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2023 Firefighter Job Prospects and Opportunities in Ontario

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

A new year brings changes and if you are looking into a firefighter career, the Ontario firefighter job prospects are promising!

For provincial firefighters (NOC 4312), many firefighters are reaching the age of retirement, which means there will be positions opening. With the need for better protection, there will also be new positions opening in various job fields within the fire services.

Increase in the Number of Firefighter Job Openings in 2023

While the number of firefighter jobs in Ontario are determined by the jurisdiction, 2023 is expected to see more postings in the field. Northern Ontario sees the highest need for more fire services with the massive areas of forests. It is projected that more municipalities will be adding funds to their fire services in the coming year.

Opportunities for Females 

In the male-dominated world of firefighting, there are ample opportunities for females to become trained firefighters. In fact, across the country, only five percent of all firefighters are female. The municipality of Clearview, Ontario has seen a spike in the number of female firefighters as the most recent recruitment training course consisted of more than 70% women.

The Fire Service Women Ontario association is focused on increasing the number of female firefighters as well as ensuring there is gender equality across the board. Their commitment and vision for female firefighters includes inclusion in both the personal and professional female roles.

Is Firefighting a Promising Career?

To become a firefighter, a person must have specific qualities. With the vocation of firefighting, the rewards always outweigh the risks as helping others is the ultimate goal of living. The role itself provides physical and mental challenges while offering a kinship among a group of men and women who share the same values.

With a firefighter career, you can expect to face life-saving experiences, become a strong member of the community, and help to teach the public about fire safety. Over the past 20 years, firefighters have also taken on the role of providing medical response in emergency situations.

Who Employs Firefighters?

A firefighter may work in various municipal, provincial, and federal government roles within a fire department setting. Industries such as manufacturing plants, airports, security, construction, and electrical power companies also have a dedicated team of firefighters.  

Financial Benefits of Becoming a Firefighter

For those in the firefighting service, the pay scale varies depending on the role of the position and the location. The average salary in Canada for a full-time firefighter ranges from $96,000 to $125,000 (as reported in 2019). 

The benefits offered also are dictated based on the employer. Most incentives include vision care, dental care, prescription services, and paramedical services. Other compensation packages may include pension plans, sick leave, a retirement package, life insurance plan, separate cancer coverage plan, and a federally funded volunteer tax credit.

What Basic Skills Are Required to Become a Successful Firefighter?

Firefighter training is an intense program, both for the mind and the body. In Ontario, there are specialized courses for firefighters at accredited schools. Candidates must be 18 years or older, legally entitled to work in Canada, have no criminal convictions, and hold a valid Ontario Secondary School diploma or academic equivalency. A Standard First Aid and CPR Level HCP certification must also be held and be valid at the time of application.

A potential candidate must also be willing and able to work rotating shifts year-round, speak, read, and write in fluent English, and be able to function under extreme pressure situations. 

How FESTI Can Help You to Become a Firefighter

For the highest level of pre-firefighter training standards, consider the courses offered by the Fire and Emergency Service Training Institute (FESTI). The training programs and certifications are performed at FESTI’s headquarters, which is the Toronto Pearson International Airport fire service. Each course and practical incident is guided by the knowledgeable instructors and within a safely designed environment.

NFPA 1001 Level l and ll Certification

The NFPA 1001 training course for Level I and II certifications is offered with in-class and hands-on practical experiences to simulate the life of a firefighter. From working in a traditional firehall setup to responding to live fires within a burn house and rescue tower, auto extrication, and firefighting survival, candidates receive intense training and skill development.

Blended NFPA 1001 Level l and ll Training Program

FESTI offers a blended training program for candidates who want/need to take the theoretical courses remotely. The same educational courses are provided over a four-month period. The hands-on practical portion of the program will require onsite participation at FESTI’s training grounds.

NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Awareness

This IFE accredited course provides the necessary skills and knowledge needed by any emergency responder first on the scene of hazardous materials situations. This program covers the information of hazardous materials and how to respond in a safe manner for the surroundings and everyone involved.

NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Operations

With the NFPA 1072 Hazardous Material Awareness course completion, candidates can progress with the operations course to learn first-hand the essential defense of hazardous materials. Candidates will respond and contain to situations involving hazardous materials and terrorism activities.

Standard First Aid, Level C CPR and AED (Red Cross)

To ensure candidates posses the skills, knowledge, and demeaner to respond to medical emergencies, this program provides federal, provincial, and territorial regulations. Content includes response to medical emergencies such as breathing and circulation, respiratory conditions, wound care, body injuries, and environmental emergencies.

If you are ready to start a rewarding and brave career as a firefighter, contact FESTI today! With pre-firefighter training in Ontario, it is crucial to be prepared for any fire emergency situation. Come train with experienced firefighters at a live fire training facility. 

Register for a course or program by clicking here and complete the webpage registration. Or for more information about FESTI, contact us today.

How Does FESTI Meet Ontario Firefighter Certification Regulation Requirements?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

To achieve firefighter certification, there are specific training courses a person must take, both theoretical and practical. If you’re looking to obtain National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) certification in Toronto, completing the training programs at the Fire and Emergency Training Institute (FESTI) is the first step!

As Canada’s only firefighter training program overseen by an active fire department, FESTI offers online and classroom teaching supported by hands-on fire management exercises. Our private career college is part of Toronto Pearson International Airport’s fully operational fire service.

