21 Best Side Jobs for Firefighters


21 best side jobs for firefighters

Does your firefighting scheduleOpens in a new tab. have you working one day on and then off for two or three days? 

If so, then you might find that your wallet has nothing but figurative flies in it by the end of the month. If you’d like to pad your bank account, it helps to have a side hustle or a second job. 

So, what are the best side jobs for firefighters?

We recommend the following 21 side jobs for firefighters:

  • Blogger
  • Real estate agent
  • Carpenter
  • Personal trainer
  • Landscaper
  • Uber/Lyft driver
  • Bartender
  • Security guard
  • CPR instructor
  • Waiter
  • Nurse
  • Lawn mower
  • Youth league coach/referee
  • Mechanic
  • Customer service rep
  • Dog walker
  • Delivery driver
  • Emergency technician
  • Painter
  • Online teacher
  • Tow truck driver

In this article, we’ll discuss each of these awesome side jobs in more detail, including how much money you can make so you can choose the right side hustle for you! You’re not going to want to miss it.

21 Lucrative Yet Flexible Side Jobs for Firefighters

Blogger

The first (and in my opinion the best) side hustle you can take on is blogging. This site is run by a firefighter looking to make more money on the side, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same as well. 

Your blog doesn’t necessarily need to be about firefighting, but rather, anything that you’re passionate about and interested in.

Blogging best practices dictate that you add content to your blog at least weekly or every other week. To increase your chances of ranking on the first page of Google search results, you need to follow search engine optimization or SEO rules. 

Use keywords throughout your writing, and try to publish content every now and again that’s longer, say, 2,500 or 3,000 words or more. 

Yes, these posts take a long time to write, but if you get a lot of views, then the time and effort will have been worth it.

If you’re worried about spending money on a domain, you don’t necessarily have to. These days, you can make a free, professional-looking website in minutes.

How much money can you make blogging? 

The answer depends on how often you write, if your blog ranks well, and how much traffic you get. 

blogger on computer
Man blogging on computer.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS–which we’ll use as a resource throughout the rest of this guide–notes that writers and authors earn $30.39 per hour, which is $63,200 a year. 

However, that number varies greatly as I know several bloggers who are making thousands (and even tens of thousands) every month from their blog!

Real Estate Agent

Yours truly is also a real estate agent/blogger/firefighter. Helping someone find their dream home or selling a property so they can move on to something bigger and better is a great experience, and as a real estate agent, you’ll do that all the time.

You can either get hired as part of a real estate team or work as an independent real estate agent. The latter sounds great, especially if you have a primary job as a firefighter, but it’s not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. 

You have to find the properties that are available, list them, tour them, and negotiate the sales price. Choose between going freelance or being part of a team carefully.

As for touring homes, while your clients will request times to see a property, it’s ultimately up to you (and the homeowner) when you will show a property. Even on those days when you’re firefighting then, you can still do some showings before or after work. 

Showing properties isn’t all you’ll do. Once a buyer finds a home they love, you’ll guide them through the buying process from start to finish. You don’t necessarily have to see the client in person to do this, which makes real estate a great option for you.

BLS says that real estate brokers and sales agents on average earn $24.39 per hour or $50,730 a year. 

Again, this number can vary greatly depending on you, your network and how much time and effort you put into growing your business.  However, it’s not uncommon (at least in my area) to work with several agents who make well north of $100k every year.

Carpenter/Handyman

Perhaps you’re useful with your own two hands and some tools. If so, then carpentry might be a field you want to look into doing outside of firefighting. As a carpenter, you will approve sketches and blueprints that come your way, measure out supplies for projects, shape and cut the materials, and then assemble.

The job of a carpenter can be a full-time one in and of itself or a side gig that you do to keep money coming into your bank account. To become a carpenter, you only need a high school diploma and some formal schooling through an apprenticeship program. Then you can get to work.

carpenter at work
Carpenter working.

Carpenters earn $24.24 per hour, which is $48,330 a year, notes BLS. That’s not too shabby!

While being a handyman doesn’t necessarily require any formal schooling it too can be a great way to bring in extra income.  

There is a HUGE demand for contracting services right now and people will pay top dollar for quality and professional work.

Personal Trainer

As a firefighter first and foremost, you need to be in peak physical condition to handle the rigors of the job. That means you probably spend a lot of time in a gym, be that at a facility or even your own home gym.

Instead of working out just for yourself, why not show others the benefits of fitness by getting a side gig as a personal trainer? 

