Skills & Knowledge
Most Important Skills for Firefighters
- Thinking Critically—Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Coordinating with Others—Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Monitoring Performance—Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Making Decisions—Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading—Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Listening—Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Being Aware of Others—Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Helping Others—Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Monitoring Equipment—Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Operating Equipment—Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Most Important Knowledge Areas for Firefighters
- Customer and Personal Service—Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Public Safety and Security—Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Education and Training—Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Psychology—Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Mechanical—Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Building and Construction—Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Medicine and Dentistry—Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Chemistry—Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal m
- Administration and Management—Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:
- Realistic—Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Social—Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Learn more about your interests. Take the MnCareers Interest Assessment.
Describe Your Skills
People who have worked in this career typically perform the following tasks. These statements can help a prospective employer understand what you can do, on a resume or during an interview.
- Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to find or fix problems.
- Helping and caring for people.
- Operating vehicles or equipment.
- Performing general physical abilities.
- Making decisions or solving problems.
- Working directly with the public.
- Collecting information from different sources.
- Documenting or recording information.
The following careers use skills, knowledge, and abilities that are similar to those used for Firefighters.
- Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators
- Supervisors of Firefighters
- Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
- Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers
- Supervisors of Construction and Extraction Workers
- Forest and Conservation Technicians
- Ship Engineers
- Supervisors of Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers
- Commercial Divers
- Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels
- Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
- Oil and Gas Rotary Drill Operators
- Explosives Workers
This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.