Smoke Jumper Supervisor

Train and direct your team to jump from planes and put out forest fires.
picture of Smoke Jumper Supervisor

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$41,000 – $111,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Smoke Jumper Supervisors do?

During late summer, the grass and trees turn brown and dry, and the fires come out to play. Fires often stick to high areas, inaccessible by roads, so they can do their work in secret. But not for long! Smoke Jumper Supervisors direct teams to fight these fires, using both airborne and on-the-ground assault methods.

Fires are dangerous opponents, so a Smoke Jumper Supervisor’s team must be well trained and well prepared. If you’re a Smoke Jumper Supervisor, you might set up training drills, presentations, and written tests to help your staff get ready for battle. Periodically, you inspect the firefighting equipment on hand and make sure it’s in good working order. When equipment must be replaced, you write pleading requisition reports and ask for funds.

When a fire breaks out, you look at maps of the area to determine how to attack that fire. Sometimes, you ask your team to load up a helicopter with fire retardant materials, and you tell them where to drop the load. Other times, you ask the team to parachute into the fire itself to attack it from the ground. They’ll be glad to hear that you’re coming along as well.

When you arrive at the site, you tell the team where to go, when to spray retardants, when to cut down trees to create a firebreak, and when to retreat for their own safety. When someone on your team is injured, it’s your unpleasant task to inform the person’s family.

After the fire has been vanquished, you write a long report detailing how you fought it, including information about the chemicals you used. You avoid boasting about your own skills, though.

Should I be a Smoke Jumper Supervisor?

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.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.

  • Also known as: Fire Supervisor

    How to become a Smoke Jumper Supervisor

    We recommend at least a Certificate. Check out these schools offering Smoke Jumper Supervisor-related education!
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