Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about starting your career.

Hiring Schedule2024-01-26T17:49:47+00:00

2024 103rd Cadet Class Hiring Schedule

The testing and selection process is designed to evaluate all applicants for the position of firefighter in the Albuquerque Fire Rescue. All requirements and steps in the process are mandatory.

As part of our commitment to the community, candidates selected by the Fire Chief’s Selection Committee must pass a physical examination, drug screening, back ground investigation, written psychological exam, and psychological assessment prior to beginning the cadet class.

2024 103rd Cadet Class Applicant

Hiring Schedule

Application Process Open Now – Apply Online 
Document Submission Deadline for ALL Applicants (includes CPAT certificate)

Visit nmcpat.com to schedule CPAT.

March 15, 2024 by 5:00pm
Written Examination March 18, 2024 – March 21, 2024 (Training Academy)
Out-of-Town Testing Process  (Written Exam) April 8, 2024 (Training Academy)
Structured Oral Interviews April 9, 2024 – April 12, 2024 (ABQ Convention Center)
Cadet Orientation June 20, 2024
103rd Cadet Class Start Date August 12, 2024
103rd Cadet Class Graduation for EMT’s
103rd Cadet Class Graduation for non-EMT’s
December 13, 2024

February 28, 2025

Out-of-Town Applicants

An applicant that lives 100 miles or greater from the City of Albuquerque may participate in the Out-of-Town Applicant hiring process. To reduce travel time and expense, applicants will be scheduled for consecutive days (see above) to take the Written Examination and Structured Oral Interview. Each applicant must pass each element of the hiring process before proceeding to the next portion of the hiring process. Failure of any one element will result in removal from the hiring process.

Out-of-Town applicants must have all documents, including a valid CPAT certificate that indicates successful completion of the Candidate Physical Ability Test, submitted by March 15, 2024. Failure to submit documents and obtain a valid CPAT certificate by the deadline will result in removal from the hiring process.


All applicants must complete the CPAT or have a valid CPAT Completion Certificate dated within six (6) months prior to the document submission deadline (March 15, 2024). If you choose to obtain your CPAT certificate in New Mexico, you may contact: www.nmcpat.com


All dates are subject to change without notice.

Starting Pay2024-01-26T18:28:01+00:00



Albuquerque Fire Rescue offers one of the most robust, comprehensive pay, benefits and retirement packages in the entire fire service! We want the best, and with the support of a strong labor union we have built tremendous value and practicality into the benefits afforded to every one of our members.

CADET – FF 3C (20 week training academy) Non-Paramedic $17.70/hr (40 hr work week)
CADET – FF 3C (20 week training academy) Paramedic $21.63/hr (40 hr work week)
PROBATIONARY FIREFIGHTER – FF 2C (First year post cadet training) EMT-Basic/I $37,629.28 + $3,058.38 paid
holidays = $40,687.66 annual salary
PROBATIONARY FIREFIGHTER – FF 2C (First year post cadet training) Paramedic $44,285.92+ $3,528.72 paid
holidays = $47,814.64 annual salary
$59,870.72 + $4,811.04 paid
holidays = $64,681.76 annual salary
$62,491.62 + $5,023.98 paid
holidays =  $67,513.16 annual salary

Need more Incentive?

  • Paramedic Assignment Pay Incentive ~ 9.5% pay increase upon assignment to an ALS unit or position with an additional 3.5% pay increase when assigned to a transport capable ALS unit
  • Wildland Pay Incentive ~ $32.50 per month
  • Bilingual Skill Pay ~ $20.00 per month
  • Academic Reimbursement Plan ~ Receive up to $1,800 per year towards your college tuition!
  • Academic Incentive Pay ~ For every college credit earned we’ll pay you $1 per month! (60 credit hours=$60 a month)
  • *Incentives are available after successful completion of probationary year*
    • Interested in becoming a paramedic? Albuquerque Fire Rescue offers two options for paramedic school to eligible AFR employees.
Longevity Pay2022-12-20T23:16:50+00:00



All members who serve at least 5 consecutive years with AFR will receive longevity pay. This supplement is paid monthly and is applied towards your highest 5 year earnings.

  • 5 -7 years = $2,340 annually
  • 8 – 11 years = $3,250 annually
  • 12 – 14 years = $4,160 annually
  • 15 – 17 years = $6,240 annually
  • 18 – 21 years = $13,130 annually
  • 22 – 24 years = $14,430 annaully
  • 25 years and above = $16,770 annually
Continuing Education2022-12-20T23:33:49+00:00


Continuing Education.

Being a member of AFR is demanding, and continuing education is critical for our success. Most EMS agencies and fire departments require their members to maintain their own CE’s, but AFR members receive all required CE’s, every year, paid for by the department. The curriculum is provided by the department and completed on-duty — no conferences, no seminars and no searching!

  • Paramedic 60 hours ($600 value)
  • Intermediate/Advanced 50 hours ($500 value)
  • Basic 40 hours ($400 value)

American Heart Association

  • AFR offers FREE on-duty courses:
  • BLS    ($60 value)
  • ACLS    ($110 value)
  • PALS    ($110 value)
  • BLS Instructor    ($170 value)
  • ACLS Instructor    ($180 value)
  • PALS Instructor    ($180 value)
Career Training & Gear2022-12-20T23:33:17+00:00

Get More



Specialty divisions provide on-duty training! Expand your knowledge and make your career what you want it be!

