Becoming a Durham Firefighter

Firefighters after a fire
Our hiring process is currently closed.  If you are interested in a future opportunity with us, be sure to visit our Hiring Process page for details regarding the last process.  This will give you an idea of how our process works.  Salary ranges, hiring requirements, and benefits for firefighters are listed beneath the video below.   

Eligibility Requirements  

  • Must be a permanent U.S. resident
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • No DWI convictions in the last four years
  • No felony convictions - Note: speeding tickets and misdemeanors are not dis-qualifiers
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to speak and write in English


  • Starting Salary:  $34,388 for entry level fire recruits - $36,098 for certified firefighters
  • Bilingual incentive: $1,000 annual bonus paid to those fluent in Spanish or sign language (contingent on passing a fluency exam)
  • Education incentive: 2.5% increase for an Associate's Degree or 5% increase for a Bachelor's Degree (after graduation for entry level fire recruits)
  • Recruits are paid throughout the Fire Academy

 Salary Ranges

Fire Recruit (Entry) / Firefighter (Certified)
$34,388 Entry or $36,098 Certified - $58,800
Fire Driver / Fire Inspector II
$44,309 - $68,738
Fire Captain / Assistant Fire Marshal
$55,025 - $89,630
Battalion Chief / Deputy Fire Marshal
$65,221 - $101,179
Assistant Fire Chief / Fire Marshal
$72,938 - $118,808


  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • 401 K - 5% Employer Contribution / Optional 457 with 5% Matching Contribution
  • Local Government Retirement Pension
  • Paid Training
  • Specialty Insurance Options (e.g., short term disability)


Our firefighters work an average of ten 24-hour shifts per month.  Shifts run from 7 a.m. until 7 a.m. the following day. Firefighters are assigned to either A, B, or C Shift. See the DFD Shift Schedule (PDF).