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When can I apply to become a Houston Firefighter?

You can apply online if you meet all of HFD’s minimum requirements and only when online applications are being accepted for an upcoming Civil Service Exam.

What does a Houston Firefighter job involve?

Houston Firefighters respond to emergency situations which include extinguishing fires, medical response (Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics), high water and technical rescue, airport firefighting, Communications, Arson, HAZMAT and more. Firefighters promote fire prevention and public safety awareness while enforcing safety standards.

Are all Firefighters required to become Emergency Medical Technicians?

Yes, all FF Trainees are required to pass the EMT Certification prior to graduating from the Academy. 

I filled out an online application, when will I be contacted for the Civil Service Exam?

Once your online application is received, you will be contacted to submit either transcript showing 15 accredited hours or university and/or a DD214 Member 4 form showing 2 years of active duty service with a honorable discharge. Upon verification of the minimum requirements, you will be sent a link to self-schedule for the next available civil service exam.

How long is the Civil Service Exam?

The exam is approximately three hours.

Do I need to buy a study guide for the Civil Service Exam?

No. Each applicant that applies online will receive an email that will include a link to access the preparation guide. 

What do I need to bring with me to the exam?

You must bring your Driver’s License or valid photo ID. Please leave all electronic devices (smart phones, smart watches, calculators, etc.) in your vehicle.

Can I take the Civil Service Exam in another City?

No. The Civil Service Exam is valid only for applicants applying for the City of Houston at the location provided in the civil service posting. We don’t offer an option to have an exam proctored at another location.

How long is the application process?

The application process is approximately three (3) months to six (6) months long. However, the process can be expedited or delayed by the applicant and the class start date. The applicant must be available for scheduling, pass each phase of the process and produce all necessary documents before he/she can proceed to the next phase.

Is a credit check part of the background investigation?

No. We do not conduct a credit check.

If I do not meet current minimum requirements, can I still apply?

No. If you sit for the Civil Service Exam you must meet the minimum requirements by the HFD compliance date.

I am currently in the military. Can I still apply?

Yes, but you must meet the minimum requirements and take the Civil Service Exam. If an applicant cannot process due to military duty ETS date, we may delay processing, but the needs of the department will be first priority. 

How long is the training period?

The training period depends on the type of cadet academy class you are selected for. A certified academy lasts approximately 3-6 months and a non-certified academy lasts approximately 7-9 months; lengths of time may vary and are subject to change.

Where does the training take place?

The training will occur at the Val Jahnke Training Facility, just outside of the Hobby Airport fence line, at 8030 Braniff, Houston, Texas 77061. (EMT Training location may vary)

Does HFD offer a paramedic program?

Yes. EMS offers paramedic classes at various times throughout the year. Firefighters/EMT's can apply for this program after completing the academy.

Is the training paid and will the salary increase after training?

Yes and the salary of a firefighter trainee will increase once he/she completes the fire academy (See the Benefits section for more details).

How long is the probationary period?

12 months from date of hire.

Can Firefighter Trainees choose the station where he/she will work?

HFD Staffing determines the stations to which probationary firefighters are assigned. Graduates generally pick stations by class rank based on those available openings. After firefighters pass their probation period, they can bid on any available openings based on seniority.

Are there promotional opportunities as a firefighter?

Once the probationary period is satisfactorily completed and the member has functioned in the capacity of a Firefighter for at least two (2) years; then he/she may take a promotional test for Engineer/Operator (EO). After serving two (2) years in the capacity of any given rank, the member may test for the next higher rank. If the member passes the test, he/she will be placed on a ranking list and promoted to a vacant position when available.

What is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)?

An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is a health professional who is specifically trained and certified to administer basic emergency services to victims of trauma or acute illness before and during transportation to a hospital or other healthcare facility. EMT’s are more commonly found working on an ambulance.

Is EMT certification required before appointment?

Yes, a Non-Certified Firefighter/EMT Trainee is required to complete a Texas Department of State Health Services EMT Basic course and successfully pass the national certification exam to become a Certified EMT prior to completing the Fire Academy process.

What is the age requirement?

You must be at least 18 years of age but not more than 36 years of age when taking the oath of office.

Can I transfer from another fire service to the Houston Fire Department without taking the test?

No, you must take the Houston Fire Department’s civil service exam and physical ability exam to enter into the hiring process.

How 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:hfdhiringprocess@houstontx.gov

Other Facts

  • Business attire is required at all steps in the process except the physical ability test.
  • No shorts ,jeans , cutoffs, or midriffs are accepted; if dressed inappropriately you will be turned away.
  • Addresses and phone numbers must be correct on all documents.
  • Certificates of Dispositions are required for each arrest, traffic citation and failure to appear in court citations.
  • W-2 or 1040 form must be submitted for employers that are no longer in business and for self employed applicants.
  • A Classified Recruiter must be notified of any change in name, phone number, or address of the applicant in writing.

Please note: Information on this webpage is subject to change and should be verified with HFD Classified Recruiting.