How Much Does a Firewatch Make in California

How Much Does a Firewatch Make in California?

A firewatch is crucial in preventing and controlling fire-related hazards, particularly in high-risk areas. Understanding the compensation, requirements, and starting salary for this role is essential for those considering a career in fire safety. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key aspects of becoming a firewatch and how much they could earn in California.

How Much Does a Firewatch Make In California?

As of October 20, 2023, the typical yearly salary for a Fire Watch position in Los Angeles is $78,070. In simpler terms, this amounts to roughly $37.53 per hour. Alternatively, this translates to $1,501 per week or $6,505 per month.

What are The Requirements to be a Firewatch?

Becoming a firewatch in California typically requires meeting specific qualifications and undergoing specialized training. These prerequisites ensure people have the skills and knowledge to carry out their responsibilities effectively. 

As per information gathered from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and reputable fire safety training institutions, the primary requirements include:

  • Basic education: While a high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement, some employers may prefer candidates with an associate degree or relevant vocational training in fire safety.
  • Certifications and training: Aspiring firewatches often need to complete courses in fire safety and prevention. This may include training in fire behavior, use of firefighting equipment, emergency response protocols, and first aid. 

Additionally, obtaining the Firewatch Certification or Fireguard License can significantly enhance job prospects.

  • Physical fitness: Given the physically demanding nature of the job, persons must meet specific physical fitness standards. 

This ensures that firewatches can effectively handle tasks that involve prolonged periods of physical activity and potentially hazardous conditions.

  • Strong communication skills: Effective communication is essential for relaying critical information and coordinating efforts with other team members during emergencies. 
  • Clean background check: A clean criminal record and background check are typically required to ensure the safety and security of the team and the community.

Adhering to these requirements is essential for individuals pursuing a career as a firewatch in California.

What Is The Starting Salary For a Firewatch?

The starting salary for a firewatch in California can vary based on location, experience level, and the specific employer. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and industry reports suggest that the average starting salary for a firewatch in California ranges between $35,000 to $40,000 annually. 

However, it is important to note that these figures may fluctuate depending on the region within California and the demand for firewatch services in the area.

Moreover, additional benefits such as overtime pay, hazard allowances, and healthcare coverage may be provided by some employers, contributing to a more comprehensive compensation package.

Experienced firewatches or those with advanced certifications and training can earn higher salaries, reflecting their expertise and contributions to fire safety and prevention efforts in the state.

You can also read:

What are the requirements for a fire watch in California

FireWatch Duties and Responsibilities

What is a fire watch in California

Benefits of Fire Watch Security Guards

Why Is Hiring A Fire Watch Security Guard So Important In California


Knowing the requirements and salaries for a firewatch role in California can help you make informed decisions about pursuing this critical and rewarding career path. With the increasing importance of fire safety, the role of firewatches is crucial in safeguarding communities and natural landscapes from the devastating impact of wildfires.