Firefighting is known as being one of the toughest professions in the world, with firefighters having to deal with life or death situations on a regular basis. Not to mention, it takes a serious amount of training and education to become a professional firefighter.
According to the Texas States Association of Fire Fighters (TSAFF), there are over 15,000 firefighters working in the state.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at how much money Texan firefighters are paid and seeing how it compares with figures from across the United States.
Texas Firefighter Salaries
Figures from Careerexplorer.com tell us that the average salary for firefighters in Texas is $51,240, between a range of $31,300 for the bottom 20% of the spectrum and $76,800 for the top 20%.
Of course, this figure will vary from person to person, depending on a number of factors like the location they work in and how much experience they have. In fact, experience is the biggest factor in determining how much a firefighter in Texas could expect to make.
At the lowest end of the scale, a newly qualified, inexperienced firefighter can earn a starting salary of around $31,340. On the other hand, a top-level, very experienced firefighter could earn a starting salary in Texas of roughly $76,820.
As you can tell, there’s a great monetary benefit for firefighters who stick with the profession for a number of years and accumulate plenty of experience in the field.
How Do Texas Firefighter Salaries Compare To Other States?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data every year on how much each profession earns in different states. In May 2020, they outlined that the median (the middle point of both ends of the pay scale) salary for firefighters in the US was $52,500.
The average salary for Texas in that year was found to be $56,610, indicating that Texan firefighters are seemingly paid slightly more than the rest of the country on average.
On the list of all states, ranked by average firefighter salary, Texas places 16th, which further proves that Texas is a pretty good place to work as a firefighter if you want to earn a high salary.
Do Firefighters Get Paid Well In Texas?
We’ve established that firefighters in Texas earn a higher average salary than most of the other states in the US but does that necessarily mean that it’s a good salary? To establish this, we also need to look at how much it costs to live and work in each state.
For example, one of the highest paying states for most professions is California but this is also one of the most expensive places in the country to live.
Therefore, there can often be an imbalance between how much a worker earns and how much they have to spend to live in a given state.
The cost of living index works out how much it costs to live in each state based on factors like housing, groceries, transportation, and healthcare and then gives a score based on those figures.
The cost of living index score for the whole of the United States is 100, so anything below that indicates a cheaper place to live and anything above that indicates a more expensive place to live.
The cost of living index for Texas is 91.5, meaning it is cheaper to live here than the average of all the other states combined.
Of course, this average can be skewed by exceptional states like Hawaii where the cost of living index score is 192.9 but this still gives us a good indication of how expensive it is to live in Texas.
What this tells us is that Texas firefighters earn more money on average than other states and also have to spend less of that money to sustain a sufficient standard of living.
The takeaway point of all this is that Texas firefighter salaries are incredibly good compared to the rest of the country.
In fact, there aren’t many other states in the US where this disparity exists so Texas can be considered one of the best-paying states in the whole country for firefighters!
Which Texas Cities/Regions Pay The Highest Firefighter Salaries?
So we’ve established that Texas is one of the best places in the United States to work as a firefighter in terms of how much money you can make.
However, before you pack your bags and catch the first flight over to Texas, you might also want to think about which cities pay the most, too.
According to a 2020 survey, the highest median annual salary in Texas is paid in Waco, which sits between Austin and Dallas.
In the city of Waco, firefighters could expect to earn a median salary of $73,280 in 2020, putting it way above the average even within Texas!
The other areas in the top 10 are as follows:
- Waco: $73,280
- Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos: $67,130
- Fort Worth-Arlington: $66,180
- Amarillo: $66,150
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington: $61,600
- Tyler: $61,550
- Longview: $61,290
- Beaumont-Port Arthur: $60,480
- Victoria: $59,170
- San Antonio-NewBraunfels: $56,410
At the other end of the scale, the lowest-paying region of Texas is the Gulf Coast Texas nonmetropolitan area, where the annual median salary in 2020 was only $31,620.
These were the bottom 10 areas for firefighter salaries in Texas, in 2020:
- Gulf Coast Texas nonmetropolitan area: $31,620
- McAllen-Edinburg-Mission: $35,140
- North Central Texas nonmetropolitan area: $35,620
- Central Texas nonmetropolitan area: $36,090
- Sherman-Denison: $41,430
- Eastern Texas nonmetropolitan area: $42,770
- Northwest Texas nonmetropolitan area: $42,840
- Brownsville-Harlingen: $45,860
- Wichita Falls: $46,780
- Southern Texas nonmetropolitan area: $46,930
A trend you’ve probably noticed with these areas is that nonmetropolitan areas, which are sparsely populated, pay a lower salary on average.
For that reason, your best bet for earning a high salary is to live in built-up areas and larger cities.
What we’ve learned from this article is that Texas is, generally, a good place to earn a living as a firefighter, especially when compared to other states in the US.
However, a good salary is to be expected for the essential emergency workers who save countless lives on a daily basis all over the state of Texas.