You can either seek a personal training job through a gym or visit clients in their own home. No matter which way you choose, you get to help your clients achieve all their fitness goals, whether that’s losing weight, gaining muscle, or learning to push themselves harder with their training.

The BLS quotes your earning potential as a personal trainer at $19.42 an hour or $40,390 a year, but this is flexible. You can set your own prices if you’re not part of a gym, which means your earnings potential is even higher! 

Landscaper

Do you love spending time outside but find that your firefighting job doesn’t really allow for it? 

For your side hustle, tend to nature and beautify homes as a landscaper. You’ll manage lawns, cut shrubs, remove overhanging tree branches, plant flowers, add rocks, carve out yard walking paths, and so much more.

As an aside, part of the job does include killing off pests such as wasps, ticks, and mosquitoes, but the rest is a lot of fun. 

beautiful landscaping

Like what you need to do to become a carpenter, it’s recommended you have some skills and background to do this. This might be a multi-year apprenticeship, so perhaps hold off on applying to landscaper jobs until you’re certified.

When you can enter the field, BLS says landscape architects make $33.35 an hour or $69,360 a year. 

In addition, there are several things you can do that are similar but go great with traditional landscaping work.  

For example, I know a guy who bought a stump grinder and offers stump grinding services.  

Uber/Lyft Driver

You have a car, right? Why not put it to work as a driver for popular taxing services Uber or Lyft? 

While this may not be for everyone, I know several people who have worked as a driver and they seemed to have a great experience with it.

When you get approved as a driver for either service (or both), you put a sticker or sign in your car denoting your status as an Uber/Lyft driver and then get started.

Here’s how it works. You check the app and see who needs rides and where. Then, you choose to accept the ride. Uber or Lyft will take their cut, but you earn the rest, as well as a tip if the customer is feeling generous. 

The cool part about being a Lyft or Uber driver is there’s no limit to the amount of money you can earn. Indeed says the average national salary for a driver role like this is $30,513, but it all depends on how much you feel like driving each day.

If you live in a quiet area with not a lot of people, your earnings may be more limited compared to someone who calls a bustling city home. Still, whether you rely on being a Lyft/Uber driver as your second hustle or your third hustle, it’s a solid option. 

Bartender

Pouring drinks for people is an art, and one you can discover when your side job is that of a bartender. Ideal if your firefighting schedule leaves your weekend nights open, bartending lets you meet interesting people and always be at the heart of the action in your city or town.

Becoming a bartender isn’t necessarily easy, admittedly. You’ll have to learn the names and ingredients of hundreds of different cocktails and drinks. Then, you have to put your knowledge to the test to earn your bartender’s license.

However, depending on where you live/work the bar you work for may not require a license.

Once you’ve got that license, you can begin applying to jobs at bars and restaurants. Just know that some bartending jobs might lead to pretty late nights. 

bartender pouring drinks

You don’t want to burn too much of the midnight oil so you can be fresh for your firefighting job, so think carefully about how this side gig would fit into your schedule.

BLS says bartenders earn $11.39 and hour or $23,680 a year, but that’s not including those sweet, sweet tips that will surely keep you afloat financially. 

Security Guard/Bouncer

Do you have it in you to prevent people from getting where they’re not supposed to go? As a security guard, it’s your responsibility to protect information and valuable assets so these don’t get into the wrong hands. 

Similarly, with the bartender job a lot of bars and nightclubs are always looking for security.  Perhaps you can consider spending your evenings doing security.  

I did for 2 years and it was a great side gig!

Your security job could take you to many different places. Perhaps you’re security at a retail store, a bank, an office, or even a music and entertainment venue. 

Either way, expect to be standing on your feet for the entirety of your shift, which is the only downside. Otherwise, just look mean and intimidating and you’ll excel.

Security guards may earn $14.29 and hour, which is $29,710 a year, states BLS

CPR Instructor

When you were training to become a firefighter, you learned how to administer certified cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. You’ve perhaps even used the skill a time or two before when on the job.

Why not keep your CPR skills nice and sharp by working part-time as a CPR instructor? 

Your second job will have you instructing classes of nurses and other medical professionals, showing them the ropes of applying perfect CPR.

You’ll likely use a dummy in most demonstration scenarios, or you could even perform CPR on a real person. Most CPR instructors are part of the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or other medical centers, so start there when applying for jobs.

