As of May 2014, the average wage for firefighters nationwide was $48,750. The bottom 10 percent of firefighters earned less than $22,130, while the top 10 percent earned more than $81,450.
The salaries of firefighters vary widely by location, with the average salary exceeding $70,000 in three states. Firefighters earned an average salary of $77,550 in New Jersey, $73,200 in New York and $71,630 in California. The average wage for firefighters was higher still in certain metropolitan areas. In the Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, California Metropolitan Division, firefighters earned nearly $90,000. The average yearly salary was close to $88,000 in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California area and in the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California Metropolitan Division.