Is There a Firefighter Apprenticeship?

Written by Calvin Bowers

There are several different apprenticeship standards relating to fire safety; one of them is for the role of Operational Firefighter. We will give you a rundown of the different firefighter apprenticeships, with information on how you can go about applying for each one. You should note that the role of a firefighter is a very dangerous one, and even with the excellent training that is undergone by all firefighters these days, some are still injured or die in the line of duty. 

Firefighting is one of the most heroic professions there is. Running into burning buildings to rescue people when others are running out of them to escape is the height of bravery, but you must also have the stamina and physical strength to back that up. You will undergo rigorous training to make you as safe as possible, but there is always a risk because fire can be so unpredictable. 

Fire Safety and Firefighter Apprenticeships 

Four apprenticeships relate to fire safety, and we have included information about each below for you. 

Business Fire Safety Adviser – Level 3

The Business Fire Safety Adviser is a Level 3 or Advanced Apprenticeship and typically lasts for 24 months, exclusive of the time it takes to complete the End Point Assessment.  

The job role involves learning about health and safety procedures. This knowledge is used to suggest possible changes to a built environment to make escaping the building more manageable for people inside should a fire occur. You will develop the knowledge to immediately notice items that may constitute a fire hazard and to ensure that they are dealt with before the situation can escalate.

You will be expected to attend the “on-the-job” sessions with your workplace mentor 80% of the time during the apprenticeship. The other 20% will be taken up with “off-the-job” training. This is for the academic portion which will help you to gain the qualification at the end of the apprenticeship. 

Fire Emergency and Security Services Technician – Level 3

The Fire Emergency and Security Services Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship generally lasts for 36 months, This does now include the End Point Assessment. 

The job role involves working independently or as part of a team. You will install and maintain interconnected fire and security alarm systems to a professional industry standard. Part of your job will be liaising with clients, so maintaining a professional manner and dressing presentably is crucial. You will often work inside a customer’s home or business, so high-quality customer service is critical at all times. You will also learn about the intricacies of the different alarm systems you will be installing and working with, and this will be a large part of your off-the-job training.   

As with all UK Apprenticeship Standards, 80% of your apprenticeship will involve on-the-job training. This is where you take on the job role and liaise with your mentor and team. The other 20% will be spent doing off-the-job training. During this time, you will learn the more technical aspects that you require to successfully do the job.

Fire Safety Inspector – Level 4

The Fire Safety Inspector Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship will normally have a duration of around 24 months, exclusive of the End Point Assessment period. 

The job role involves assessing current fire safety arrangements in buildings or built-up areas and deciding whether changes are necessary to improve fire safety. You will need to instigate any changes, although your role is largely advisory. You will take part in the consultation process on any planned changes, giving your expert opinion on why such changes are necessary. Engaging with police, councillors, and Members of Parliament is also necessary when there are issues that concern them. 

In common with other UK apprenticeship standards, you will spend 80% of your time in “on-the-job” training and 20% in “off-the-job” training. 

Operational Firefighter – Level 3

The Operational Firefighter – Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship will normally last for 24 months, not including the End Point Assessment. 

In the Operational Firefighter job role, you will be part of a team putting out fires and taking part in search and rescue operations. You may also be a first responder at road traffic accidents and incidents involving hazardous materials, including chemicals and radiation. This is a physically and mentally intensive job prioritising public safety. Therefore, you must be sure you are in peak physical condition. 

Firefighters undergo a rigorous physical training programme to ensure they can perform their role. This also includes training on different tools, such as breathing equipment, and cutting and breaching tools. On top of this, you will also need to deal with members of the public. These interactions will most likely happen at the scene of accidents or house fires. You may need to physically prevent them from approaching a burning building for their own safety. A calm and authoritative demeanour is necessary at all times when in the public gaze. 

As with the other UK apprenticeships, 80% of the apprenticeship is “on the job” training with your team. The other 20% will be “off the job” training where you study toward the academic portion of your apprenticeship standard. You’ll learn firefighting theory, such as when and when not to break down a door to avoid a fire backdraft. You will achieve your Operational Firefighter apprenticeship after completing the End Point Assessment. 

Find a Firefighter Apprenticeship Today

Now you have all the information you need to start a firefighter apprenticeship, the next step is to find and apply for one! Head over to our apprenticeship jobs board for all the latest firefighter apprenticeship opportunities in your area. 

For further information on apprenticeships, check out our wealth of resources, including:

Explore our blogs section for more relevant posts on various topics related to apprenticeships. 

Finally, feel free to get in touch with our team if you have any questions. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter below for the latest news and opportunities from Employing an Apprentice.

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Last Updated: Wednesday June 28 2023
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