How to transfer firefighter certification to another state

Firefighter certification guidelines vary by state, which means, it’s going to take a lot of work to transfer to another station.

If planning on moving to another state, in most cases, firefighters will have to go through the firefighter’s academy for a second time and meet all state requirements (even if they’ve already been met in your home state).

Before planning a move, it’s best to research state requirements to find out what, if any, training or certifications will transfer.

What can transfer to another state?

Did you File FAFSA® Yet

If you have a National Registry Certificate, you can transfer EMT or Paramedic Certifications. To find out more about this process, check with your state EMS agency, or the agency you are applying for, to see if your EMT or paramedic certificate is transferable.

Firefighter I Certification

Any formal education, such as a college degree, will be able to follow you wherever you decide to move within the United States. Your Firefighter I Certification is what is going to vary from state to state. California, for example, does not accept Firefighter I Certificates from other states, as is the case with many others. This means that after you are hired, you are back in the recruit academy to start from the beginning.

To find out what would transfer, you should contact the fire department you are planning on applying for. Have an open conversation with them and tell them what you have completed. They should be able to tell you what, if anything, will be able to transfer and what the next steps. You can also contact your state fire marshal’s office in the event you haven’t chosen a particular department.


While it is likely that your firefighter certificate won’t transfer, you still might be in higher consideration in comparison to other applicants based on your certifications, experience, and the fact you’ve already completed the academy.