Have you got what it takes?

Holding the lives of Queenslanders in their hands every day, the role of a Fire and Rescue firefighter demands incredible physical, mental and emotional strength. The recruitment process can be competitive - everyone can see what an amazing career it is - you have to make sure you give it your best shot and are prepared.

The day-to-day requirements of your job may include, but are not limited to:

  • Periods of intense and sustained physical activity
  • Working in confined spaces and with poor visibility
  • Hot and humid working environments
  • Instantly reacting and responding to fire calls at any time, day and night
  • Wearing of breathing apparatus and protective clothing
  • Challenging situations, including where people are injured, distressed or deceased

On top of these physical and mental demands, Fire and Rescue firefighters must also contend with the potential disruption the role may have on their personal lives.

Fire and Rescue firefighters:

  • Most often work 4 days on 4 days off with 2x10hr day shifts followed by 2x14hr night shifts
  • Work rosters prepared up to 12 months in advance, including rostered periods of leave - but there is flexibility when needed!
  • Regularly work weekends, public holidays, including Christmas, and are called for duty during major emergencies

To deal with these conditions, QFES requires firefighters to have a high degree of physical fitness, dexterity and mental strength, alongside a powerful commitment to their role in the community.

These are assessed through a highly competitive selection process.


Before you apply to become a Fire and Rescue firefighter, you MUST meet the following criteria:

  • Manual C class driver licence held for at least 1 year OR manual medium rigid driver licence
  • Physically, mentally and medically fit
  • Minimum 2 years full time equivalent general paid work experience
  • Australian/New Zealand citizen or permanent residence status
  • Successful completion of Year 12, or equivalent as recognised by QFES
  • Successfully complete a Beep Test within the specified timeframe

Please note that internet access will be required to submit your application and receive ongoing communications throughout the selection process. Online testing will require access to a computer – it cannot be performed on a mobile phone or tablet.

  • Completing the beep test
    • The beep test, also known as the shuttle run, is a minimum requirement for application and used to determine a suitable level of fitness. This assessment is only available during the nominated application period. It is a pass/fail assessment, there is no merit in this assessment. You are NOT required to complete this assessment further than successful completion of Level 8.6 (attainment of level 8.7)
    • There are two options for completing the beep test:
      1. You can complete the required beep test during one of the QFES Assessment days free of charge. You can attempt the beep test more than once, but you must register to attend a session on each occasion. You must complete the assessment during the application period and before applications close
      2. Alternatively, you can complete the beep test at a Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC). Each PCYC has different testing arrangements and may charge a fee for you to undertake this assessment. Click here to find your closest PCYC
    • Before you take the test, you will be required to complete a Certificate of Indemnity and Fitness form. This will certify that you are physically fit to undertake the physical fitness assessments. The form will be provided to you by Talent Acquisition when applications open. This is NOT a full medical
    • Bring your completed Certificate of Indemnity and Fitness form and photo ID to the test (license or passport). The assessor will note your results on the form and also sign and stamp it to verify the test result, which you will need to submit along with your application.
    • Any costs associated with the beep test will not be reimbursed

The selection process

  1. Submit application, including beep test results

    Your application must be submitted before 5pm on the closing date. There will be no allowance for late applications.

    You will receive email confirmation from QFES Talent Acquisition that your application has been received, and once checked, you will later receive information your application has been accepted.

  2. Complete online cognitive ability test

    Accepted applicant's will be emailed information and links to complete tests of general aptitude and cognitive ability. These include problem solving, mechanical, abstract, verbal and numerical reasoning. It is important you prepare for these assessments.

    It is also important to be well rested and take the tests in a quiet, distraction-free environment.

    Preparing for this test

  3. Complete supervised testing

    Selected successful applicant's will be invited to undertake further aptitude and cognitive ability testing, relevant to the role of a Fire and Rescue firefighter. These tests will be held at various locations around Queensland. Dates will be made available to successful applicant's. You may be required to travel to complete these tests, at your own cost.

  4. Undertake the Queensland Physical Abilities Test (QPAT)

    Selected successful applicant's will be invited to participate in the QPAT.

    The QPAT comprises of a sequence of tasks designed to simulate the physical requirements of attending an emergency incident. To successfully complete the QPAT, applicant's are required to demonstrate the levels of aerobic fitness, muscular strength and endurance required to perform the duties of a firefighter.

    Every task is a pass/fail assessment. You should make yourself familiar with each task's requirements before attending testing.

    QPAT task requirements

    Book QPAT demonstration and practice sessions

  5. Attend State Panel Interviews

    The State Panel Interview is a critical part of the firefighter selection process. You will be required to speak in front of an interview panel, which will include QFES operational staff and a QFES HR staff member. You will be required to inform the panel members about your motivation in becoming a firefighter, and the attributes and qualities you would bring to the role. You will also be asked behaviour and scenario-based questions.

    QFES recommends that you perform outside research into the role, such as visiting a station or speaking with firefighters about their experiences.

  6. Complete Psychological Assessments

    This is designed to evaluate whether you have the necessary characteristics to perform the role of a Fire and Rescue firefighter including the mental and emotional demands. There are a number of assessments required including online assessments, group assessments and one on one assessments.

