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 (by time of written test)​

  • High School Diploma or GED (at time of job offer)

  • 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. 

$43,264 Annual Salary During Fire Academy 

Firefighter Recruits receive an annual salary while attending the 6-month academy.

$45,448 Upon Academy Graduation 

​Upon graduation from the academy, Firefighter Recruits become probationary firefighters and receive a 5% increase to $45,448. After completing the probation period, firefighters are eligible for approved overtime opportunities.


$52,707 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 June 24, 2020:

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

Firefighter Recruit Hiring Process

​​​The Virginia Beach Fire Department’s comprehensive Firefighter Recruit Hiring Process is completed over the duration of approximately eight months.  Candidates are required to successfully complete all stages consecutively. The Firefighter Recruit Hiring Process is as follows:

  1. Online Application
  2. Personal History Questionnaire (PHQ)
  3. Written Assessment
  4. Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) 
  5. Structured Oral Interview (SOI)
  6. Conditional Offer
  7. Post-Offer Assessments
  8. Final Offer
  9. New Member Orientation
  10. Virginia Beach Fire Academy 

 Firefighter Applicant Disqualifiers

 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


  • 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