Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Sylvester Turner Proposes 18 Percent Pay Raise for Houston Firefighters


Watch Mayor Turner's announcement of the proposed 18 percent pay raise over three years for Houston firefighters

May 19, 2021 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner today proposed increasing the salaries of Houston firefighters by 18 percent over three years. The pay increase would begin July 1, 2021, with firefighters receiving a six percent raise every year for three years.

"I have always said and believed that firefighters work very hard at protecting our community and deserve a pay raise that the city can afford," said Mayor Turner. "The pay increase we are announcing today will serve to move firefighter's salary to within market average range for their jobs as determined by the city's most recent salary survey conducted by Segal Waters Consulting."

This pay proposal allows us to continue to fund the other obligations necessary for a functional fire department and makes commitments that we can fulfill in the future.

  • The last time firefighters accepted a pay increase was in 2014. That pay raise amounted to 3%. 
  • The 18 percent pay increase will have a cumulative cost of $115.3 million over three fiscal years. 
  • It will bring first-year firefighter's salaries from $43,528 to over $51,000 per year, increasing over $8,000 per year.
  • The proposed raise will bring the first-year firefighter's hourly pay rate from $17.92/hour to approximately 21.35/hour when fully implemented.

"Today's proposed pay increase puts Houston firefighters in better standing compared to firefighters in other cities based on the number of hours worked and hourly rate of pay," said Mayor Turner.

Firefighters Raises Table

"We all want the best for our firefighters. Mayor Turner and his administration have been working hard on this issue, and now it's happened. This pay plan will help us be more competitive in our industry, help with retention and recruitment, and allow us to continue funding all other obligations for a functional fire department. I am extremely grateful and appreciative of this plan," said HFD Fire Chief Sam Pena.

In February of 2020, the mayor also approved a pay raise for fire cadets. That pay bump lifted cadets' annual compensation from $28,000 to $36,000, and it was the first cadet pay raise since 2001.

In 2019, the mayor and city council authorized $17 million in backpay to Houston firefighters to comply with Prop B until it was ruled unconstitutional.