Seasonal Firefighter Employment
If you are looking for a temporary job that provides a lot of challenge while allowing you to spend time out of doors, consider pursuing seasonal firefighter employment. This is not a job for the faint of heart, though.
Seasonal firefighters are responsible for carrying a pack with supplies to the fire site. They must be able to hike over rough terrain and must be knowledgeable about outdoor survival.
Depending on the situation, you may need to be prepared to spend several days or weeks camping out before you get a chance to sleep in a bed or have a shower. Other seasonal firefighter jobs involve staying at remote camps for weeks at a time.
The hours are long, and you must be able to work for up to 20 hours at a time. Seasonal firefighters must be able to put up with insect pests and be prepared for the possibility that you will be bitten by snakes while on the job. Having First Aid and CPR training are requirements, and knowing how to operate a chainsaw skillfully is another good skill to have before you apply for a job.
Seasonal jobs may offer 40 hours of work per week, but there are some part-time and temporary opportunities as well. The 40 hours of work may be in the form of a compressed work week with four (10-hour) days on followed by four days off. You may be hired for the entire season, which lasts from May to September.
You can find job openings for seasonal firefighters posted on the USAJobs website. Start looking for openings in February for that year’s firefighting season. If there is a specific area that you are interested in working in, you may be able to apply for a seasonal position through the state employment office. Some national forest offices will hire seasonal firefighters directly and you can contact them to see if they hire workers directly.
One last thing: if this kind of work interests you, invest in a sturdy pair of work boots and have them well broken in before your first day on the job. You won’t be able to keep up with your coworkers if you have to deal with blisters and the like, and everyone on the team is expected to pull their own weight.