The federal government is facing a shortage of firefighters, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
The Times’ Anna Phillips reported that the Department of the Interior has hired only 1,359 seasonal firefighters this year, well below their target of 1,600. According to the article, a major cause of that shortage was the government shutdown in January, which delayed hiring and training of firefighters.
Pacific Standard’s Maxine Speier noted that, in addition to the shutdown, an overall tighter labor market in the US contributed to the shortage, as there are fewer people seeking the type of seasonal, dangerous, and stressful work firefighting entails.
While entry-level federal firefighters earn just $12.95 an hour, according to the Times, pay for the typical firefighter varies across the US.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics Program, we made the above map showing what the typical firefighter makes annually across the country. Nationally, the median annual wage for firefighters was $49,620. In the states, median pay ranges from $28,200 in Louisiana to $81,240 in New York.