This is a lucrative side hustle, too. CPR Certification Online HQ says you could earn $52,790 annually as a baseline, with some CPR instructors even raking in close to $65k a year depending on location.

If you’re feeling really ambitious and you have your ACLS or PALS card you could become an instructor for one of those courses as well.  

You could easily turn this into your own company that provides training services for individuals or companies to complete their new certification or renew their outdated certifications (think daycare centers, dentist offices, chiropractic offices etc).

Waiter

It may be a standard side job, but don’t discount working as waitstaff. Unlike a job as a bartender, you’re constantly running around from table to table, taking orders, serving food, bringing empty plates back to the kitchen, and processing customer bills when working as a waiter or waitress. 

Being great at this job is all about being able to remember orders. Having a vivid personality also helps, as customers will enjoy interacting with you. 

That will also help you generate more tips, a must in waitering as it is in bartending. That’s because BLS says waiters and waitresses make $11 an hour, which is $22,890 a year. You’ll need tips for a job like this to be lucrative enough for you. 

Nurse

If you think you’ll need a long-term side gig, nursing is a pretty fantastic pick. You will have to pour many of your spare days into studying nursing so you can pass the NCLEX-RN exam. 

Then, you have to get your state license and you can finally begin applying to jobs as a registered nurse.

You may even take your role one step further, spending more time on medical schooling to become a nurse practitioner, or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). 

As a nurse or a nurse practitioner, you help diagnose patients, provide them treatment, and hopefully save their lives. Sadly, this can’t always happen, so that’s something you’ll want to keep in mind if you plan on getting into nursing.

Like being a bartender, nurses can have long hours, so try to schedule your nursing shifts so you’re not firefighting on the same day.

The BLS notes that registered nurses earn $35.24 an hour or $73,300 a year. Nurse practitioners bring in $55.67 an hour, which is $115,800 a year.  

If you’re unfamiliar with the fire service you’d be surprised to learn how many firefighters/paramedics also work as nurses and physician assistants.

Lawn Mower

Do you have an awesome ride-on mower that you love to use? Do you sometimes wish you could mow the neighbor’s lawn as well? Why not take all that extra energy and enthusiasm and put it towards a secondary job?

lawn mower cutting grass

As a mower, you’ll clean up lawns, including some of the most overgrown ones. You can even start your own lawn mowing business, which The Balance says can earn you $5,000 to $50,000 a year as you’re just getting started. If you’re more established, you could make anywhere from $160,000 to $250,000 annually. 

In fact, I know a firefighter in a neighboring town who started a VERY successful lawn mowing company and then got into firefighting.

Do keep in mind that mowing is a seasonal job for many parts of the country, so you might need a third part-time job to bring the money in (usually snow plowing if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow in winter). 

Youth League Coach/Referee

Another great side job for firefighters is working as a youth league coach or referee. 

As a coach, you get to inspire teams of kids to work together, learn their skills and values, achieve victory, and understand what’s important about defeat. You can also foster what could become a lifelong love of sports in these kids. 

If you’re a youth referee, then you get to oversee the games, ensuring the kids play fairly while everyone still has a good time. 

Glassdoor says you may be able to earn upwards of $40,089 a year as a youth league coach. Just make sure you go for the paid positions only, not the volunteer jobs. 

Mechanic

You enjoy tinkering around with your own car, and when your buddy had a problem with his vehicle, you were able to fix it right away. 

That has you wondering, maybe you could charge for your vehicular expertise?

Absolutely! As a paid mechanic, you’ll diagnose all sorts of car issues, from the more common ones to the tough-to-find problems. 

You’ll also issue preventive maintenance, including changing out filters, balancing the wheels, rotating tires, changing oil, and tuning up the engine.

mechanic working

You do need some training to become a mechanic, but then you could earn about $20.24 an hour or $42,090 a year, notes BLS

Even if you don’t know much about cars, oil change places are always looking to hire hardworking and ambitious people.  This could be a great place to start!

Customer Service Rep

If you’d prefer to work from home, you don’t only have to be a blogger. You can also work in customer service. This job is often remote and requires a high-quality telephone.

You’ll be trained on how to handle customers, who will call with questions, feedback, and yes, sometimes complaints.

On the phone, you’ll guide the customer through their problem, working actively with them to come up with a viable solution.

If you by chance can’t help, then you’ll redirect the customer to someone who can. Overall, your role in customer service is important in inspiring customer satisfaction and loyalty to whatever company you represent. 

