How to get into the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service


If you’re looking to pursue a career in the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue service, you’re in the right place! This guide is designed to support you in successfully applying to become a firefighter in the Northern Territory.

Note – this guide is specifically for firefighting in the Northern Territory, look here for more information on becoming a firefighter in Australia in general.

Firefighting is a tough job, so it’s no surprise that only the best candidates are successful. As an active firefighter with plenty of experience in fire service recruitment, I know how overwhelming making an application can be. I’ve helped a ton of students get through the recruitment process and by the end of this guide, you’ll stand a great chance too.

Brent C at his desk.

About the Northern Territory Fire Service

The service is one of the smallest fire services in Australia, with just over 200 permanent firefighters and around 350 auxiliary and volunteers. It forms part of a TriService which contains fire, police and emergency services.

If you are successful in your application and complete the training you could be posted to Darwin (Northern Region) or Alice Springs (Southern Region). You may also end up being posted to a remote area at some stage in your career, making it a great service if you like a change of scenery.

How Do I Become A Firefighter In The NT

Before we get started you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Hold Australian Citizenship or have permanent residency.
  • You don’t have a significant criminal history.
  • Be physically fit enough to complete the fitness test.
  • Hold a current open driver’s license and be able to obtain a manual heavy rigid driver’s licence prior to the recruit course start date with the evidence needed during the interview.
  • Have a first-aid certificate
  • Have either a Senior Secondary Education Certificate (or equivalent) a completed Trade Certificate or Tertiary Qualification or be able to demonstrate at least two years full-time work experience, life skills, and interaction with a variety of people.


Make Your Application (Stage 1)

The first stage in the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue recruitment is making your application. When the applications open, you are able to apply online using the following link:

You need to complete a self-declaration brief physical and criminal overview which must be completed honestly.  If you are unsuccessful during the application stage you’re encouraged to reapply during the next intake.

Quick Tip:

Check over your application thoroughly before you submit it. Make sure that when you apply you remember to attach all the required documentation. This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make, as without the necessary documents your application will be considered unsuccessful.

BEEP Test (Stage 2)

If your application is successful, you will be required to take a cardiovascular test called the BEEP test (also known as the multi-stage fitness test). You need to run between two points marked 20 meters apart and keep time with the beeps.

To pass this stage of the test you are required to achieve a score of 9.6.

BEEP test demonstration video:

YouTube video

Quick Tip:

Make sure that you practice the beep test frequently in the build-up to your test. Don’t just train to reach the target of 9.6 but aim to go further than it. This will take the pressure off you on the day of the real test.

Written Aptitude Test (Stage 3)

The next step for applicants will be an invite to complete an online written assessment. You will be tested academically as well as psychologically. This test is designed to check that you meet the required standards and have the characteristics needed to become a firefighter. 

If you are unsuccessful at this stage you are encouraged to re-apply after 12 months from the date of your assessment.

Quick Tip:

In order to maximize your chances of being successful at this stage doing practice tests is key. They will help you become familiar with the structure of the test and feel less nervous on the big day. Here’s an example of a great practice test for you to try:

Note: Not all firefighter practice tests are created equal

Physical Aptitude Test (Stage 4)

This stage assesses your capability when it comes to performing physical tasks that you might encounter on the job. To take part in the test you need to complete a medical form first, without this you won’t be able to sit the test.

Rescue services need staff who are physically fit and capable in all settings. You never know what to expect at the site of emergency incidents. Whether you’re dealing with storms or fires your fitness can be the difference between life and death.

For the full breakdown of the tasks you’re expected to complete refer to the document below:

PFES Physical Assessment Document

Quick Tip:

Although the protective clothing and equipment will be provided by NT Fire and Rescue recruitment on the day, you are responsible for bringing appropriate sports clothing to wear. Make sure you bring appropriate attire such as shorts and trainers.

Interview (Stage 5)

Applicants who get this far will be invited to an interview. Luckily for you, the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service have created an extensive guide on what they’re looking out for during the interview.

Read This Interview Guide

To give you an idea of what you can expect, candidates will face a panel consisting of 3 to 4 members and will need to answer behavioral-based interview questions. This will provide interviewers with a chance to assess:

  • Personal Suitability for a Fire Career.
  • Attitudes, beliefs, and values.
  • Thought processes and problem-solving skills.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Knowledge of the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service.

It’s at this stage that you may find your referees are contacted to provide your references. A Criminal History check will also be completed.

Quick Tip:

In order to make a good impression on the panel make sure you do your research. Use the link above to assess what the service is looking for and practice verbally demonstrating how you match these criteria. Also, prepare some good questions, we have a list of common firefighter interview questions – this is a great chance to show you’ve done your homework.

Use the Interview decoder tool to make sure you don’t leave anything out.

Final  Assessments (Final Stage)

Once you have successfully completed the five stages of the NT Fire and Rescue recruitment you will need to complete further medical assessment. At this stage, you will need to provide relevant medical reports related to any surgery, serious injuries, or illnesses that you’ve had.

In some circumstances, applicants may require specialist clearance. If all goes well, you’ll be given four weeks’ notice of your start date. For additional information on the medical requirements refer to the document below:

PFES Medical Guide – Download

Recruitment Dates

Firefighter recruitment dates and outlook for Fire and rescue Northern Territory this year.

Education Requirements 

NT Fire & Rescue firefighter high school requirements 

Northern Territory Fire and Emergency Services Salary

When you decide to join the fire department it’s important that you’re familiar, as well as comfortable with the firefighter pay for NT Fire Service. As with other occupations, salaries vary depending on your role. For example, as a recruit firefighter, you will receive less than a station officer. The table below was taken from the recruitment information booklet and gives you a breakdown of firefighter salary by role.

NTFS salary breakdown

Becoming a firefighter in the Northern Territory is a great way to give back to the communities and get yourself a rewarding career.

Looking for extra help or support with Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Recruitment? Get in touch today and join the other students on their way to becoming Firefighters using our systems and training to beat the competition.

Brent wearing firefighter shirt

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