Employment Information


 General Information


Summary Position Description:

Firefighters provide skilled emergency, medical pre hospital, and non-emergency services in a variety of areas including fire suppression, medical pre-hospital assistance, public education, and information. Firefighters are assigned to work a 24-hour shift, or other assigned shift, responding as needed during that shift. During the first six years a VBFD Firefighter will be assigned to work a 56-hour work week. Other Fire assignments may include a 40-hour work week in an administrative or training position.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Age 18 (at time of application)​

  • High School Diploma or GED (at time of application)

  • Valid U.S. driver's license (at time of application)

  • Eligible to work in the United States (at time of application)

​As a condition of employment, all VBFD Firefighter Recruit employees must sign an agreement stating they will not use tobacco products either on or off duty. Firefighters must maintain an acceptable level of physical fitness and maintain driving privileges throughout their employment with the Virginia Beach Fire Department. 

$42,290 Annual Salary During Fire Academy 

Firefighter Recruits receive an annual salary while attending the 9-month academy.

$44,432 Upon Academy Graduation 

​Upon graduation from the academy, firefighter recruits become probationary firefighters (8 months) and receive a 5% increase to $44,432. After completing the probation period, firefighters are eligible for approved overtime opportunities.


$51,526 Annual Salary for Master Firefighter

After six years, firefighters may participate in a comprehensive training program to become eligible for career progression to Master Firefighter and a 10% salary increase.

Further Career Advancement

Below is a chart that shows the Fire Department’s rank structure and corresponding salary ranges as of September 22, 2015. To be promoted to the Captain’s level, or higher, you must possess at least a college degree or a minimum number of college credits depending on the job title requirements.

Salary Chart

Position Title​

Minimum Salary​

​Maximum Salary

​Firefighter Recruit






Firefighter Medic*



​Master Firefighter



Master Firefighter Medic**






​Battalion Chief



​District Chief



*Medic positions are not required for career progression or promotion

​Employee Benefits: 

Click here for brief description.

 Hiring Process

​​​The Virginia Beach Fire Department’s comprehensive and multi-tiered hiring process may take eight to ten months to complete.  Applicants must successfully pass one stage before proceeding to the next. City and state residency are not required. Virginia or North Carolina driver’s license is required within 30 days of employment. The hiring process includes the following stages:

1.​ The application for the 2017 firefighter recruit process is now CLOSED.  Applications are no longer being accepted. Please email hirevbfd@vbgov.com to be added to the applicant interest list.

2.Written Test March 29 and April 1 (sign up will be emailed the week of March 13). Please bring the Virginia State Police Criminal Record Request Form (VCIN) to the written test. Virginia State Police Criminal Record Request Release.pdf

3. Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ)  due April 3, 2017 2017 Personal History Questionnaire.pdf

4.Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT): Trial 1 April 26 - 29; Trial 2 May 30 & June 1; Trial 3 June 26 - 27.

5.Structured Oral Interview (SOI) the week of July 17, 2017

6.Background Investigation & Polygraph

7.Pre-placement Assessments & Final Offers

8.New Member Orientation November 2017

 Firefighter Applicant Disqualifiers

2017 List of Applicant Disq​ualifiers

The following are considered disqualifying factors, which shall result in non-selection for employment opportunities in uniform positions with the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

Criminal History

  • Conviction of any felony other than those listed below
  • Conviction of initiating a false alarm as an adult
  • Conviction of arson or arson-related crime
  • Commission of undetected crimes of a serious or repetitive nature

Traffic Violations

  • Five or more negative total points on a Virginia Operator's License or the equivalent for out of state licenses
  • Any conviction of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; unreasonable refusal to submit to blood or alcohol tests; eluding police; racing; leaving the scene of an accident within the last five years from the time of documentation review


  • Conviction of illegal possession, use, sale or intent to sell marijuana or a derivative thereof within 12 months from time of written exam
  • Conviction of illegal possession, use, sale or intent to sell Schedule I or II controlled substances including but not limited to narcotics and illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens or any other Schedule I or II drug, or any derivative thereof as defined in the Code of Virginia which constitutes a felony within five years from time of written exam
  • Conviction of illegal sale or intent to sell Schedule III-VI controlled substances within five years from time of written exam
  • Conviction of illegal use and possession of Schedule III-VI controlled substances within five years from time of written exam


  • Any punitive discharge from the military: including Bad Conduct and Dishonorable discharge; from any military service
  • Any founded charge of child abuse or neglect
  • Permanent revocation of EMS certification or license in Virginia or any other state; and disciplinary or enforcement action by Virginia or other state EMS office or other recognized state or national healthcare provider licensing or certifying body in the last five years.
  • Untruthfulness, the withholding of information, or deliberate inaccuracies, on any application, interview or paperwork, or cheating on any examination or testing associated with the selection process

Note: This is not intended to be an exhaustive listing of background disqualifiers.  An applicant may also be disqualified for other concerns.  Other areas of concern will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Other areas of concern include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Conviction of any other Class 1 or 2 misdemeanor or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude (lying, stealing, cheating), excluding traffic violations, within the last five years; or the Virginia State Law equivalent within the last five years
  • Conviction of reckless driving; patterns of reckless or irresponsible driving; or multiple convictions of driving under the influence; and suspension of driving privileges due to conviction of a moving violation(s)
  • Reduction of charges as a result of a plea agreement or other form of sentencing disposition prior to a conviction in any of the aforementioned criminal and driving history categories
  • Crimes committed as a juvenile, including undetected crimes
  • Admission of illegal drug possession, use, sale or intent to sell Schedule I-VI controlled substances that does not fall within the parameters defined above
  • Military general discharge under other than honorable conditions
  • Incomplete statements on any application, interview or paperwork, or on any examination or testing associated with the selection process
  • Erratic work record; unfavorable employment references
  • Pending criminal charges

 Written Test

​2017 Written Test Dates:  March 29, 2017 & April 1, 2017

The National Firefighter Selection Inventory (NFSI) consists of a series of multiple-choice questions and rating scales designed to test important cognitive abilities and personality attributes that are necessary for effective job performance as a firefighter.

The examination measures eleven essential areas grouped in two sections: cognitive and personality.  The cognitive section consists of verbal comprehension, verbal expression, problem sensitivity, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, information ordering, mathematical reasoning and number facility.  The personality section consists of stress tolerance, team orientation and motivation/attitude.


A study guide is available for purchase.  While not required, VBFD recommends that you purchase the NFSI Study Guide.  The study guide is designed to help you become acquainted with the types of questions included in the examination.  It will also inform you of the rules governing the testing process, provide you with some general test-taking strategies, provide you with specific instructions for completing the examination answer sheet, and provide you with information about common testing errors and strategies for avoiding them.  The NFSI Study Guide Enhanced also contains a Practice Test. Both the Enhanced online and hard copy versions contain a 100-question test including mathematical components click here. A Study Guide with no practice test is also available for a lesser cost. Each version is available at www.recruitment.iosolutions.org