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Wildland Firefighter Apprentice Program

Firefighter stands in front of the Thomas Fire in the hills above Los Padres National Forest, December 20, 2017. Forest Service photo by Stuart Palley
We're Hiring!

Become a wildland firefighter apprentice and challenge yourself to new limits. 

Apply 8/25 - 9/10 on USAJOBS.


The Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program develops the knowledge and basic skills necessary to work as a wildland firefighter. Selected applicants will attend a 3,000 hour on-the-job learning program, which includes a two month-long residential firefighting academy at the Wildland Fire Training Center in McClellan, California. Apprentices will be paid and all costs of training will be covered by the Forest Service.

Challenge yourself to new limits, join the Forest Service men and women who serve to protect millions of acres within our national forests, our communities, and our natural resources.


Wildland firefighter apprentices are involved with wildland fire suppression, management and control. They may be away from home for weeks at a time, often work long hours outdoors and may fly in helicopters, hike into mountainous areas or patrol on roads to access wildfires. They may also speak to the public about fire prevention. Other duties may include working in a dispatch or fire prevention capacity.

Rough Fire, California 2015 Dirk Charley and Brian Vasquez. Forest Service Photo.

Roosevelt Hotshot Brianhead Fire, Utah 07/03/2017. Forest Service Photo

Explore Wildland Fire Careers 

Get inside the great outdoors with a career in wildland fire


Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be Selective Service registered or exempt
  • Must meet Interagency Fire Program Management (IFPM) qualifications
  • Position requires a Work Capacity Test (WCT)
  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license
  • Subject to negative drug test prior to entrance on duty
  • Must meet Maximum Entry Age (MEA) requirements, ages 18-37*

*Veterans and applicants eligible for the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) may apply if they are older than 37. For more information, contact Human Resources Management at (877) 372-7248, Option 2.

Nationwide Opportunities

Visit your local Forest Service website for more information including location information and application dates.

Helpful Information

  • Frequently Asked Questions about becoming a Forest Service wildland firefighter.
  • Remember to attach all required documentation to be considered for the position(s). 
  • Apply for a Forest Service Job – has helpful information to guide you through the application process.
  • Interagency Fire Program Management Standard (IFPM) is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior wildland bureaus to establish minimum qualification standards for key positions in Fire and Aviation Management (FAM). In addtion, the U.S. Forest Service implemented an agency addendum to IFPM called the Forest Service Fire Program Management Standard (FS-FPM). 

Help Is Available

The How to Apply webpage has helpful information to help with the application process. 

Human Resources Management is here to help. Contact us with questions about your application by calling 1-877-372-7248, select Option 2, and follow the prompts. The Contact Center is open from 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (MST) Monday through Friday, and closed on all federal holidays.

If you are interested in receiving updates about this hiring event, please send an email with your name and contact information to


The USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.