Ontario’s Fire Marshal Mandates Firefighters to Maintain Various NFPA Certifications

The Ontario Fire Marshal recently mandated a Firefighter Certification regulation, which is fully supported and adhered to by FESTI. This new regulation outlines the mandatory minimum standard and performance requirements to become a firefighter in the province of Ontario.

For many municipal and territory fire departments, these new firefighter certification regulations will have little to no impact on their operating costs. The Office of the Fire Marshall offers access to these minimum certification standards at no charge.

As with any legislative regulations, however, there are also exemptions to this updated Firefighter Certification Standard.

  • A firefighter less than 36 months
  • Under the supervision of a certified firefighter of said fire protection service
  • Temporarily performing a different fire protection service
  • Certified before July 1, 2022, for pump operations
  • Maintain valid certification if the requirements are later updated or changed
  • In receipt of a letter of compliance with a certification standard by the Fire Marshal before July 1, 2022

How FESTI Can Help Fire Departments & Aspiring Firefighters with Training

As a leading private firefighter academy, FESTI offers several certifications with firefighter training. Our programs are constructed with updated standards by the Office of the Fire Marshall, NFPA, IFC, and other governing boards.

Our NFPA firefighting programs under Ontario’s regulations have helped thousands of firefighters see their dreams achieved and potential filled with professional training and practical work.

NFPA 1001 Level I-II Firefighter Training Program

The FESTI NFPA 1001 firefighter course is also available as a blended online course. Graduates will have IFSAC Seals and an application for Pro Board Seals in recognition of NFPA 1001 Firefighter Levels I and II, NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Awareness, NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Operations, and NFPA 1006, Chapter 5 – Standard for Technical Rescue Personnel Professional Qualifications. This certification will give internationally recognized Accreditation from the Institution of Fire Engineers.

NFPA 1006 Technical Rescuer Training

Our NFPA 1006 Technical Rescuer Training program is the first step in completing the knowledge and skill requirements for NFPA 1006, 2013 edition, Technical Rescuer Professional Qualifications. It is an in-class and practical training for core competencies in Chapter 5 of NFPA 1006.

NFPA Hazmat Training Courses

FESTI offers the NFPA Hazmat Training Course which is structured to provide emergency responders the skills needed to manage hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) situations. Graduates will achieve Firefighter Level II Designation, Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) accreditation, and the opportunity to challenge the Office of the Fire Marshal provincial exam for International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) Accreditation for Awareness and Operations levels.

NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Operations

NFPA 1072 training for our Hazardous Materials Operations course provides the skills to have the minimum requirements as a responder to hazardous materials incidents. It covers requirements of NFPA 1072, Standard on Professional Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents, Awareness and Operations Level, 2017 edition.

NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Awareness

At FESTI, this program provides requirements for the Hazardous Materials Awareness Level. All fire, police, and emergency responders require the training and acquired skills to handle a hazardous material emergency. This course is accredited by the Canadian Branch of the IFE.


NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Technician

The NFPA 1072 Hazardous Materials Technician course offers the opportunity to challenge the Office of the Fire Marshal provincial exam for IFSAC Accreditation. Graduates will learn management of areas of terrorism, incident command, post operation activities, legislation, and media.

NFPA 921 – Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator

Our NFPA 921 Fire and Explosion Investigator is designed for fire department personnel, forensic identification personnel, explosive disposal personnel, insurance adjusters, provincial fire investigators, and CIB detectives.

NFPA 1041 Fire Service Instructor Level I and II

FESTI provides the NFPA 1041 Fire Service Instructor Level I and II requirements for graduates to take the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office (OFM) Provincial written and skill evaluations. Successful completion provides a person with IFSAC, NFPA 1041 Level I Certification and the Institution of Fire Engineers Accreditations.

NFPA 1021 Fire Officer Training

As part of the NFPA courses of Ontario at FESTI, this Fire Officer Training program is recognized by the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) and the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC). Succession of the Office of the Fire Marshal’s (OFM) Provincial Exam earn their IFSAC, NFPA 1021 Level I Certification and the Institution of Fire Engineers Accreditations.

NFPA 1003 Airport Firefighter Training

Our NFPA 1003 Airport Firefighter Training program supports civilian and military fire departments focused on aircraft fire and rescue. Under the requirements of the NFPA 1003 and the Canadian Aviation Regulations 323.14, this course covers airport familiarization, communications, pre-emergency planning, and aircraft familiarization.

Our Process and Facilities

FESTI is proud to provide all training and firefighting scenarios onsite at our Toronto Pearson Airport location.

  • Modern facilities
  • Small class sizes
  • Advanced fire hall equipment
  • Full-time faculty
  • Affiliations with Toronto Pearson Fire & Emergency Services
  • Student mentoring programs
  • Leadership/corporate development
  • Confined space building
  • Rescue tower
  • Burn building
  • Aircraft training mock-ups
  • Auto extrication area
  • Machine Rescue area
  • Hazardous materials training site
  • Trans Canada rail car CCPX 911 training prop

Get in Touch to Find Out About Our Firefighter Training Courses

Whether you are ready to prepare for one of the most rewarding careers or require recertification, contact Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) today! You will have ample opportunities to participate in online and/or in-class learning sessions and onsite hands-on training scenarios. Register for a course or program by clicking here and complete the webpage registration. Or for more information about FESTI, contact us today.