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City of Milwaukee Fire Department

The application period for firefighter is now closed.

Firefighter applicants must be US citizens, 18 or older and have completed high school (HSED, GED or equivalent from a high school or home school recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Education) at the time of application.  Applicants that receive a conditional employment offer letter will need to have a valid Wisconsin driver’s license at the time of hire in 2018. Adults who meet the above requirements can add to our mailing list or sign up for text message alerts below.

  • If you have already applied to become a firefighter and are looking for tips on preparation for the test or the training academy, click here four our MFD-Prep page

 How do I become a Milwaukee Firefighter?

  • A career with the Milwaukee Fire Department is considered one of the best jobs in the city, if not the nation.  To be considered for employment, an individual must complete the application process, the testing process, and the training academy.  Applications are taken periodically, by the Fire and Police Commission, who also conducts the testing and hiring for the MFD.  
  • Following the application period, a written examination and an interview are conducted to establish an eligibility list.  Top-ranked candidates then move onto the pre-employment process which consists of the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT), a medical examination, a background examination, and a psychological evaluation.  The MFD uses the CPAT as our entry level physical ability test for firefighter.  The CPAT is a pass/fail test, and since a passing CPAT test is only good for a predetermined amount of time, the CPAT is only administered to candidates that have ranked high enough to be considered for progression onto the academy.  If you have a valid CPAT certificate that will be valid at the start of the recruiting class that you will be hired for, you will not be required to retake the CPAT.
  • Following the pre-employment top ranked candidates move on to the training academy as fire recruits.  To begin training as a firefighter, candidates must first complete EMT training, which the MFD offers in an accelerated format.  Firefighter training consists of a 16-week course which meets Wisconsin Firefighter 1 and 2 standards.   More information on how to prepare for the training academy can be found here.
  • The Milwaukee Fire Department does not do lateral transfers. All of our fighting personnel begin at the rank of firefighter, regardless of previous training or certifications and must complete all portions of the MFD training academy.  Those holding valid licensure as an EMT, or Paramedic at the time of hire with the state of Wisconsin will not be required to repeat EMT class.  EMT's from other states or those with expired licenses can check here for information on how to gain a Wisconsin license. Those holding firefighting certifications from other states that have reciprocity with the State of Wisconsin may apply to have their certificates reciprocated.   

 What will I do as a Milwaukee Firefighter?

  • Firefighters are tasked with protecting the residents, work and leisure visitors of the city of Milwaukee from all manner of hazards.  The primary mission of the MFD is prevention, which we achieve through a diverse menu of community relations and public relations activities designed to promote safe and healthy behaviors in the community.  When prevention efforts are not enough, the more than 800 members of the Milwaukee Fire Department are tasked with responding to all manner of medical, special rescue and fire emergencies.  To achieve this level of protection, the MFD staffs more than 30 firehouses throughout the city with firefighters who are skilled in responding to any hazard imaginable.
  • Members of the MFD also maintain their skills by participating in daily training which can occur at the firehouse level or at the training academy with multiple units.  Training is coordinated by the house captain or the training academy.
  • Milwaukee Firefighters work a 24-hour shift followed by 48 hours of off time.  Professional development opportunities required for promotion are offered complimentarily to department members but must be completed during off time.
  • Probationary firefighters are assigned to a training house their first year of service.  Following probation, Milwaukee Firefighters are able to apply to special operations units, apply to become a fire education specialist or apply to attend paramedic training based on the availability of positions. 
  • The Milwaukee Fire Department is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds.  Firefighter is an entry level position and having firefighters from a variety of backgrounds including social, educational, ethnic and gender, aids in increasing the effectiveness of the MFD by bringing new ideas and problem-solving skills to the fire service.  The Milwaukee Fire Department strives to develop a department that is reflective of the City of Milwaukee.
  • The current starting salary for firefighter is $33,368 (during training) with regular pay increases from $44,490 up to $74,045 during the first 5 years of employment as a firefighter.  

Your career as a Milwaukee Firefighter?

After successfully completing recruit training, fire recruits are promoted to the rank of firefighter.  The current starting salary for firefighter is $44,490 with regular pay increases up to $74,045. Firefighters work a flexible schedule consisting of 24-hour work shifts followed by 48 hours off and receive leave, insurance, and education benefits.

Minimum Requirements

  • Must be at 18 at time of application
  • GED, High School completion/graduation prior to application*.
  • US citizen
  • Valid Wisconsin Drivers License required at time of appointment.

*Applicants with a GED, HSED or those who graduated from a home school recognized by the State of Wisconsin Department of Education are eligible to apply.

2017-2018 Calendar of Events



Date / Time

Application Period


Now until October 13, 2017

Written Exam


November 2017

Oral Interview


January 2018

PHQ (Personal History Questionnaire) Due


Date in 2018 to be announced

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)


Spring 2018

Next Firefighter Training Class


June 2018













Preparing for the Academy