Fire Career

A Message from Stockton Fire Chief Erik Newman

Fire Fighter Interest CardAt the very end of my senior year in college, I went to watch the women’s softball team play. As I sat in the stands, I kept hearing people around me say, “Hey, Chief…How’s it goin,’ Chief…Good to see you, Chief…” Finally, I turned around and said to the guy behind me, “What are you the chief of and why is everyone calling you 'Chief'?”


The gentleman behind me told me the was the Chief of a local Fire Department. But he didn’t stop there.  He asked me if I was interested in becoming a fire fighter and would I like to visit his department and go on a “ride-along.” That immediately got my attention. A total stranger was taking an interest in me at a time in my life when I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do after graduation.


I had no background in fighting fires and no coursework in fire science. From that first tour with the Chief, I knew I had found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.


The team atmosphere, the challenging work, service to the community, and opportunities for learning and developing new skills is still exciting and rewarding, even after all these years.  A lot of people don’t know what it really takes to be a fire fighter. It takes courage and commitment. 


We’ll teach you what you need to know and to develop the knowledge, skills, and techniques. If you’ve got the interest or are curious about what it takes, we’d like to work with you, just like the Chief who guided me and the many mentorsI have had throughout the years.


The Stockton Fire Department is 220 strong. We have been fighting fires in this community since 1850. It doesn’t take brute strength. All that we ask is you stay committed to the process, and we’ll help you with the rest. My story, about someone who took the time to mentor me, is just one example. Members of the Stockton Fire Department are all willing to share more stories with you.


If you’d like to know more about becoming a fire fighter, stop by your neighborhood fire station and ask questions, give us a call at (209) 937-5172, or email us at We want to hear from you!


Fire Fighter Interest Card

Interested in becoming a fire fighter? Fill out an online interest card. 

Please click on the "Subscribe" button in the top right corner of the Fire Fighter Trainee Job Description, and we'll keep in touch with you. 


Fire Fighter Career

Looking for a physically challenging and professionally rewarding career?  A career with great benefits, room for growth, and flexible work schedule?  Firefighting involves vigorous, skilled physical work and continuous training to handle emergency and situations. In addition to fighting fires and rescuing citizens, fire fighters:

  • work with citizens to promote fire prevention,
  • provide emergency medical care (both first responder and paramedic),
  • perform fire-suppression activities, 
  • perform water rescue,
  • protect the environment from hazardous material incidents,
  • perform heavy rescue operations from cars and collapsed buildings, and
  • conduct and participate in training programs to stay current on firefighting technology and methods.


Fire Fighter Qualifications

  • 18 years of age or older.
  • High school graduate or possess a G.E.D.
  • Successfully pass a medical exam, vision, hearing and drug screening.
  • Pass written, oral and physical ability tests.
  • Have valid California Class "C" Drivers License and obtain Class "B" Restricted Driver's Licence within one year of appointment.
  • Possess (or acquire within one year of employment) certification as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - Basic. EMT Basic Training provided at Academy (if offered).
  • Legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • Pass comprehensive background investigation and psychological assessment, polygraph, and fingerprinting.
  • Reside within a geographic area to reach City Hall within 45 minutes.


Career Opportunities

Explore a challenging career opportunity in one of the most progressive fire departments in California and specialize as:

  • Paramedic – As a firefighter, become part of an ever-growing, advanced Emergency Medical System.
  • Hazardous Materials Team –  Train as a Haz-Mat Technician or Specialist for hazardous materials mitigation and awareness.
  • Water Rescue Team – Specialize in Swift Water Rescue or Dive Rescue Certified and provide water safety on the waterways surrounding our community.
  • Heavy Rescue Team – Train in confined space, trench, and high/low angle rescue should a major disaster strike.
  • Fire Prevention Division – As a Firefighter, train in fire-safety inspections, fire code compliance, and public education for personal fire safety. Enter the Fire Prevention Division as a Deputy Fire Marshal.
  • Fire Training Division – Advance educational and promotional goals through technical schools, State Fire Academy, and "hands-on" job training.  Opportunities to advance to a Deputy Training Director.


 Suggested Courses and Activities

  • Community College courses in fire science, English grammar and reading comprehension, basic math, public speaking, building trades, and auto mechanics.
  • First Aid courses such as EMT-B Certification, CPR, and Advanced First Aid.
  • Community Involvement  such as volunteer service organizations



External Links

California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (more on CPAT)

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

Fire Careers

Fire Hire 



This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 10/6/2017