How to become a firefighter in Australia

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Become A Firefighter In Australia in 12 months or less  

even if you have failed multiple times

Top 4 - Reasons to Become a Firefighter in Australia

1. Lifestyle - The lifestyle of a firefighter can seem very attractive to many people that don't mind shift work. On the upside as a firefighter you will generally get around 4 days off in every 8 or similar, around 9 weeks of leave along with various other lifestyle benefits. I have personally found the ability to spend time with family and attend trips with friends that people in general 9-5 jobs could never do the best thing. 

2. Job Satisfaction - In a recent study conducted by the IAFC there was over a 90% satisfaction rating from those surveyed in a professional firefighting role. Further to this almost everyone I interact with in the fire service loves their job. I believe this comes from a good working environment, being part of a high performance team and contributing to the community in a positive manner

3. Public Perception / Status - Being a professional firefighter is held in high regard by most people in the community, it's not often you will mention what you do for a living and get a bad response. In a poll by Gallup Firefighters were ranked as the most trustworthy profession - see below

https://news.gallup.com/poll/5095/firefighters-top-gallups-honesty-ethics-list.aspx

Most people look up to professional firefighters.

4. Pay & Conditions - Although you will never be rich on a firefighters pay the conditions of employment in Australia are generally pretty good and secure. As a general rule Jobs on station will be paid from around 70k to 150k depending on your rank, experience, qualifications etc. When you look at this in conjunction with the lifestyle benefits it can be quite attractive for a lot of people.

General Reasons 

We will always need firefighters. They help tackle emergencies and are there to help others in the face of disaster.

While firefighters earn a decent income, most people want to enter the fire service because of a desire to serve others.

Firefighters put themselves at risk to aid and assist other people. If you have a strong sense of community, then you might want to consider firefighting as a career.

The career might also suit you if you are looking for something that is active and will keep you physically fit and agile. Conducting rescues and fighting fires requires a lot of strength and stamina.

You will need to maintain a level of fitness, and most fire stations provide gym and workout equipment. Firefighters also work in teams.

If you are looking for a role in which you will have to work closely with others, and develop a sense of camaraderie and team effort, then that may be another reason you select firefighting.

Finally, another reason to become a firefighter might be that you like the flexibility that the role affords. It’s certainly not a 9-5 job. Shifts are typically longer than with other jobs, but this means you will get a longer break in between.

Some people seem born wanting to be firefighters, for others the idea comes during school or even as a second career. Whatever your reason for wanting to become a firefighter, we can help you prepare and see your dream become a reality.

We can prepare you for undertaking the Cognitive or Aptitude test which will be the first step to joining the fire service depending on which state you're applying in. We make sure we are up to date with the test provider each and every intake to give you the edge as you will definitely need it.

Test Providers

Revelian, Chandler Macleod, CEB, Acer, Pearson Vue, Talent Lens, Saville. This is an ever changing component of the process

Aptitude / Cognitive or Psychometric Testing

Example: Revelian Tests - Why are they used?

This example uses revelian as the subject but each service uses a different provider or test so check state specific pages for this information

The Aptitude test example I have covered is just an example of 1 provider and  covers Revelian's classic cognitive test which is really just the tip of the testing iceberg. 

At the time of writing this article the classic test is accompanied by a game type test known as Cognify.

Cognify gives the employer a deeper understanding on your reasoning ability and how quickly you are able to process information, make decisions and if you change your mind etc.

Unfortunately it doesn't end with Cognify, you will also need to sit the "Work Safety" test and Emotional Intelligence Test known as the MSCEIT test. The results from these tests all go together with your application questions to see if you're a candidate to progress.

As you can see there is A LOT to get your head around with this particular entrance exam and this is just the start BUT if you can get through this part of the process things are looking pretty positive for you as approximately 91% of applicants don't make it past this point.

This is just 1 example but it will give you some idea of what your up against to start with.

TIP: Learn about the test provider, understand the tests and test questions you will face. Model success and get good quality help to ensure you will beat the competition at this point.

People waste years of their lives for ignoring this. I have worked with people that have had up to 7 failed attempts before using this method to finally get a job - see some of their stories

Get Your Application Right 

Depending on the year and the service you're applying to will depend on the Application you will be required to submit. There are a couple of extremely important key ideas to keep in mind when you are submitting your application

- You have 1 opportunity to get this right so don't take any chances

- This is generally your first interaction with the service so make it count. Make it contribute to your success, it's a real opportunity to do just that.

- Read the instructions carefully & Follow them to the letter. Sounds simple but so many people fuck it up.

- Gain an understanding of what IS important to include and what IS NOT. You don't want to paint yourself in a dull light just because you don't fully understand whats superfluous and what is crucial to have on your application.

You can be a great candidate but not a great writer so don't let this be the reason you're out of the game for another year.

TIP: Getting a second opinion from a suitably qualified professional before submitting could make or break you at this point. In my opinion If you can control the outcome of something it is wise to do everything in your power to do just that.

Interview

The interview process is easily your Biggest opportunity in the entire process to beat your competition.

See this podcast for a free debrief with our in-house interview coach

The Interview is actually the least competitive aspect of the process as usually at interview they have culled hundreds or even thousands of applicants.

