Becoming a Durham Firefighter

Firefighters after a fire
Our hiring process is now closed.

We accept applications annually, normally in the fall.  Please view detailed information on our Hiring Process page if you applied for a position with us during our most recent hiring process.

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 disqualifiers
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to speak and write in English


  • 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
  • Recruits are paid throughout the Fire Academy
  • Staring Salary: $33,000

Starting Salary by Rank

Fire Recruit / Certified Firefighter
$34,388 & $36,098 Respectively
Fire Driver / Fire Inspector II
Fire Captain / Assistant Fire Marshal
Battalion Chief / Deputy Fire Marshal
Assistant Fire Chief / Fire Marshal


  • 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).