  • Hazardous Materials Task Force
  • Heavy Technical Rescue
  • Wildland Division
  • Technical Services
  • Dispatch
  • Arson


AFR also provides Nomex station/duty uniforms and your structural firefighting gear and mask!

  • Station/duty Nomex – ($1123 value)
  • Station boots – ($126 value)
  • Structural Firefighting Gear and Mask – ($2860 value)
  • Wildland Gear – ($382 value)
  • Whites Boots – ($220 value)
Veteran’s Benefits2022-06-23T16:47:56+00:00



The women and men of the armed services protect our communities and answer the call every day!

Whether you are retired, discharging, or currently serving in the Reserves or National Guard, Albuquerque Fire Rescue is prepared to help you make the transition to a career in firefighting!

Albuquerque Fire Rescue is approved to train veterans and other eligible persons for the payment of VA education benefits under the provisions of the GI Bill® by the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services, State Approving Agency for Veteran’s Education and Training (NM SAA).

The following scale represents the pay rate for a typical Chapter 33 beneficiary living in Bernalillo or Sandoval County:

  • During Fire Academy                                                             –           $1,419/ Month
  • During first two months of probationary period (OJT)          –           $1,419/ Month
  • During next six months of probationary period (OJT)           –           $1,135/ Month
  • During final four months of probationary period (OJT)         –           $851/ Month

**Specific eligibility for individual cadets should be determined by referencing the below weblink, or by contacting a VA GI Bill® representative at (888-442-4551). https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/contact_us.asp

For information regarding On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeship: https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/onthejob apprenticeship.asp

For information regarding VA payment of benefits: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/non college degree.asp

“GI Bill is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)”. More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available at the official U.S. government website at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill

What Tests are Required?2023-01-04T20:28:13+00:00



It is NOT mandatory to possess a Valid Candidate Physical Ability Test Certification prior to submitting your application. You must, however, possess a Valid Candidate Physical Ability Test Certification prior to being scheduled for the written, pack test and structured oral interview.
01. CPAT.

Start Here. Eligibility requirements include a Valid Candidate Physical Ability Test Certification obtained and submitted for approval prior to being scheduled for any testing sessions.

Log in to nmcpat.com to schedule a CPAT test.

Candidates may also choose other options for CPAT administration by logging in to https://nationaltestingnetwork.com/publicsafetyjobs/cpat_info.cfm

If accepted, the applicant is notified and scheduled for the following steps.


The written examination is designed to measure the skills and abilities needed to succeed as a firefighter. The written examination consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. Skills and abilities measured include listening comprehension, mathematics, mechanical reasoning, language mechanics, and reading comprehension.

The link below is a twenty-five-question practice exam with example items that represent the 6 dimensions you will encounter on the actual exam.

Key Benefits2022-12-20T22:32:32+00:00


Key Benefits.

25 year retirement at 75% of highest 5 years
Complete health and dental insurance (80% City contribution)
144 hours of annual sick leave accrual
144-240 hours of annual vacation accrual
Free gym membership
13 paid holidays per year
GI Benefit Eligible Accredited Academy
Two year promotional cycles
Cadet program IFSAC testing provided
On-duty professional development courses
Peer Fitness: free training and testing
Annual NFPA 1582 Compliant Physical

Cadet Disqualification List2022-06-23T16:35:32+00:00



Personal Integrity – An applicant must not have committed any act(s) in their background that would indicate a lack of personal integrity or morality on the part of the applicant.

Dishonesty – An applicant must not intentionally or unintentionally omit facts during any part of the background investigation.

Drivers License – Applicants must possess a valid driver’s license and out-of-state applicants must obtain a New Mexico driver’s license within 30 days of being hired.

Driving History – An applicant must not have a noticeable pattern of traffic arrests, citations and/or convictions within the last 3 years. Stop sign violations, red light violations, reckless driving, speeding, parking tickets, and careless driving are just a few examples of traffic violations that could disqualify an applicant if he/she has developed a pattern.

Employment History – An applicant must not have a history of unsatisfactory employment.

Financial History – An applicant must not have a history or chronic recurring financial problems indicating an unwillingness or inability to live within his/her financial means. An applicant who has filed for bankruptcy will not necessarily disqualify an applicant. An applicant cannot be in collections for $500 or more.





Military Service – An applicant must have had an Honorable Discharge, General Discharge under Honorable Conditions, as stipulated in the DD-214. All other Discharge dispositions, with the exception of a Dishonorable Discharge, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Criminal History – An applicant must not have been convicted of any misdemeanor violation within the last 3 years. A misdemeanor violation that an applicant did commit in his/her past, but not within the past 3 years, will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. A felony conviction will automatically disqualify an applicant. An applicant cannot have been convicted of Domestic Violence.

Driving While Intoxicated – An applicant will be disqualified if he/she has had a conviction or any admittance of guilt for driving under the influence of alcohol within the last 5 years or have committed multiple DWIs within the last 10 years whether from an administrative sanction by the Motor Vehicle Department, a criminal conviction or any admittance of guilt or by military disciplinary action.

Illegal Drug Usage – An applicant must not have used any illegal drug that would amount to a misdemeanor crime if found in possession within the last 3 years.

*Exception: an applicant must not have used marijuana within the last two years. An applicant must not have used an illegal drug which would amount to a felony crime if found in possession within the last 5 years.

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