For firefighters, retirement could be really boring.
Firefighters have the chance to retire early, which could pose the question of what to do with all of their spare time. One option is to seek new employment.
Retired personnel often seek employment for two significant reasons. One would be to remain active and keep contributing to society one way or the other. The other would be to earn more money. It’s not different for retired firefighters.
Firefighters are special people. They spend their time-saving lives. After retirement, many of them still have lots of energy that can be channelled into other jobs.
Working in such a demanding job for many years may be tasking, and once retired, many firefighters may simply want to take it slow while looking for employment at jobs that are not as “dangerous”.
The training and skills required to make anyone a successful firefighter opens up the doors to several other opportunities that would fetch money and provide avenues that allow such skills to be put to productive use.
Some retired firefighters prefer to seek a new career entirely while using their knowledge in service as a springboard.
With an average retirement age of 57, after working for between 20 to 35 years, some firefighters may still have a lot of time ahead of them after leaving active service.
Let’s take a look at some of the jobs that retired firefighters can still try their hands on, how much they stand to make, while also looking at some pros and cons of the jobs.
Having spent a significant part of their service years saving lives, it is only natural that most of the jobs available to retired firefighters are also along with that line. However, some firefighters just wish to start afresh and try something entirely new.
We’ll look at most of the jobs that fit perfectly into the description of retired firefighters.
Emergency Medical Technician
Firefighters spend most of their active service years responding to emergencies. They understand what it means to be in danger of losing one’s life. After retirement, firefighters are still very useful in lifesaving services. One of such is the work of an emergency medical technician (EMT).
Firefighters already know the value of time. A delay of a single minute could be the difference between life and death. An emergency medical technician offers critical, lifesaving service to patients before they are moved to the hospital.
Sometimes a patient suffers a severe health emergency and requires to be stabilized before being taken to the hospital. This process involves emergency resuscitation, transportation to the hospital, provision of first aid, checking vital signs and provision of general paramedic services.
As Emergency medical technicians, retired firefighters put their knowledge and skill to use in responding to medical emergencies. They also drive ambulances to the hospital.
This job is especially relevant for those who want to remain active in the field of responding to emergencies and for those who find pleasure in saving lives.
How much can be made?
The average pay of emergency medical technicians is about $44,000/ year, although, with more certifications, this could be much higher.
Emergency Medical Technicians provide critical service in healthcare delivery. They are often the link between patients and lifesaving healthcare. As retired firefighters, this is familiar territory.
Without the risks associated with what they are used to, firefighters can offer critical lifesaving services to persons in need. It is indeed an acceptable way for many firefighters to enjoy their retirement while keeping in shape.
EMT may require some level of certification to work. Without prejudice to the experience and skill of retired firefighters, this may discourage the retirees from embracing this job.
CPR / First aid instructor
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique that aims to keep blood and oxygen flowing through the body during medical emergencies.
Most times, the procedure is required at the scene of emergencies as first aid before hospitalization. This procedure has saved many lives, and unfortunately, many lives have also been lost because respondents are not trained or couldn’t administer the technique.
Firefighters are well-trained in handling this procedure, and one job that retired firemen can conveniently pull off is a CPR instructor.
CPR in itself is just one part of first aid during major medical emergencies. Firefighters know everything about first aid. They are first responders to accidents and have spent many years offering first aid and not just CPR.
So, what’s in the job of a CPR instructor?
It involves teaching these lifesaving skills and CPR techniques to those who are not yet versed in them. As a CPR/First Aid instructor, a retired firefighter distils years of experience into instructions and tutorials that help people understand how to save lives without medical professionals during such emergencies.
Interestingly, the job of a CPR or First Aid instructor is seen as vital such that certification is often required to qualify. Since it is a lifesaving service, regulators want to ensure that the tutor is qualified to teach others. For retired firefighters, this should not be any problem at all.
As a CPR/First Aid instructor, retired firefighters would demonstrate the process of resuscitation, wound dressing, and more. They would also need to assume the role of teachers. It is a job worth considering.
How much can be made?
An average of $19/hour is on offer as a CPR instructor. For retired firefighters who wish to spread the knowledge of lifesaving skills, this is not bad.
The job offers another dimension to the business of saving lives. Having spent years responding to emergencies, the position of a CPR instructor provides a break from the risks of the frontline while teaching others lifesaving skills.
While this shouldn’t be a problem for trained firefighters, certification is often required to qualify as a CPR instructor.
Retired firefighters are all too familiar with people suffering huge losses and damages due to lack of attention being paid to simple safety issues.
From homes to offices to playgrounds, danger lurks wherever safety is downplayed. Firefighters can work as safety trainers by ensuring residences, workplaces, schools, recreational facilities, and others are free of risks that can cause dangers to lives and property.
