Firefighter Salary in San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara

103460 /yr

Median Salary

50880 /yr

Min Salary

177750 /yr

Max Salary


Salaries can vary significantly by state and region. The highest paying states are California ($85,970 avg), New Jersey ($78,770), and Washington ($77,740). The lowest salaries are in South Dakota ($32,080), Louisiana ($32,668) and Mississippi ($34,870).

Key factors include experience/rank, type of department (municipal, county, state), certifications, cost of living in the area, and amount of danger and physical demands.

Yes, firefighters often work overtime and get paid time-and-a-half rates when they exceed their scheduled hours, especially during busy seasons with high call volumes.

Yes, firefighter salaries are strong compared to the education requirements while comprehensive benefits packages, early retirement options and strong job security provide financial stability.

Occupational illnesses, high divorce rates, expensive housing costs in affluent areas they serve, and early medical retirement risks pose challenges.

Eligible tax advantages include claiming clothing/safety gear deductions, exempt resident taxes and waived federal income taxes on disability pensions under certain conditions.

Entry-level firefighters earn $32,500 – $45,000 per year on average depending on location and department types.

The average fire chief salary is $83,460. Larger metropolitan departments can earn $125,000+ per year.

Volunteer firefighters often receive small stipends of $200-$500 per call or get paid hourly during active emergency responses. Annual compensation averages $5,000-$10,000.

Typically no, full-time firefighter trainees receive paid training to complete fire academy and residency internship requirements. Some volunteer departments partially subsidize costs.

Many state/local firefighter unions and associations offer financial guidance. Nonprofits like the Fire Family Foundation also provide tips, education and programs focused on financial health.

Participate in pension programs from the start of employment, contribute to supplemental 457(b) defined compensation plans offered by many departments and take advantage of specialized personal retirement tools through Fire Fighter’s Credit Union.