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Employment Prospects


Approximately 332,400 paid firefighters work in the United States, with about 90 percent of career firefighters working in municipal or county fire departments. Some very large cities have several thousand firefighters, while small towns might only have a few. The remainder work in fire departments on federal and state installations, such as military bases and airports, and for the USDA Forest Service, the National Park Service, and state departments of forestry. Private fire brigades employ a very small number of firefighters. About 72 percent of career firefighters work for departments that protect more than 25,000 people, and 95 percent all volunteer firefighters work in small, rural departments that protect fewer than 25,000 people, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Many large companies have their own fire-protection staffs and private fire brigades.  

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