Become a Durham Firefighter

We accept Firefighter applications annually, typically in March or April.  If you are interested in a Firefighter position, please complete a NEW Firefighter Interest Card so that you receive email notification when our next hiring process opens.    Find out how to prepare for the next Hiring Process here. We hope to see you in Durham!

Group of diverse firefighters stands at the back of a fire truck, making bull symbol with hands
TENTATIVE 2022 Hiring Process Dates Event
April 1-30 Applications Accepted
Late April Practice Sessions
Early-Mid June Interviews
Early July Offers Extended
Mid July Physicals
Mid-Late August Employment Begins


  • 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 be vaccinated according to 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.

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.
  • Starting Salary:  $35,592 for entry level fire recruits or $37,361 for certified firefighters and for certified AEMTs who would like to become firefighters.  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 
  • 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)
  • 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
Academy Schedule

 Salary Ranges as of 7/1/2021

Current Salary Ranges
Career Salary Range
Salaries below do not include education or other incentives
Fire Recruit (Entry)
$35,592 - $60,857
Certified Firefighter or Certified A-EMT $37,361 - $60,857
Fire Driver / Fire Inspector II
$45,860 - $71,144
Fire Captain / Assistant Fire Marshal
$56,951 - $92,767
Battalion Chief / Deputy Fire Marshal
$67,504 - $104,721
Division Chief $84,681 - $131,368
Assistant Fire Chief / Fire Marshal
$93,150 - $151,732

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

Firefighter Schedule-1 LineOur firefighters work an average of ten 24-hour shifts per month on A, C, 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 2021 Shift Calendar.