  7. Integrity checks and referee reports

    You will be asked to provide details of your current and previous Supervisor or Manager. QFES will contact these referees and request they complete a report.

  8. Undergo a Medical Assessment

    The role of a Fire and Rescue firefighter is demanding and diverse. It is important that potential Fire and Rescue firefighters are fit for the job. The QFES Medical Standards reflect the requirements of the role. Final determination on your suitability is at the discretion of the QFES Medical Advisor.

    Current QFES Medical Standards

  9. Satisfy a Criminal History Check

    QFES will undertake a check of your criminal history. Note that past offences will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may or may not affect the success of your application.

If you are unable to attend or do not successfully complete an assessment, you will not be provided with an opportunity to re-attempt it. There is no flexibility with regard to assessment dates and QFES Talent Acquisition is unable to consider any requests for such.

It's important to note that successful completion of an assessment does not guarantee progression through the recruitment phases. Selection may need to be made at any stage in the process and will be done by the QFES Selection Panel.

If you are offered a position as a Recruit Firefighter

Recruit Course

If you are one of the successful applicant's who are selected for offer of employment, your role will be secured on the completion of QFES's intensive 16 week Recruit Course.

The Recruit Course takes place at the School of Fire and Emergency Services Training (SFEST) in Brisbane. You will be fully remunerated for this full-time program at the QFES recruit pay rate.

The course is comprised of intensive practical and theoretical instruction. Assignments and tests are used to assess recruits' competency throughout. You must attain the required standard for each competency to graduate.

Probation & Tenure

A 12 month probationary period applies upon commencement of the Recruit Course.

After graduation and upon commencement on shift as a firefighter, you will be required to serve a minimum of four years tenure in your first appointed employment location (five years in Mt Isa) before becoming eligible for a transfer. It's important to note that transfers are not automatically granted and depend on vacancies and associated waiting lists. It's worth noting that some popular employment locations (like the Gold and Sunshine Coasts) have transfer lists already 10+ years long.

Pay Rates – as of 1st July 2017

Firefighters are paid a total rate, which includes the ordinary time rate of pay as well as the ‘shift allowance', ‘weekend shift', ‘night shift' and ‘38 hour allowance'.

Classification Old base rate Inc. 2.2% Weekend Shift Night Shift 38 Hour Week Allowance Total Per Fortnight
Classification Recruit
Old base rate $1,634.99
Inc.2.2% $1,675.86
Weekend Shift $359.14
Night Shift $108.09
38 Hour Week Allowance $112.79
Total $2,255.89
Classification Firefighter
Old base rate $1,921.12
Inc.2.2% $1,969.15
Weekend Shift $421.99
Night Shift $127.01
38 Hour Week Allowance $132.53
Total $2,650.68

How to apply

The 2018 Recruit Firefighter Campaign will open soon.

Information sessions will be held across Queensland leading up to the closing date. It is highly recommended that you attend a session BEFORE you submit your application.

For enquiries please email talent.acquisition@qfes.qld.gov.au

Please note that the QFES Talent Acquisition Team is committed to ensuring that security, integrity and privacy is not compromised at any stage of the recruitment process and will carry out systematic ID checks and online test verification.


  • Will it cost me anything to apply?

    All assessment costs are covered by QFES, however you are responsible for any costs associated with your attendance at assessments, including those associated with you completing your QFES Certificate of Indemnity and Fitness Form. Completion of the beep test may incur costs depending on the assessment venue, these costs are the applicant's responsibility and will not be reimbursed.

    Should you be successful in the process and be offered a place on a recruit course, you will also be required to cover the costs associated with your final Medical Assessment.

  • If I have previously applied, do I have to apply again?

    Yes. Previous applications are not considered in the current recruitment campaign. All assessments will need to be completed again regardless of which stage you progressed to previously.

  • How many times can I apply?

    You are only permitted to submit ONE application in each recruitment campaign. However if you have been unsuccessful previously you may apply again.

  • I am having trouble completing my application. What can I do?

    Check you have answered all questions in the online application form. Some questions are designed to identify candidate's who don't meet entry requirements e.g. minimum Australian Provisional P2 driving licence and minimum educational qualifications. If you do not meet these, your application cannot be progressed.

  • Is there an age limit?

    No, but you must have a current manual motor vehicle driver licence (or equivalent which can be transferred to an Australian licence) when applying. The minimum is a Provisional P2 (green licence).

  • I have a medical condition. Can I apply?

    Candidate's must satisfy all QFES medical requirements to progress. Some medical conditions have been identified as significant for firefighters, however all applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, and final determination on a candidate's medical suitability is made by the QFES Medical Advisor. For further information refer to the QFES Medical Standards.

    All applicant's should ensure that information from treating doctors/specialists relating to any pre-existing medical conditions is available at the time of their medical assessment. This will allow timely assessment and avoid delays in the processing of their applications.

  • Does training in the Queensland Auxiliary, Rural Fire Service or other emergency services such as SES help?

    Previous experience and qualifications related to community work may enhance a candidate's performance. Previous experience may make an applicant more competitive in the process.

The right fit

Find the role that fits you best with the role suitability quiz