Occupation under scrutiny: firefighter

The fire brigade consists of 80 percent volunteers. However, there is still a small percentage of professional firefighters. The salary of a firefighter is average. The firefighter profession under scrutiny. The word firefighter can also be read as firewoman.

Firefighter training

The training to become a firefighter depends on the choice between volunteer firefighters or professional firefighters. The volunteer fire brigade trains people internally , it is mainly about the experience they gain. But sometimes the volunteer fire brigade also receives vocational training. Professional firefighters can often progress after working as a volunteer fire brigade for a while. It also depends on the position one wants to do. Fire brigade training courses are available at all levels: from VMBO to HBO+. For an officer position, one requires a HBO education or sufficient experience at a HBO thinking and working level. They then follow a training course at the fire academy.


A firefighter’s salary mainly consists of the honor he receives for his work: saving human lives. A firefighter helps people and society. The heavy work a firefighter does and the help he provides is proportionally disproportionate to his salary, but this often does not bother the firefighter. He chose this profession because it gives him satisfaction.

  • Gross monthly salary: 1,694 euros
  • Gross annual salary: 24,698 euros
  • Number of working hours: 40 per week

The amounts are averages, everything also depends on age, work experience, position, education, etc.

Firefighter position

As a firefighter you help society. This can take many forms. First, fires are extinguished, from small to very large fires. Think of small fires in a container, to large fires in homes or businesses that burn to the ground. Rescuing people from trapped situations is also a firefighter’s job. In the event of an accident, victims may be trapped in their vehicle. Also rescuing people from burning homes, or people stuck in, for example, a public toilet. Rescuing cats from trees is a truly classic job for the fire brigade. The fire brigade is also present in the event of accidents involving hazardous substances. Providing information about fire safety is also one of the functions. The fire brigade also responds to natural disasters.

Professional organization

The fire brigade consists of 80 percent volunteers. Often a number of police forces in the region work together, forming their own professional organization, where people can go with problems, complaints and ideas and suggestions.

Firefighters in the news

August 2009 : In Gelderland the fire brigade responded with large guns after a report that a plane had crashed in Elburg. The fire brigade could not find the plane at the scene, the woman who made the report was sure that she had seen something crash. Ultimately, a crashed radio-controlled plane was found. The owner had extinguished the plane himself after it caught fire.