Become a Durham Firefighter

1/24/2022 - While our annual Firefighter Hiring Process is normally slated for April and is open to Entry Level and Certified applicants, it is very likely that we will We have separate Hiring Processes in 2022.  We anticipate a Certified/Lateral Hiring Process in the very near future with an Entry Level process to follow. To receive email notifications when those processes open, complete a Firefighter Interest Card and visit this page.    Find out how to prepare for the next Hiring Process here. We hope to see you in Durham!

We accept applications in each of the three categories below:  

Want to know how to prepare for our next hiring process?  Watch this page for future information on what you should do NOW in order to become successful in our 2022 process.

Got questions?  Email

Recruits Learning by Observation


  • Must be a permanent U.S. resident
  • Must be at least 18 years old as of July 1 of current year
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent as of July 1 of current year
  • No DWI convictions in the last four years
  • No felony convictions - Note: speeding tickets and misdemeanors are not disqualifiers
  • Valid unexpired driver’s license (does not have to be North Carolina)
  • Must be able to speak, write and test in English
  • Must be willing to obtain required vaccines in order to meet EMS requirements.  Additionally, proof of current Tetanus status is required and the COVID vaccine is now required for entry into all clinical sites for EMS rotations. These requirements may change at any time.
Academy Schedule

Compensation & Benefits

  • City of Durham benefits begin on the first day of the month after hire.  We urge you to consider our career salary ranges and benefits when comparing salaries with other departments.
  • Personnel are paid biweekly.  Starting salaries are non-negotiable.  
  • We offer annual increases for sworn personnel with satisfactory performance.
  • 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)
  • 401 K - 5% Employer Contribution / Optional 457 with 5% Matching Contribution 
  • Exceptional dental and health insurance with specialty insurance options
  • Recruits are paid throughout the Fire Academy.  Tuition and books are fully funded by the Durham Fire Department.
  • Additional City of Durham Employee Benefits
  • Bilingual incentive: $1,000 annual bonus paid to those fluent in Spanish or sign language (contingent on passing a fluency exam and awarded AFTER academy graduation)

 Salary Ranges as of 1/15/2022

Current Salary Ranges
Career Salary Range
Salaries below do not include education or other incentives
Fire Recruit (Entry)
$40,682 - $69,988
Certified/Lateral Firefighter or Certified A-EMT $42,966 - $69,988
Fire Driver / Fire Inspector II
$52,739 - $81,815
Fire Captain / Assistant Fire Marshal
$66,348 - $108,074
Battalion Chief / Deputy Fire Marshal
$74,254 - $115,192
Division Chief $93,149 - $144,505
Assistant Fire Chief / Fire Marshal
$98,087 - $152,165

Firefighter Schedule-1 LineOur firefighters work an average of ten 24-hour shifts per month on A, B, or C Shift.   Shifts run from 7 a.m. until 7 a.m. the following day. They work every other day for 10 days.  After that 10 day cycle is complete, each firefighter is off for 6 days straight.  See our Shift Calendar.