Firefighter position


Q. I am soon to retire from active duty with 20.5 years. I am 39 years old, and I would like to apply for a federal firefighter position. What is the cutoff age for a vet like myself? Is it true that a primary firefighter position’s maximum age is 37, while a secondary firefighter (admin) position has no maximum age requirement?

A. The only age limits are those that apply to special category employees, such as law enforcement officers, firefighters and air traffic controllers. However, even in those occupations, agencies have some flexibility.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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