Firefighter Career FAQs

FDNY Mission/Job Description

What is the mission of the FDNY?

As first responders to fires, public safety and medical emergencies, disasters and terrorist acts, FDNY protects the lives and property of New York City residents and visitors. The Department advances public safety through its fire prevention, investigation and education programs. The timely delivery of these services enables the FDNY to make significant contributions to the safety of New York City and homeland security efforts.

What does a Firefighter’s job involve?

The community counts on FDNY Firefighters to respond to emergency situations and protecting the public.  This includes extinguishing fires, technical rescues, responding to biological and chemical threats and more.  Firefighters are depended on to promote fire safety and enforce fire safety standards.  There are amazing opportunities to advance in your career.  This is just the beginning.  Part of the excitement of being a firefighters is that you never know what to expect.

Can a woman be a Firefighter?

Yes. The Fire Department strongly encourages women to become Firefighters.

Benefits and Salary

What benefits do you receive as a FDNY Firefighter?

As a FDNY Firefighter, you receive a competitive benefits package that includes lifelong medical coverage for you and your family, flexible work schedules, growth opportunities, up to four weeks paid vacation per year, and a generous pension

What is the starting salary?

Firefighters receive a base salary of $39,370 to start. After one year, Firefighters earn $41,311 (plus $8,159 in additional compensation). After just five years on the job, they earn $76,488 (plus $22,616 in additional compensation). *Additional compensation reflects overtime, holiday pay and other.

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When can I file for the exam?

Filing for the firefighter exam happens every few years.

When is the next written exam?

The firefighter exam happens every few years. 

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Does the written exam test my knowledge of firefighting or the FDNY?

No. The computer based test is an examination that gauges a candidate's ability to learn and perform the work of a Firefighter. It may include questions on reading comprehension, problem solving, spatial recognition and applying rules to general concepts.

After I pass the test, what should I expect?

Based on your performance on the exam your name will be put on a civil service list in list number order. You will then be called to take the physical portion of the exam. The physical ability test is a series of challenges designed to test ability in four categories of fitness that are crucial in firefighting. Once your number is called for consideration, you will also take a medical and psychological exam, be subject to a drug screening, and begin your character and background investigation. Your eligibility requirements will also be checked at this time.

Where can I find an application?

Application can be found on the Department of CityWide Administrative Services Website.

Age and Residency Requirements

Do you have to be a NYC resident to be a FDNY Firefighter?

You must live in one of the five boroughs; Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island or one of these New York counties: Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Nassau or Suffolk County

Do you have to live in NYC or New York State to file or take the examination?

No, it does not matter where you live when you file for or take the Firefighter Exam. However, when you are appointed you must live in either the five boroughs of New York City or in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Nassau or Suffolk County.

Can you receive extra points on the exam if you live in NYC?

Yes.  Each exam year, applicants living in NYC will receive extra points.

Get the Latest Notice of Examination to Learn About Residency and Extra Points

Do you have to be a United States Citizen to be a FDNY Firefighter?

Yes, United States citizenship is required at the time of appointment.

What are the age requirements?

You can start thinking about becoming a firefighter as early as 17 1/2 years of age.  You should not reach your 29th birthday by the beginning of the application process.  There are exceptions to this rule.

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Are age requirements illegal?

Age requirements are not illegal.  It is federal law to have a maximum age requirement for the hiring of Firefighters.

Note: This is known The Federal Age Discrimination In Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).  It was amended in 1995 to allow states and political subdivisions of states to impose age limitations for hiring and retirement of police officers and Firefighters as long as the requirement was in effect prior to March 3, 1983, and in certain other circumstances [Title 29, United States Code, Section 623(j)].

Can the age requirement be waived?

FDNY does not have the authority to waive the age requirement. Such a waiver is granted only through legislation


What is CFR-D?

CFR-D is short for Certified First Responder with Defibrillation.

Is a CFR-D certificate required before appointment?

No, it is not required at time of appointment. However, you will need to have a CFR-D certificate by the end of your probationary period and maintain it throughout your employment. If you do not possess a CFR-D certificate at time of appointment the FDNY provides a CFR-D training program during the Firefighter training course. If you successfully complete the course and receive your CFR-D certificate payroll deduction will commence at a rate of $30 per pay period until the total cost of the training is recouped by the FDNY.

Do you get extra points on the Firefighter exam for having your CFR-D or EMT certification?


What is the legacy credit?

The legacy credit allows 10 additional points to be added to the final score of any applicant for the following circumstances:

  • A parent who has died while on duty as a Police Officer or Firefighter
  • A candidate who is the sibling of a Police Officer or Firefighter who was killed in    service on September 11, 2001 as a result of the World Trade Center Attack.
  • A candidate who is the child of an FDNY EMS member who was killed in service on September 11, 2001 as a result of the World Trade Center attack

To be eligible, candidates must have passed the exam.

Do I have to have a driver’s license to be a Firefighter?

Yes, you need a valid New York State Driver's license to be appointed as a FDNY Firefighter.

Education/Course Credit

Do the 15 college credits have to be in any special area of study?

No, any course of study is acceptable. However, these credits must be obtained from a university, institution, school or college accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.

Can you get extra credit for courses in the field of Fire Science, Police Science or Emergency Medicine?

No, we do not give extra credit for specialized courses.

Can I get extra credit for firefighting experience in other municipalities or countries?


Can I transfer from another fire service to the FDNY without having to take the test?


For More Information

How can I get more information?

Go to the Support Section or Contact the FDNY by phone.  You can also call 311.

I took the most recent Firefighter Exam, where do I get my results?

If you took the most recent Firefighter Exam, your results will be mailed to you.  You can also call the automated phone system at 212-669-1357.  You will be asked for your social security number and 4-digit exam number.


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