Fireboat Operator

Pilot a marine firefighting vessel.
picture of Fireboat Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $75,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Fireboat Operators do?

Part Firefighter, part Marine Pilot, all hero—the Fireboat Operator occupies an exclusive but vital niche in the emergency services world. Necessarily confined only to bodies of water, the Fireboat Operator steers and maintains a powerful firefighting vessel, and often directs its crew during responses. Whether it’s a disabled or burning vessel, a seaside structure on fire, or anything in between, if it can be reached by boat and people need help, the Fireboat Operator will be there.

Like any other Firefighter, the Fireboat Operator is part of a trained team. Engineers and Firemen fill out the crew and are responsible for the other duties on board. In this position, you need to be able to lead effectively and deal with different personality types under pressure.

When you’re on the water and dealing with fire, anything can happen. Your safety training and teamwork skills are the only thing that will get you and your team all back home safely.

Firefighters often live in the firehouse while they’re on call, sometimes for days at a time. Otherwise, you could be confined within a certain response area, or some combination of these arrangements.

Either way, being a Fireboat Operator is more than a full-time job. Fire doesn’t wear a wristwatch. When it’s time to save lives, it’s time to save lives. Prepare for long periods of waiting, training, and maintaining, punctuated by brief periods of immense challenges and lifesaving.

Should I be a Fireboat Operator?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.

  • Also known as: Fire Alarm Operator, Fire Boat Operator, Fire Boat Pilot, Fire Engine Pump Operator, Fire Equipment Operator See More

    How to become a Fireboat Operator

    Most Fireboat Operators have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:f9caaf&chl=no+college+%2831%25%29|certificate+%2862%25%29|associate%27s+%282%25%29|||doctorate+%285%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,31,62
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