They also train workers on risks associated with the workplace and how to prevent them. If there are things that could be done to eliminate the risks altogether, such steps are taken.
Safety trainers also train people on how to respond to fire emergencies, operate safety equipment, and keep their home and workplace safe.
After years of dealing with similar issues, firefighters are well poised to serve as safety trainers. They could regularly organize workshops, drills, and seminars or train a select group of workers to handle workplace and home emergencies.
Also, retired firefighters can serve as fire investigators to determine the cause of fire incidences to prevent a recurrence. If it wasn’t arson, they could train the affected personnel to avoid it in the future.
This is an ideal choice for older retired firefighters who may want to take things a bit slower or for those with a passion for teaching.
How much can be made?
Working as a safety trainer can fetch retired firefighters an average of $27/ hour.
Working as a safety trainer is not only productive, it is ideal for retired firefighters who can no longer keep up with the fast-paced response to emergencies. The job requires no new skill as firefighters are already well equipped with the skills and experiences necessary to handle the demands.
The job is only ideal for those who want to take it easy and simple.
Firefighters have paramilitary training, and it is not unusual for many retired firefighters to take up employment as security guards, especially at huge facilities.
Apart from protecting facilities from attacks, retired firemen could also help provide safety training for staff.
Firefighters are well trained to respond to emergencies and ensuring calm in all kinds of situations. Their high energy level also makes them suitable for the job.
Their safety training gives them an edge to observe and address risks even before they become apparent. They are also more likely to ensure that safety pieces of equipment like extinguishers are up to date.
Firefighters who take up a job as a security guard are more likely to provide more than just security, but even safety.
How much can be made?
The average salary of security guards amounts to about $32,000/year.
Working as security guards helps retired firefighters maintain their physique while also deploying their knowledge in other security areas. It also affords them the opportunity of preventing fire and other related emergencies in corporate organizations.
The job of a security officer comes with risks that a trained firefighter may not be already used to.
A retired firefighter is an ideal dispatch driver. He’s also perfect for urgent deliveries. When the delivery is an urgent package, a firefighter should be called upon. Firefighters can serve as excellent dispatchers and delivery men. The reason is simple. They are used to emergencies.
Dispatchers who respond to calls understand the implications of emergencies and pass across the needs to the relevant agencies. They are already in the system, so they know how best to manage the situation appropriately.
It’s almost the same for delivery drivers who deliver packages through all kinds of terrains. It’s a demanding job that requires the ability to load sensitive packages while meeting schedules.
Retired firefighters are well suited for such roles, and they are jobs that they excel in quite well.
How much can be made?
Annually, delivery drivers make about $62,000, while dispatchers earn about $56,000. While dispatchers spend the time connecting people with emergency services, delivery drivers spend most of the time on the road.
The job requires no further training as retired firefighters are already well equipped to function in both roles. Both involve emergency services which they are already used to.
Neither job is as risky or as life-threatening as the on-field experience of fire fighting.
Openings for such jobs are not as readily available as many other jobs.
Water accidents are perhaps the most dangerous because only trained personnel can rescue victims just before they drown. When swimmers are having a nice time, lifeguards are always on standby to prevent potential disasters.
Apart from helping those threatened with drowning, lifeguards also ensure the water is safe for swimmers.
Lifeguards also patrol the waters to ensure there’s no emergency while ensuring that everyone who enters the waters is assured of protection in case of any problem.
Why are retired firefighters ideal for this role? It is what they’ve been doing most of their lives.
How much can be made?
Lifeguards stand to make an average of $28,000/ year.
It is a job that allows retired firefighters to concentrate on water accidents. Water emergencies are not as frequent as other kinds of emergencies, so it’s a job that gives the retiree enough time to rest and relax.
It could be a very demanding job when duty calls. Lifeguards are also expected to be young and agile. For older retired firefighters, this may be a disadvantage.
Retired firefighters still have enough fire in them to pursue new careers and do quite well. There’s also lots of money to be made, as long as they’re ready to lace the boots and get into the thick of the action.
Regardless of your retirement age, there are jobs you can still handle conveniently with your skill and experience.
John E Chambers is an experienced financial advice expert. Born in Chicago, he has a master's in Industrial Finance, but he has spent decades offering investment advice to businesses and individuals alike. He is the founder of RetireeWorkforce.com and wants the website to be valuable for retirement advice. In addition, he writes articles that help users jump-start their retirement plans and choose the best investment options. If not pondering over stock market statistics or reading some magazines, you can find John spending time with his family. As an early retiree, John also offers unique insights into what post-retirement life is like.