Successful Wake County Fire Academy recruits for its third cohort

Applications open today for the all-expenses-paid “Career in a Year” program

Firefighters holding a hose douse a fire

For the third year in a row, Wake County is opening applications for its Fire Academy, aiming to spark fresh enthusiasm for careers in firefighting. Hired individuals will receive a salary and benefits over the course of the 38-week training program, opening doors for people who may not have otherwise considered firefighting.

The application period for Career in a Year is open today, May 15, through June 28. Graduates will earn EMT and Firefighter certifications and will officially begin work with a local fire department upon completion.

“The Career in a Year program is an innovative initiative that levels the playing field for fire academy recruits,” says Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Shinica Thomas. “The impressive achievements of our past graduates demonstrate its effectiveness at producing talented professionals who are eager to step up and serve our communities.”

The program has consistently produced highly qualified graduates. Members of the current Fire Academy class passed their EMT exams with the highest average scores in the history of the program. The last cohort also increased the diversity of its recruits by 33%.

If you would like to find out more about the opportunity to get paid to train for this exciting career, attend one of our upcoming information sessions:

  • Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m.
    Eastern Regional Center
    1002 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon
  • Wednesday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m.
    Northern Regional Center
    350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
  • Tuesday, June 4, at 6:30 p.m.
    Western Regional Center
    111 James Jackson Ave., Cary
  • Saturday, June 8, at 10:30 a.m.
    Departure Health & Human Services Center
    5809 Departure Drive, Raleigh
  • Wednesday, June 12, at 6:30 p.m.
    Southern Regional Center
    130 N. Judd Parkway NE, Fuquay-Varina

Career in a Year is offered in partnership with Wake Technical Community College. Learn more at

Press Release