Fire Academy Requirements

The Guide to Getting In

You're considering becoming a firefighter and you're curious to know what the fire academy requirements are.

Completing the academy is the first step to become a firefighter.

Before you can do any firefighting, you have to make it through a local fire academy that's approved by your State.

Fire academy requirements do vary from State to State,

There are several requirements that almost all states have implemented in order to ensure that the best and brightest are accepted.

So, what are the requirements for fire academy?


Keep reading because I'm going to review all of them.


Fire Academy Requirements: The Basics

Most firefighter academy requirements state that all applicants must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A legal U.S. Citizen
  • Have a clean background record
  • Graduated from High School or earned a GED
  • Some require completion of EMT school

These are common firefighter school requirements because as a career firefighter, you'll face dangerous challenges on a daily basis​.

Responsible adults who can be trusted to understand and obey the law and who are mature enough to make choices that could mean the difference between life and death must meet these challenges.

Physical Requirements for the Fire Academy

​Firefighter schools only accept individuals in top physical condition.

This is because as a future firefighter, you must be able to wear heavy gear and carry equipment under adverse conditions.

​1.  Running up stairs

2.  Climbing ladders

3.  Carrying victims

All while wearing up to 75 pounds of extra weight​ in gear and equipment.

This is why the physical requirements for fire academy are passing the PAT or the Physical Abilities Test.

This test is broken down into several physical fitness tests.

You will gear up and show that you can muscle through any challenges that firefighters commonly face.

The basic sections of the PAT may include:

1.  The Stair Climb

You will have to climb stairs at a rate of 60 steps per minute while wearing 12.5 pounds on each shoulder.

The handrail cannot be used to pull yourself up or pivot around landings.​

Contact must be made with every stair tread and no skipping of steps.​

2.  The Hose Drag

You'll have to drag a hose full of water in a straight line for 75 feet.

Hands will have to be placed on the hose itself and not on the nozzle.

3.  Forcible Entry

Position both feet on the platform so that your feet are even with the weighted slide.

Bend forward so that you can see the end of the slide.

With a 10 pound blow hammer, use short hard stroked to drive the weighted slide 5 feet.​

4.  Victim Rescue 

Pick up a 175 pound victim simulator and drag it, walking backwards only, 100 feet.

5.  Hoist Evolution 

​After walking up to the fifth floor window, you'll have to walk out onto the balcony.

Using a hand-over-hand method, pull up a section of rolled hose to the top of the railing.

Then lift the rolled up hose over the railing and place on the balcony floor.​

These activities myst all be passed for a passing score on the PAT.

Practice and training long before the test is a must in order to complete and pass the test.

Physical requirements for the fire service will be absolutely necessary to continue after the academy.

So obtaining and maintaining your peak physical condition will be a must.

Besides the PAT, another firefighter requirement is to have a clean bill of health form your doctor.

Before applying to the firefighter training academy, get a full checkup from your primary healthcare provide.​

Firefighter School Requirements:  Education

As we mentioned already, you must have your High School Diploma or a GED to apply for the fire academy.

However, many firefighters go on to choose to get a college degree in Fire Science in order to be qualified for higher positions in their careers.​

Also, while enrolled in the fire fighter academy, you'll be required to pass several oral and written exams as well as skill stations.

There will be a certain amount of a time commitment required to take and pass of these classes.

You may need to take some knowledge tests to get into the firefighter academy such as the TABE.

These tests are to ensure you have a basic understanding of math, reading, and comprehension.

Before becoming a firefighter, you'll need to sit down and calculate the firefighter academy cost in your area.

These costs can vary but, when all is said and down, the fire academy can cost around $6,000 to complete.

Of course this amount is dependent upon the program and your individual requirements and area.​


There are online fire academies available, but make sure your State accepts these options before signing up.

Each fire academy requirements may differ.

Contact the ones in your area to learn exactly what they are.

Make sure to ask how to get into the fire academy so that you know the step-by-step procedure for their specific school.

Local community colleges, technical schools, and vocational colleges typically offer this training.

Fulfilling the requirements to become a firefighter may be hard work for you, especially the fire academy physical training.

Knowing the fire academy requirements is the beginning of your journey to an exciting career as a firefighter.​


1.  Academy Entrance Ability Test​

2. T.A.B.E.​ Test

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Jim Connelly

The Founder of Public Safety Elite, I'm a proud member of the Fire Service, a dedicated husband to a wonderful wife, proud father of a beautiful young lady, and passionate about Public Safety for a fulfilling career!

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