Become a Durham Firefighter

We want you on our team, so first and foremost, complete a Firefighter Interest Form so that you receive an email when we begin our NEXT hiring process. We accept firefighter applications annually, in March.  Please review "

Important Hiring Information

"  so that you know what to expect when you apply.  We hope to see you in Durham!


  • Must be a permanent U.S. resident
  • Must be at least 18 years old as of July 1 of current year (Based on March application period)
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent as of July 1 of current year (Based on March application period)
  • No DWI convictions in the last four years
  • No felony convictions - Note: speeding tickets and misdemeanors may not be disqualifiers
  • Valid driver’s license (does not have to be N.C.)
  • Must be able to speak, write and test in English
Rank COMPLETE Salary Range
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 Chief / Fire Marshal $72,938 - $118,808
* Note:  Salaries do not include incentives.  Salaries for Fire Recruits and Firefighters are non-negotiable and begin at starting range.
Find Out How to Become a Firefighter in the Bull City


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).  

Benefits and Compensation

  • 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 is $34,388 for Entry Level Fire Recruits and $36,098 for Certified Firefighters or Certified A-EMTs.  Personnel are paid be-weekly.  Starting salaries are non-negotiable.
  • We offer 5% annual increases for sworn personnel with satisfactory performance.
  • Education Incentive is a 2.5% increase for an associate’s degree and 5% for a bachelor’s degree.  For entry level firefighters and A-EMTs who attend an academy, these incentives are awarded after graduation from the academy.  For certified firefighters, these incentives are awarded at hire.
  • 401K consists of 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).
  • Excellent dental and health insurance with specialty insurance options.
  • Recruits are paid throughout the Fire Academy lasting approximately 32 weeks for Entry Level Firefighters.  (Number of weeks for Certified Firefighters and Certified A-EMTs will vary.) Academy tuition and books are fully funded by the City of Durham Fire Department.