How to become a firefighter: Izzy's story

Meet Izzy, 24, from Acton. Find out more about her life as a firefighter in London. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

I'm really proud I get to keep London safe.

  • From the age of four, Izzy always wanted to be a firefighter. She loves helping people and likes being active
  • At school she struggled with some subjects as she is dyslexic, but she really enjoyed PE. Her physical fitness is now a really important part of her role
  • She became a volunteer fire cadet instructor, which developed her skills in communication, leadership and teamwork. Izzy works in a pair to attend incidents so these skills are essential
  • Firefighting is much more than running into burning buildings. Izzy works with the community every day and attends lots of different incidents, from road traffic collisions to floodings and water rescues.

Izzy's career path

What to expect if you want to become a firefighter

  • Firefighter salary: £22,908 to £30,533 per year (or £26,211 to £34,975 in London)
  • Firefighter working hours: 41 to 43 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a firefighter?

  • Typical entry requirements: Most fire services take on new recruits once every 12 months, so you’ll need to find out when they are recruiting next. You can ask your local fire and rescue service for a firefighter recruitment pack which should include information about the kinds of skills they are looking for in new employees. You could prepare to apply to be a firefighter by doing a Level 2 award, certificate or diploma in Fire and Rescue Services in the Community with your local fire and rescue service.

This information is a guide (sources: London Fire Brigade, LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about the role of a firefighter.

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

If you’re interested in becoming a firefighter but are not sure if your skill set matches up, take a look at the Wheel of Strengths from Barclays Lifeskills.

It’s a nifty interactive tool you can use to identify your skills, interests and personality. It will also suggest jobs that might suit you and identify how building other skills could open up other job roles.

Take a look - your future awaits!

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