So at this stage you might only have to be better than 20 or 30 other applicants.

It is at this stage of the process I get really excited for the guys I work with because I know if they simply follow my training and show up to their coaching sessions they are almost guaranteed a job.

Firefighter Psych Tests

Most services will conduct some sort of firefighter specific psych test or personality test. You can use the link above to get an in-depth understanding of the types of psych tests you are likely to encounter.

These tests also cover, work safety, work reliability, work styles & talent screener type tests.

Medical 

Understand what you will be subjected to before the medical, If you have something you are worried about it will pay to speak to someone confidentially before your medical as there are things that can be done before it's too late.

I like to do this at the beginning with people I’m working with as it allows us to remove doubt and focus on more fruitful activities that will get us a job

Skills - To Become a Firefighter

Ability to deal with Stress

The ability to handle stress is critical. Firefighters are often working in stressful situations, where people are injured, at risk of injury, or where their home or property is at risk. 

You not only need the skills to be able to deal with this stress, you need to be able to convince the employer you have the skills and do a better job of it then the others

Level Headed

Keeping calm to help others remain calm is very important. Firefighters also need empathy and understanding. When attending an incident, they may need to give comfort to others. 

Communication - The BIG one

You need to be able to communicate confidently, concisely and efficiently to others, because in an emergency you may need to direct or instruct others on what to do. This means speaking clearly and concisely.

This skill can extend to the tasks associated with community education, as firefighters often visit schools and businesses to help them to be prepared for a fire.

If you have great communication skills this is going to give you a better chance of working well in a team and less likelihood of putting people or the organisation at risk.

Firefighters need to be able to work with a team, to build rapport with co-workers and understand the diversity of their workforce and also the wider community. 

More importantly at this stage of the game you're going to need to be able to communicate to the recruitment team WHY they should hire you.

Reasoning Abilities

Taking aptitude tests like the tests from Revelian, SHL, Pearson VUE etc  helps the fire service to determine if you are a good fit for the requirements of the job and the fire service as a whole. It's not just about culling applicants, they actually need you to have a certain level of reasoning ability to be successful as a firefighter in the organisation.

When you are liaising with a potential employer i.e. Australian Fire Services during a recruitment process, they will ask you to take an aptitude test. The businesses I have listed above provide companies with access to a suite of tools to conduct testing. This testing can be used to identify the best candidate for their vacancy. It is worth gaining an understanding of the differences between the companies and what makes them tick.

The test is usually in three or four sections. 

  • verbal reasoning - your understanding of language conventions, and the relationship between ideas. It will involve reading comprehension, reading a block of text and answering questions about what you read. 
  • mathematics and numerical reasoning -  An example might be identifying the next number in a series. 
  • abstract / spatial reasoning - your ability to deal with abstract shapes and finding a pattern. 
  • Mechanical Reasoning - your ability to assess or comprehend mechanical systems.

If you have been out of school or formal study for some time, the idea of the test might be a bit daunting

BUT

Practice tests are available and Fire Recruitment Australia can provide you with access to the practice tests that have been designed specifically for each fire service in Australia. We also provide coaching and support to help you have the best chance of being accepted.


Tip  

Check your Online presence because they will

Statistics About Firefighters in Australia

Firefighter Age distribution in Australia - Bear in mind this is current and there are a lot of people who have been in the fire service for a long time about to retire

firefighter age in Australia

Education Level of firefighters across Australia

firefighter education level in Australia

Firefighter employment by state of Australia

firefighter employment percentage by states of australia

Resources 

Programs By Fire Recruitment Australia

The Firefighters Recruitment Bundle

A collection of my best recruitment related resources

This is the ideal investment if you are currently preparing for the next fire services recruitment intake. This collection gives you rich details that help you prepare thoroughly for every test you'll face — the application process, the Aptitude, Personality, and Physical tests, and the Interview.

Membership

Join my membership program for even deeper, more thorough training.

When you become a member of FireRecruitment Australia, you get:

  • All of our superior video courses and eBooks ... created specifically for aspiring firefighters in Autralia
  • Our monthly coaching call for inspiration and faster success
  • Access to our proprietary, interactive Interview software ... for the best possible Interview preparation
  • The absolute BEST resources to propel you on your journey toward becoming a professional firefighter

Membership is ideal for you if you would like to see success much faster and with less stress. It membership works for first time applicants as well as applicants who have tried and failed before. The secret sauce that ties it all together is my personal experience mixed with years of research into the recruitment process.

Membership + Coaching

Membership PLUS - personalised coaching sessions based on your needs.

If you think you need that little bit of extra help to make it through the next recruitment intake, then Membership + coaching is perfect for you. Together, we'll work out a strategy that:

  • Builds on your strengths and fills you with confidence
  • Improves on your weaknesses to eliminate points of failure
  • Shows you exactly what to expect so you can present the best version of yourself every step of the way.

Wherever you are in the process, and whatever challenges you’re facing right now, coaching gives you with step-by-step guidance, personal support, and resources to help you get where you want to be in the quickest way possible. You don’t need to struggle on your own anymore!