15 Highest-Paid Firefighters In California 2023



Firefighting is an important job in society, they help put out fires whenever the need arises. Firefighters are professionals who are trained to put out fires and avert impending hazards that may occur following a fire outbreak whether at home or in industrial houses. 

This article would explain everything you need to know about becoming a professional firefighter, and also how much firefighters get paid in California, we would also be listing out the highest-paid firefighters in California and some frequently asked questions about firefighting jobs in California.

How Much Does An Average Firefighter In California Make? 

According to ziprecruiter.com an average firefighter in California makes an average of $63,795 a year, which is approximately $30.67 per hour or 1,226 per week or $5,316 per month.


This figure is also dependent on other factors like educational level, position, location, skill level, and years of experience.

What are the Top Cities in California with the Highest Paid Firefighters? 

The cities listed below pay firefighters the most in California; most professional firefighters prefer to work here than in other cities. 

  • San Francisco- $86,305 
  • Bolinas- $85,700 
  • Fremont- $84,283 
  • San Jose- $81,474 
  • Sunnyvale- $79,359 
  • Hayward- $78,979 
  • Inverness- $78,733 
  • Vallejo- $78,488 
  • Concord- $77,582 
  • Santa Rosa- $77,083

How ordinary firefighters are honored:

Firefighters are the ones who step up to the plate in the face of a major fire. To appreciate these firefighters for their great contribution to fighting fires, fire departments and fire stations will send them a batch of custom firefighter challenges coins.

15 Highest-paid Firefighters in California

Below is a list of fire departments with the highest-paid firefighters in California.


1. Alameda County Fire Department

Salary: $84,560

Alameda county fire department (ACFD) houses most of the highest-paid firefighters in California, they cover the following areas; San Leandro, Dublin, Newark, Union City, and Emeryville. The AFCD has 28 fire stations and 35 companies.

Also Read: How to get a towed car back without paying California

2. Anaheim Fire & Rescue

Salary: $84,000

Anaheim Fire & Rescue also harbors the highest-paid firefighters in California, they are in charge of managing and putting out fire outbreaks in the city of Anaheim. 

The fire department serves over 1.2 million people in an area of 200 square miles with 9-1-1 fire and EMS dispatch (520 km2).  

3. Bakersfield Fire Department

Salary: $83,760

Bakersfield fire department helps avert fire outbreaks in the city of Bakersfield which is the largest city in Kern County.


Firefighters in this department are always on their toes to put out fires and help to curtail other accidents.

4. The Bennett Valley Fire Protection District

Salary: $83,100

The Bennett Valley Fire District (BVFPD) is a Fire Protection District that serves Bennett Valley, California.

They provide fire protection, risk reduction, and emergency medical services.

The Bennett Valley, Fire Protection District, works in partnership with other fire departments and districts around it. They help each other with multiple alarms, cover assignments, and other emergencies. It harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters in California.

5. Brea Fire Department

Salary: $80,137

The Brea Fire Services Department is responsible for putting off fires and providing safety services.

They respond to distress calls quickly even during weekends; the Brea fire service department also has an active Fire Prevention and Emergency Preparedness Program that conducts fire inspections, hazardous process permitting, fire code enforcement, public education, and business emergency planning in line with the California Code of Regulations.

6. Fire Department of Orange County

Salary: $79,234

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) protects unincorporated areas of Orange County, California, from fires and takes care of medical emergencies. 

It also contracts its services to 25 cities in the county. The Orange County Fire Department has 11 brigades and 7 divisions.

7. CDF Fire Aviation Management

Salary: $78,500

Workers in the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection are also among the highest-paid firefighters in California, it has an aerial firefighting force that helps put off fires as quickly as possible.

It is currently based in McClellan Airfield, which is close to Sacramento, California. 

8. Fire Department of Cathedral City

Salary: $75,490

Workers in Cathedral City also called “Cat City” also harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters in California. It has the second most people in the Coachella Valley, after Indio.

Due to the population of the city, fire outbreaks are likely to occur often, and workers here are up to the task to combat it.

9. Chula Vista Fire Department

Salary: $73,659

The Chula Vista Fire Department also harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters in California, Chula vista is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area and it is a location that attracts tourists so firefighters work round the clock to ensure the safety of lives and property.

10. Compton City Fire Department

Salary: $73,000

Compton became a city in 1888 making it one of the oldest cities in California, the city’s fire department has combated some wildfires in the past and they are highly paid, giving them a spot on our list of highest-paid firefighters in California.


Salary: $72,950

Firefighting Resources of Southern California Organized for Potential Emergencies (FIRESCOPE) is also a top firefighting organization in California where firefighters in Southern California work together to combat fire outbreaks.

12. Fremont Fire Department

Salary: $72,000

Fremont is a city located in the East Bay area of the Bay Area. It is in Alameda County, California. As of 2020, there will be 230,504 people living in Fremont.

The firefighters here are highly paid and make it to the list of highest-paid firefighters in California.

13. Fresno Fire Department

Salary: $72,000

Fresno is the biggest city in the Central Valley area and the county seat of Fresno County. 

The firefighters at Fresno do a lot of jobs. As such, they get great compensation. 

14. Idyllwild Fire Protection District 

Salary: $69,500

In Southern California, the unincorporated communities of Idyllwild and Fern Valley get served by the Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD). They are in charge of firefighting, rescue, emergency medical services, and ambulance transport. 

15. Kern County Fire Department

Salary: $68,769

The Kern County Fire Department (KCFD) harbors most of the highest-paid firefighters in California. They protect the unincorporated areas of Kern County, California. They are responsible for several cities in the county from fires and responding to emergencies. 

The department serves the cities of Arvin, Delano, Maricopa, McFarland, Ridgecrest, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, and Wasco, as well as the parts of Kern County that are not cities. 


People need firefighters because they save lives. That’s the simplest answer, but it’s not the whole story. There are many good reasons why firefighting is a highly skilled job that makes a big difference in the community it serves. The highest-paid firefighters in California are worth every cent they are paid. 

Recap Highest-Paid Firefighters In California

  • Alameda County Fire Department ($84,560)
  • Anaheim Fire & Rescue ( $84,000)
  • Bakersfield Fire Department ($83,760)
  • Bennett Valley Fire Protection District ($83,100)
  • Brea Fire Department ($80,137)
  • Fire Department of Orange County ($79,234)
  • CDF Fire Aviation Management ($78,500)
  • Fire Department of Cathedral City ($75,490)

FAQS on 15 Highest-Paid Firefighters In California

Do Firefighters In California Get Paid Well?

Yes, firefighters in California are paid well, their jobs are difficult one that requires them to risk their lives sometimes, so it is required that they are paid well.

The average salary for a firefighter is $77,640 per year. Most salaries start at $47,850 and go as high as $123,750. 

What Does A Fire Captain In California Get Paid?

The average salary for a Fire Captain in California is $94,131. The range is usually between $86,963 and $110,360.

How Much Do Firefighters At The L.A. Make?

In Los Angeles, CA, the average salary for a firefighter is $56,522 per year. As of February 15, 2022, there were 110 reported salaries.

Where Do Firefighters Get The Most Money?

  • New York- $84,930
  • California- $80,990 
  • New York City- $72,670

How Much Do Firefighters In California Who Are Also Paramedics Make?

In California, a firefighter who is also an EMT makes an average of $118,000 per year. In California, a firefighter paramedic’s salary ranges from $42,000 to $201,500. This depends on skills, experience, educational level, and employer.


ziprecruiter.com– Firefighter salary in California

work.chron.com– Highest paid firefighter cities

usawage.com– Highest paid cities for firefighters


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