Burlington Fire Department

How to Become a Burlington Firefighter

A career as a Burlington Firefighter can be both challenging and extremely rewarding. Are you up for the challenge?

This webpage will outline the steps to begin the process of getting ready for employment as a career firefighter.



Here are the minimum qualifications to become a member of the Burlington Fire Department.


A high school diploma or equivalent is required. 


A valid driver's lincense with no suspensions in past two years is required to apply.


You must have an EMT certification (Examples: EMT, AEMT, Paramedic) to apply. This certification can be NREMT, VT State EMT Certification or an equivalent EMT certification. 

For information regarding EMT Courses being offered in Vermont: VT EMS Course Offerings

NREMT Certification Handbook:


Applicants are not required to have a current CPAT at the time of application. CPAT is required by May 6th, 2024. To be considered current, the CPAT must have been received within 12 months of the time you submit your application or be obtained by May 6th, 2024.  CPAT Certification is valid for 12 months. It is the applicant's responsibility to meet these requirements. There are no exceptions.

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is the standard assessment for measuring an individual's ability to handle the physical demands of being a firefighter. The CPAT is a timed test that measures how candidates handle eight separate physical tasks or functions, designed to mirror tasks that firefighters would have to do on the job.

CPAT testing facilities can be found in many states and locations. Some New England resources are listed on our employment tab. 

Information regarding the CPAT Test can be found here:  IAFF CPAT Information See our Employment page for locations in New England offering CPAT exams. 



Firefighter 1 certification is NOT required to apply. It is required within twelve months after beginning your employment. Our in-house recruit academy will deliver Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 curricula allowing candidates to test for their certification. Information on obtaining and/or maintaining Firefighter certification can be found on the Vermont Fire Academy Website: VFA - Certification


We accept applications at various times depending on staffing needs. When the application period is open, application can be found on the City of Burlington's Human Resources Jobs link.

  • The current Entry Level Firefighter Application Period is open. Go to our Employment tab for further information and to apply. Employment & Application

Recruit Academy

New recruits begin with our in-house Recruit Academy, which focuses on teaching and refining all of the skills needed to be a firefighter/EMT in Burlington. The Academy is approximately 20 weeks long; the typical schedule is Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, with special training and classes on occasional weekends. The Academy is physically and mentally challenging. Most days begin with PT (Physical Training) and continue with classes, lectures, presentations, drills, and practical training evolutions for the remainder of the day. Upon successfully completing the Recruit Academy, members receive their shift assignments and transition to our unique 48/96 work schedule.


All new hires are considered Probationary Members for one full year from their hire date. During this first year, they are expected to complete the Recruit Academy and their Fire 1 Certification successfully. While on probation, members are expected to learn from their assigned crews and continue to build their foundation of knowledge and proficiency. We do not offer lateral transfers for folks coming from other career departments. With the successful completion of Probation, members are sworn in as Burlington Firefighters.

AEMT Certification

All members must obtain their Advanced EMT (AEMT) Certification within two years of their hire date. Classes and accommodations for your shift schedule are provided.