Learn how to become a firefighter in California

How do I become a firefighter

Welcome to The Hero School: your authority on getting and keeping a fire service job in California.

Getting in the fire service is tough. It requires patience, knowing what to do and what to say.

Our lessons will guide you through the hiring process and on past probation by giving you a competitive edge. 

Hero School courses are designed by firefighters who want to prepare the next generation of fire service professionals.  If you want to be a firefighter in California, you're in the right place. 


Get Started With The Hero School.

What you can expect when joining:

HeroMail (Free)

Weekly updates on the latest in fire service news. Just reading this stuff will make you smarter than most of the people around. 

 Aluminum Membership


A weekly online course designed to prepare you for a position in the fire service. Getting on a fire engine and collecting a paycheck is almost impossible unless you know what to do and say.

The Aluminum Membership is formatted to guide anyone of any experience level through the competitive hiring process. 

Each week, students learn what it takes to test and obtain a position in a California fire department. Most agencies have minimum requirements before you can even apply. Our curriculum will align you with what evaluators want to see and hear from applicants. 

Using actual fire service testing experts to design each step will give you the advantage you need for success. 

The Hero School puts you in the driver's seat. 


Steel Membership

What you get with Steel-

While it is possible to excel at testing for a firefighting job with Aluminum lessons, Steel Membership gains access to live mentor sessions held every week.

Ask real firefighters anything about the fire service and gain powerful insight into what is actually going to get you hired.



Diamond-Plate Membership


Captain Obvious' Incident Review

Captain Dave takes you through critiques of emergency incidents. Gain the firefighter's perspective and see through the smoke while learning from someone else's pain.

Learn multiple strategies of keeping alive while fighting the Dragon. 


 Knowing the tools of the trade will allow for smoother answers in testing. While hiring agencies aren't requiring the knowledge for entry-level positions, exceeding expectations will result in higher chances of success.

Gain specific insight into the latest trends in fire service hiring practices. Then develop a strategy that will gain precious scoring points.

Being prepared for the position will require both mental and physical readiness. Beach arms with a weak grip won't help much when pulling ceiling during an attic fire. Engineer Lisa helps you build your body so it will be fit for duty.

What is required to become a firefighter in California?

A common list of minimum requirements is:

  1. AGE: At least 18 years of age at the time of application.
  2. EDUCATION: High school diploma or GED. You must know how to read and be able to write better than a child's crayon-scribble. You don't need a Masters in Philosophy but should have the learning capacity to get one.
  3. FIREFIGHTER CANDIDATE ASSESSMENT (FCA)* typically desired by large agencies and an awesome resource for practicing the written entrance exam.
  4. CITIZENSHIP:  Normally, U.S. Citizenship is not required to apply. However, candidates must have the proper status (green card, work visa, etc.) to work legally in the United States of America.
  5. LICENSE: A valid California Driver's License is required at the time of appointment. Once hired, Firefighters are usually required to obtain and maintain a California Class "B" or Firefighter's driver's license. Don't waste time on this because you will get a chance while on probation. 
  6. CPAT: Candidates must possess a current passing score on the CPAT.Candidate Physical Ability Test

    What is the CPAT? The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is the recognized standard in California for measuring an individual’s ability to handle the physical demands of being a firefighter. If a fire department wants to test someone's ability to climb up a highrise fire escape, advance a hose line, swing an ax on a roof, crawl in an attic or pull drywall from the ceiling but doesn't want the hassle of setting up an obstacle course, they pull from this list. The CPAT is basically a third party who set up an American Ninja Firefighter's Edition that is defendable in court.

    The timed test measures how candidates handle eight separate events, all designed to mirror tasks on the job. The FCTC CPAT is administered by the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC), the exclusive statewide CPAT provider. A CPAT score is valid for one year. Information can be found here...(tap here).
  7. EMT: An Emergency Medical Technician is a person who has completed extensive first aid training and can operate in the prehospital setting. The license is normally offered through junior colleges and private businesses. It doesn't matter where you get the training because everyone is required to fall under Title 22 of the Health and Safety Code. Completing an EMT program, (and its prerequisites) is no picnic but once you're done, you can handle a lot of emergencies. Learn more about the minimum requirements for an EMT here.
  8. PHYSICAL: Do I need to be physically fit for firefighting? Yes, otherwise someone will get hurt. Firefighting and medical rescue work is physically demanding. Candidates must be in excellent health and have no conditions that would restrict their ability to safely do fire suppression and rescue work. Out of shape candidates stand out by their wheezing. Weight (body fat content) must be proportionate to height for men and women. A fire academy, as well as the job of firefighting, may exceed your abilities if you don't respect it. Forming a firefighting body takes time and sweat. Begin jumping the difficult hurdles now so they aren't 'impossible walls' later. 

Our program was designed to take you by the hand—regardless of your experience level and lead you down the awesome path of a fire service career.


Whether you are in high school or at a dead-end job, we can help you become a professional hero.


Inside the Hero School, your education will be handed to you. No need to worry about where to go or what to tap.

The upper right of your screen is a menu icon. To enter your course, simply tap on the screen and you’ll be taken to the membership entrance screen.

Depending on your membership you will have different levels of access.


If you’ve never been in the fire service before, The Cadet course is for you. Those who are currently working on probation will go to the “Probie” course.

Are you an experienced firefighter wanting to promote? The Engineer and Captain courses are for you.

With one or two taps you will be on your way to Hero-badassness.


 How much does a firefighter make in California?

How do I become a firefighter