Fire Careers
Fire Careers
Fire Careers
Fire Careers
Fire Careers

Recruitment Process

Applicants are encouraged to prepare and practice prior to attending the recruitment process as many apply, but few are hired. Candidates will no longer be required to take and pass a written exam. Candidates must demonstrate a strong work ethic, responsibility, motivation, determination and teamwork. Firefighting experience is not required. All certifications required will be taught during Recruit Academy.

Applicants will be required to successfully complete the following testing and screenings:

  • Strength and Agility Test (multiple opportunities to take and pass)
  • Panel Interview
  • Passing results of English Placement test through CFCC *
  • Criminal Background Investigation
  • Driving History Check
  • Personal and Professional reference check
  • Pre-Employment Physical, Stress Test and Drug Screen **

* All Firefighter Academy candidates must have completed the CFCC Placement Test prior to being hired in order to participate in the EMT portion of the recruit academy. The course requirement for the EMT class is a CASAS Reading goal of 249 or higher or successful completion within the last year, or English 111 within the past ten years. Even though you may have a degree or have completed an English course from another College or University, you are still required to complete the Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) Placement English Test. Applicants must submit their passing score documentation to Human Resources. Scores can be obtained from the Admissions Office. Please visit the testing center website to schedule your exam.

** For the Pre-employment Physical, Wilmington Fire Department follows NFPA 1582 medical standards.

Note: Correspondence will be sent to candidates using only the e-mail address included on the application.

Please make sure your email is correct on your application and monitor your e-mail closely after the posted closing date as contact will be made after applications are verified.

Application Process

Minimum Requirements to Apply

  • Legal to work in the United States
  • At least 18 years of age by the closing of the post date
  • Minimum of a High School Diploma or GED
  • Possess a valid driver's license (ID will be checked throughout entire process)

Application Process

  • Applications can be submitted prior to completion of the JPAT
    • Applicants must pass the JPAT in order for application to be deemed qualified to move forward
    • If candidate has not taken/passed the agility, candidate's application will disqualified.
  • Applications and documentation can only be submitted online during open post (paper/email will not be accepted)
  • All documentation to support highest level of education, experience and certifications must be uploaded with application for credit.
    • If you state you have previous military experience, please attach DD214
    • If you state you have education higher than GED/Diploma, please attach transcript
    • If you state you have FF or EMT, please attach proof of certifications

Important: Correspondence will be sent to candidates using only the e-mail address included on the application. Please monitor your e-mail closely after the posted closing date. Check spam and junk folders.

Strength & Agility

Firefighters need to be physically fit in order to perform their job safely.

Task #1: Run

Requirement: Complete 1½ mile run - 15 min

  • Applicants pace themselves throughout the run and attempt to complete the 1½ miles by starting from the starting point and running to complete the course.

Task #2: Job Physical Assessment

Requirement: Complete JPAT Course

  • Victim Drag
  • Ladder Raise
  • High Rise Pack/Stair Climb/Hose Hoist
  • Hose Drag
  • Equipment Carry - Remove 2 pieces of equipment from elevated shelf and carry specified distance

Salary & Benefits

Starting Salary

  • Academy: $41,496
  • After Graduation: $43,680

Comprehensive Benefits Package

  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Flexible Spending
  • Retirement: 4.5% contribution to 401k or 457 plans, and in lieu of social security, the city will contribute an additional 3% to the 457 plan. If you elect to contribute an additional 3% to the 457 plan, the city will match your 3% contribution after academy completion.
  • Term Life Insurance
  • Supplemental Benefit options
    • Critical Illness
    • Cancer
    • Short Term Disability
    • Life Insurance
    • Hospital Indemnity
    • Identity Protection
  • EAP Services
  • Paid Vacation
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Paid Sick Time
  • Sick Leave Bank
  • Education Reimbursement: $1500 PFY
  • Education Incentive:
    • $1,000 - Associate Degree
    • $2,000 - Bachelor Degree

Visit the city's benefits page for more information.

Recruit Class

Over the course of 6 months, each member completes hundreds of hours of training, along with more than 100 hours of physical training. During this time our recruits achieve state certifications for Emergency Medical Technician, Firefighter, Shipboard Firefighting, and Hazardous Materials Operations, as well as Child Passenger Safety Seat Technician. The class is also trained in Firefighter Rescue, Safety, and Survival.

Questions Answered

Do you have to have fire or medical experience or training in order to apply?

No. The Wilmington Fire Department will provide all necessary training and certifications during the recruit academy. No experience is required.

Is there a residency requirement?

No, there is not a residency requirement; however, if you move to NC you must obtain a NC Driver's license within 60 days of employment.

How long is recruit academy and is it paid?

Recruit academy is typically 6 months long, If you are selected for employment you will attend New Hire Orientation and you will be a paid employee from that day forward.

If I am already a firefighter somewhere else, can I transfer to you?

The Wilmington Fire Department does not accept lateral transfers. All interested applicants go through the testing process and if selected for hire, attend recruit academy.

If I already have Firefighter certifications and EMT, do I have to sit through Academy?

Yes. All recruits receive the same training and education during our academy. Recruits must pass practicals and testing. If the recruit already has EMT certification through the State of North Carolina, they will remain in class and must take the school exam but will not have to recertify with the state.