According to the Department of Labor, employment of fire fighters is projected to grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2022. While slower than the average for all occupations, the aging of the population will lead to an increased demand for emergency responders as the elderly tend to use more emergency medical services. Currently, about two of out three incidents that fire fighters respond to are medical—rather than fire—emergencies.The competition for jobs will remain stiff as populations in urban areas are expected to grow, increasing the demand for fire fighters.In May 2012, the median annual wage for fire fighters was $45,250; with fire fighters earning $21.75 per hour.

Fire inspectors and investigators earned $53,990 in median pay in 2012.

For more on the fire fighting profession, see the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site.