According to BLS data, as a customer service rep, you might make $16.69 an hour, which is $34,710 a year. 

Dog Walker

Are you an animal lover? Can you not get enough of warm, fuzzy, sweet creatures? Take the edge off your tough firefighting job by getting into the side hustle of dog walking. 

It’s your duty to take other people’s dogs for walks while the dog’s owner has to work or be in school. 

You may walk one dog at a time or several, talking them to the park, around the block, or through the neighborhood. This job is really a win-win, as you get to spend time around sweet animals and get lots of exercise too. 

Oh, and having a posse of pups with you is often a great way to meet people, whether as friends or something more.

The hourly earnings for dog walkers varies by state in the US; you can check out a comprehensive salary list courtesy of Care.com here. On average, expect to make at least $15 an hour. 

Delivery Driver

Earlier, we talked about driving for Uber/Lyft as a side hustle. Another driving-related job you might want to try is being a delivery driver. 

Now, what you’re delivering will definitely vary. 

You could drop off pizzas, mechanical parts, medical equipment, or all sorts of things. Besides just delivery, you have to pick up these items too, so you’re driving a lot.

Becoming a delivery driver usually only requires a high school diploma. This job, if you’re lifting heavy cargo especially, is a great way to get exercise and be paid for it. 

Speaking of pay, BLS says you’ll make $15.69 an hour, which is $32, 020 a year. 

However, if you’re working as a firefighter chances are you’re responsible for driving some pretty big trucks.  

Have you considered getting your CDL and driving commercial vehicles?  There could potentially be plenty of money to be made in your off time.

Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic

The fact that you can work as an EMT/paramedic on the side is one of several reasons I urge aspiring firefighters to go to paramedic school rather than get a fire science degree! 

Click this link if you want to read more about Paramedic vs. Fire ScienceOpens in a new tab..

Another medical-related job to consider is being an emergency technician like a paramedic or EMT. You’ll work with emergency departments and transfusion clinics to transport people to life-saving medical treatment. 

This can get old quickly if part of your firefighting duties include EMT or Paramedic work, but you can do it part-time. 

Also, there’s room for growth, as you could earn your certification to make even more money. Getting the certification can be done online, so already a role like emergency tech fits into your schedule nicely.

BLS says your earnings as an emergency technician will be $17.02 an hour or $35,400 a year. 

Painter

Few people want to paint their homes or businesses, but it’s a job that needs to be done. 

Enter you, the professional painter. 

Either by yourself or with a team, you’ll head to the site, paintbrush in hand, prime up the walls, and then paint them an appealing, fresh new color. 

painter rolling paint on wall

Besides just buildings, your job as a painter could take you to bigger jobs, such as painting bridges, equipment, and machinery. This is a great job if you want to put your stamp on the world!

When working as a painter, BLS says you’ll earn $19.37 an hour, which is $40,280 a year. 

Also, as someone that works in the real estate industry I can tell you that there is a huge demand for good painters!  It’s an easy and relatively inexpensive way to give life to old or outdated properties.

Online Teacher

You have lots of knowledge in that head of yours, and you’d love to impart it with the world. As an online teacher, you can do just that, and all from the comfort of your own home. 

If you’re an expert at something, then you can teach it to others and make money doing it.

Perhaps you teach foreign students how to speak English or teach budding musicians to play guitar. Per Glassdoor data, you can earn $42,579 a year teaching, which should surely supplement your firefighting income nicely. 

Tow Truck Driver 

The last side job we recommend for firefighters is tow truck driving. Yes, that’s right, one more driving job. As a tow truck driver, you’ll go long distances carrying freight like food supplies, farm machinery, or equipment. 

Or, if you’re ambitious, you could even start your own towing service.  Being an emergency tow driver for vehicles during storms or other emergencies can be a very lucrative side job!

You could be driving for days at a time, which will fill in those blank days on your schedule when you’re not fighting fires.

Although it’s physically demanding, getting the goods to their destination as a tow truck driver can provide a lot of satisfaction. 

You will have to enroll in a professional truck driving school to get this job, as operating a tow truck is nothing like driving even a firetruck. You’ll also need to obtain your commercial driver’s license or CDL.

Once you find the towing job for you, you could earn $21.76 or $45,260 a year, says BLS

Conclusion

These days, it seems like everybody’s got a side hustle. As a firefighter, you’re no different. 

With this list of more than 20 great side jobs to consider for more money, you can do what you like as your main job and your secondary job too! 

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