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Basic fire suppression certification - Step 3

To work in Texas as a paid fire fighter, you have to earn a Texas "basic structure fire suppression" certificate. To earn the certificate, you must:

  1. Finish a basic fire fighter training program.
  2. Show that you can perform basic fire fighting skills.
  3. Pass the state certification test.
  4. Finish your emergency medical responder training.
  5. Get fingerprints and pass a criminal history background check.
  6. Apply for your certification.

Step 3. Pass the state certification test

The basic fire suppression certification test is the written part of the state examination process. You must score 70 percent or higher on each section of the test to pass the written exam.

If you got your training from an in-state provider, your provider will generally work directly with us to set your test date.

If you got your training through the SFFMA or out of state, contact us at (512) 936-3811 when you have finished your skill evaluation. The commission conducts the basic fire suppression written exams at academy testing sites throughout the year. We will send you an application packet for the test. The packet will include:

  • An academy exam schedule.
  • An Application for Individual Examination (TCFP-048).
    Note: TCFP-048 is not available on the website. We will send it to you.

We must receive your application no later than 14 days prior to the first test date. When you send your application, you must include the testing fees ($55) and any additional documentation we require. If you do not send the fee and documentation with your application, we will reject it. If we reject your application, we will send you a letter explaining why. All testing fees are non-refundable, so it is important that you follow all the steps in the test packet.

If we approve your application, we will send you an "Endorsement of Eligibility." When you go to the test site, you must show your "Endorsement of Eligibility" letter along with a state-issued photo ID (such as a driver's license). Report to the test site on time and bring your ID. If you are not on time, or if you do not show your ID, the test site will not let you take the test.

If you fail the test, you will have 180 days to take a retest. If you fail a second time, you will have to repeat the entire basic fire suppression course from the beginning.

If you have any questions about the application to test, please call us at (512) 936-3811.

Have you passed your state certification test? Go to Step 4.

Certification and professional development

Certification and professional development

A brief introduction to the commission's certification and professional development program.

Certification requirements

The commission offers 40 certifications or certification "levels" (i.e., basic, intermediate, advanced, etc.). This chart provides links to the requirements for each certification and each level.

Certification verification

A form to verify a certified individual's certification status.

Basic fire suppression

Overview of the requirements to become certified as an entry-level fire fighter in the State of Texas.

CE - required hours

How to determine how many hours of continuing education are required to renew.

Individual renewals

Information and FAQs for individual certificate holders. (Individual certificate holders are those who are not affiliated with a regulated department.)

Transferring to Texas

Guidelines for transferring out-of-state or military fire protection certifications to Texas.

A-list and B-list courses

A-list and B-list courses for higher levels of certification.

CE sources

Sources of continuing education.

Courage to Be Safe resources

Resources and links to more information about the Courage to Be Safe program.

Traffic safety course resources

Resources and links to more information about the required traffic safety program.