State to file or take the examination?
No, it does not matter where you live when you file for or take the Firefighter Exam. However, when you are appointed you must live in either the five boroughs of New York City or in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Nassau or Suffolk County.
11Can you receive extra points on exam if you live in NYC?
Yes. Residency credit can add an additional 5 points to your raw score. To be eligible for the credit, a candidate must achieve a passing score on the exam and must produce the required proof once your list number is reached. Acceptable proof of NYC residency for the 2017 Firefighter exam included:
  1. An official transcript showing the candidate both (a) graduated from a New York City public high school, or a private high school in New York City approved by the New York State Education Department or a recognized accrediting organization and (b) resided at a New York City address while attending that high school.
  2. A GED certificate issued by New York State plus an official transcript showing both (a) the candidate’s last school enrollment was in a New York City public high school, or a private high school in New York City approved by the New York State Education Department or a recognized accrediting organization and (b) the candidate resided at a New York City address while attending that high school. Official transcripts from New York City public high schools must be mailed directly from the New York City Department of Education to CID and official transcripts from New York City private high schools must be mailed directly from the private high school to CID.
  3. Official photocopies of New York State tax returns filed by the candidate (or an individual who claimed the candidate as a dependent) in 2014 and/or 2015 evidencing the candidate (or an individual who claimed the candidate as a dependent) was a New York City resident for a minimum of 12 months in total during 2014 and 2015.
  4. A letter from the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) on HRA’s official letterhead showing both (a) the candidate received cash assistance benefits from HRA for a minimum of 12 months in total during 2014 and 2015; and (b) the candidate resided at a New York City address while receiving cash assistance benefits from HRA during those same months in 2014 and/or 2015.
12Can you receive extra points on the exam if you live in NYC?
Yes. Each exam year, applicants living in NYC will receive extra points.
13Do you have to be a United States Citizen to be a FDNY Firefighter?
Yes, United States citizenship is required at the time of appointment.
14What are the age 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.
15Are age requirements illegal?
Age requirements are not illegal. It is a federal law to have a maximum age requirement for the hiring of Firefighters. This is known as The Federal Age Discrimination In Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). It was amended in 1995 to allow states and political subdivisions of states to impose age limitations for hiring and retirement of police officers and Firefighters as long as the requirement was in effect prior to March 3, 1983, and in certain other circumstances [Title 29, United States Code, Section 623(j)].
16Can the age requirement be waived?
FDNY does not have the authority to waive the age requirement. Such a waiver is granted only through legislation.
17What is CFR-D?
CFR-D is short for Certified First Responder with Defibrillation.
18Is a CFR-D certificate required before appointment?
No, it is not required at time of appointment. However, you will need to have a CFR-D certificate by the end of your probationary period and maintain it throughout your employment. If you do not possess a CFR-D certificate at time of appointment the FDNY provides a CFR-D training program during the Firefighter training course. If you successfully complete the course and receive your CFR-D certificate payroll deduction will commence at a rate of $30 per pay period until the total cost of the training is recouped by the FDNY.
19Do you get extra points on the Firefighter exam for having your CFR-D or EMT certification?
No.
20What is the legacy credit?
The legacy credit allows 10 additional points to be added to the final score of any applicant for the following circumstances:
  • A parent who has died while on duty as a Police Officer or Firefighter
  • A candidate who is the sibling of a Police Officer or Firefighter who was killed in service on September 11, 2001, as a result of the World Trade Center Attack.
  • A candidate who is the child of an FDNY EMS member who was killed in service on September 11, 2001, as a result of the World Trade Center attack.
To be eligible, candidates must have passed the exam.
21Do I have to have a driver’s license to be a Firefighter?
Yes, you need a valid New York State Driver's license to be appointed as a FDNY Firefighter.
22Do the 15 college credits have to be in any special area of study?
No, any course of study is acceptable. However, these credits must be obtained from a university, institution, school, or college accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.
23Can you get extra credit for courses in the field of Fire Science, Police Science or Emergency Medicine?
No, we do not give extra credit for specialized courses.
24Can I get extra credit for firefighting experience in other municipalities or countries?
No.
25Can I transfer from another fire service to the FDNY without having to take the test?
No.
26How can I get more information?
If you have questions regarding the scheduling of exams, support, or recruitment and retention programming, please send an email to Recruitment@fdny.nyc.gov
27I took the most recent exam. Where do I get my results?
During the Firefighter candidate process, it is useful to know your Firefighter exam list number. To obtain the most accurate information on your list number, please call (212) 669-1357. To view your score for FDNY Firefighter exam #7001 online, go to https://data.cityofnewyork.us/City-Government/FDNY-Firefighter-Exam-7001/2uza-h4js and search for your name.