How to become a National Fire Academy contract instructor

The U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy (NFA) staff appreciates your interest in potentially serving as a contract instructor for our courses. NFA courses are considered to be some of the best in the nation, and with that, we adhere to high instructional standards.

Course criteria for instructor selection

Before going any further, please review the individual course instructor criteria to be certain that you meet the minimum qualifications for each course you wish to be considered to teach. Generally, a resume alone is not enough to help us assess your qualifications. When you submit an application, please assure that you address all of the items listed in the individual course instructor criteria.

General requirements


Only U.S. citizens will be considered.


It is important that you have sufficient experience in the subject area to relate to the students. It is even more important that you have proven successful teaching experience which is necessary to properly deliver the subject in an organized, professional manner. Please pay careful attention to the experience requirements for each course.

Include your teaching history — covering the topics, contents, student populations, contact hours or credit hours — and the organizations for which you taught. Remember, this information must relate to each specific NFA course you are applying to teach.


Education requirements are specified for each course. All degree requirements must be satisfied from nationally- and/or regionally-accredited institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.


Unless otherwise instructed by the individual course requirements, please supply three references from persons who are knowledgeable about your character, as well as your teaching ability. All contract instructors are required to work with NFA staff, faculty and other contract instructors. Your ability to work with others in a structured teaching environment and to follow instructions and lesson plans will be a trait that is verified through references and observation. One reference letter should be from the department or agency head in your organization or certifying organization.


It is desirable that you be certified through one of the following:

In order to be retained, contract instructors must perform well in all aspects of their responsibilities, to include both on and off the “platform” duties. Administrative duties are required beyond normal teaching responsibilities. Other duties are explained in the contract statement of work included in each bid package.

Federal employees

If you are employed as a federal or Disaster Assistance Employee (DAE), you are not eligible to be a contract instructor for the NFA. You must resign from that position and show verification of this resignation if you wish to become an NFA contract instructor. Under current regulations, you are not permitted to be in a pay status for two federal positions.

How to submit a resume

The first step in becoming a contract instructor is to submit a resume and any other documentation necessary to demonstrate that you meet the instructor selection criteria. Please be sure to include a current email address so that we can communicate more efficiently with you, and please exclude your Social Security Number and/or your date of birth (we do not need this information).

Please submit a single resume, accompanied by a cover letter, that lists the courses you want to teach. You may submit your application package(s) in either an electronic or hard-copy format to the following address:

National Fire Academy
Attention: NFA Deputy Superintendent
16825 S. Seton Ave.
Emmitsburg, MD 21727

Upon receipt of your application package, it will be reviewed by the appropriate NFA training specialist. You will receive an email notification within 30 days regarding the status of your application package(s).

Any questions regarding your cover letter or resume may be directed to

Other important information

After it is determined you meet the individual course instructor criteria, you are required to complete all of the following:

For more information, please review the administrative requirements for NFA instructors.