Become a Durham Firefighter

We accept firefighter applications annually.  If you are interested a position with us, please submit your name and email address on a Firefighter Interest Card so that you receive email notification when our next hiring process opens. Once it opens, you can review Important Hiring Information, Our benefits and salary ranges are below and as are of 2020.  We hope to see you in Durham!

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.

Group of diverse firefighters stands at the back of a fire truck, making bull symbol with hands

Compensation & Benefits
  • City of Durham benefits begin on the first day of the month after hire.  We urge you to consider our  benefits in salary comparisons with other departments.
  • Starting Salary:  $34,388 for entry level fire recruits or $36,098 for certified firefighters and certified A-EMTs who would like to become firefighters.  Personnel are paid biweekly.  Starting salaries are non-negotiable.  
  • We offer 5% 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 lasting approximately 33 weeks for entry level firefighters; number of weeks will vary for certified firefighters and certified EMTs.  (Fire=16 weeks, EMT=7 weeks, A-EMT=10 weeks)  Tuition and books are fully funded by the Durham Fire Department.
  • Additional City of Durham Employee Benefits
Eligibility Requirements  

  • Must be a permanent U.S. resident
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • 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

 Salary Ranges

Complete Salary Range
    Note:  Salaries below do not include education or other incentives
Fire Recruit (Entry)
$34,388 - $58,800
Certified Firefighter or Certified A-EMT $36,098 - $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


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).