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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Wildland Fire
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Wildland Fire Career Ladders



This section of the web site provides a Fire Management Career Ladders chart listing some of the most common jobs in a career progression in four of the most common career tracks in wildland fire management (operations, aviation, fuels, and dispatch).  Although the chart is not an exhaustive list of opportunities in wildland fire management it does provide a view of jobs and potential career paths in wildland fire with brief, hot linked, descriptions for the listed jobs.  For more information on training and qualifications please see: http://training.nwcg.gov/index.html as well as additional information on How to Become a Firefighter for seasonal and permanent positions at http://training.nwcg.gov/sect_firef_seasonal.htm and http://training.nwcg.gov/sect_firef_full.htm

 Fire Management Career Ladders wo notes_resized 031813

Other career tracks (with fewer positions than the major fields) exist in prevention, fire ecology, training, safety, and fire business specialties. 

For a downloadable, printable pdf of the graphic above, please click here.  For a downloadble, printable pdf of the job descriptions, please click here.

Note: This table displays normal career paths in major career fields in Fire Management.  It does not reflect positions in the Incident Command System (ICS).

 

Firefighter Engine Crew Firefighter Hand Crew Hotshot Crew member Squad Leader Engine Crew Squad Leader Hand Crew Engine Crew Supervisor Hand Crew Supervisor Fire Operations Specialist Hotshot Crew Superintendent Assistant Fire Management Officer Fire Management Officer Assistant Fire Staff Officer Fire Staff Officer Helicopter Module Member Smokejumper Helicopter Module Squad Leader Smokejumper Spotter Helicopter Manager Pilot Unit Aviation Officer Smokejumper Base Manager State/Regional Aviation Officer National Aviation Manager Fuels Crew Member Fuels Technician Prescribed Fire Monitor Prescribed Fire Manager Fire Planner State/Regional Prescribed Fire Manager National Fuels Program Manager Dispatcher Assistant Center Manager Logistics Coordinator Intelligence Officer Emergency Operations Coordinator Intelligence Coordinator Coordination Center Manager Early Career Opportunities Mid-Career Opportunities Later Career Opportunities Operations Aviation Fuels Dispatch