Employment conditions
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Employment conditions

Firefighter pay rates

Salary is paid per fortnight and below is a table of pay rates based on rank – effective as of June 2017.

Position LevelSalary per week
Recruit Firefighter - during the 20 week training course $999.10
Firefighter Level 1 - on completion of the recruit course $1,392.97
Firefighter Level 2 - on completion of 12 months service and all required modules $1,418.76
Firefighter Level 3 - on completion of 24 months service and all required modules $1,447.70
Qualified Firefighter - on completion of 36 months service and a certificate of proficiency $1,560.06
Leading Firefighter - a minimum of 48 months service and appointed as Leading Firefighter $1,794.00
Station Officer - appointed after min 5 yrs service with at least 1 yr service as a Leading Firefighter $2,028.27
Senior Station Officer $2,184.12


  • The above pay rates are Gross Salary (before tax)
  • These pay rates are effective from June 2017
  • Recruit Firefighter wage paid during the recruit course

Hours of Work

Most career firefighters work on a 'four days on, four days off' basis, completing two day shifts (8am - 6pm) followed by two night shifts (6pm - 8am), followed by four days off. This is known as the '10/14' roster.

Probationary period

Following graduation from the recruit course, new firefighters undertake a probationary period. During this six-month period (which encompasses the 20-week recruit course and subsequent time on station) firefighters begin a structured training and development program.

Progression to Qualified Firefighter rank

Upon successful completion of all training units, and three years' operational experience, firefighters are granted the rank of Qualified Firefighter.

Position levelRequirement
Level 1 Firefighter Successful completion of recruit training
Level 2 Firefighter Successful completion of agreed units and one year experience as an operational firefighter
Level 3 Firefighter Successful completion of agreed units and two years’ experience as an operational firefighter
Qualified Firefighter Successful completion of agreed units and three years’ experience as an operational firefighter

Progression and career paths

Genuine career pathways are available to career firefighters who possess sufficient merit along with a desire to pursue further training and development.

All firefighters are expected to attain Qualified Firefighter (QFF) rank in order to continue employment with CFA.

From there, it is up to the individual whether they would like to stay at QFF level or aim for further promotion. Further ranks include Leading Firefighter and Station Officer (mid-level manager roles) and Operations Officer/Operations Manager (senior level manager roles).

Structured continuation training programs underpin these higher qualifications.

Annual Leave

Career firefighters receive nine weeks (65.06 days) rostered annual leave per year. This annual leave is taken in two blocks per year, and is rostered according to the shift and location to which you are based.

Public holidays

Career firefighters are rostered to work throughout the year, including public holidays. CFA Integrated Fire stations operate 24 hours per day through 365 days per year.


Career firefighters are required to join the Emergency Service Superannuation Scheme (ESSS). This is a defined-benefit superannuation fund to which you contribute according to the rate you nominate on your superannuation form.

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