How to Get a Fire Science Degree?
There are no specific set of guidelines to get a fire science degree. Each hiring
organization has its particular training requirements. However, all of them aim to provide
the students deep insight on how to:
- suppress and extinguish fires using hoses, pumps, and other equipment,
- conduct evacuation of fire structures and treat the victim
- drive and operate emergency vehicles and pump engines and maintain firefighting
- participate in public education.
Some of the steps that students across the globe follow to pursue a career in fire science
include the following:
Enroll yourself for the specific degree that you want to opt for. The colleges offering fire
science degree programs deliver a wide array of courseware through online mode. Some of the
most common choices are listed below:
- The certificate program in fire science
- Associate degree program in fire science
- Bachelor’s degree program in fire science
Join a Firefighting agency for hands-on experience and training. Education in combination
with an experience paves ways for more opportunities. Hence, joining an agency for training
will give an extra edge to your career and will acquaint you with the industry trends and
knowledge in a better way.
Get your license –
Voluntary professional registration can help you explore horizons of success in the field of
fire science. Having said that, they cannot replace the importance of licensing. You can
take up the licensing exams that are most relevant to your career aims and goals, and pursue
Take tests and start working –
Last but not the least; ensure to start working by taking
the practice tests based on which the organizations check your knowledge and skills.
What are the benefits of fire science degree and what are the prerequisites for the
Answer: Fire science majors aim at providing the students with a
detailed insight into the study of fire and the tools used to control the hazards
associated with it. It covers the facets of fire science like laws, building codes and
other measures that are vital to mitigate the fire-related threats and dangers. The
professionals who have fire science degree hold specialization in urban or structural
fires along with the forest fire investigation, prevention, and suppression. The
educational fire science degree requirements for an applicant to vary according to the
organizations and positions. Some positions do not need a college degree. However, the
professionals aspiring to choose their career in this particular domain, or are
exploring the career prospects, can increase their skills by pursuing a fire science
degree or firefighter training program.
What is the cost of the firefighter programs?
Answer: The cost of firefighter program is 15,000$ to 30,000$ that
includes tuition fee, lab fees, state fees, physical, bunker gear rental, uniform,
personal protective gears, books, and other supplies.
From where can the candidates apply for the fire science programs?
Answer: Students can apply for the fire science program in the month of
October for the Spring Session, in March for Summer Program, and in June for the Fall
What will the coursework mainly comprise of?
Answer: The degree coursework mainly includes classroom and hands-on
training, along with internships. The motive of the courseware is to introduce the
students to fighting equipment and educate them on how to maintain those. The field
training typically focuses on the facets like hands-on firefighting experience, albeit
controlled, fires, and working alongside the professionals in a fire station.
The typical course includes the following besides general educational classes:
- Fire behaviors and combustion
- Rescue procedures
- Basics of fire extinguishing
- EMT basics
- Chemistry of fire science
- Fire codes and laws
What are the career options available with a college degree in fire science?
Answer: Here are the various positions that you can choose from if you
are pursuing a degree in fire science:
Firefighter: Firefighters are the ones who respond to multiple emergency
calls, including, but not limited to, the car crashes, building fires, and emergency
rescue operations. These professionals must equip themselves with the skills required
for firefighting and emergency medical training. Firefighters also conduct the
informative sessions for the schools and childcare facilities to educate students on the
relevant facets of fire safety. This particular position has excellent scope for
advancement and promotions.
Forest Fire Inspector and Prevention Specialist: This position is the
type of firefighter who is trained to work in the national forests and parks. They keep
a vigilant eye on the fires from their watchtowers and report the sightings to the
central station. They do not just take care of the firefighting, but also have
responsibilities regarding fire prevention. The requirements for becoming a fire
inspector and prevention specialist are same as that of a firefighter. They are liable
for promotions and advancements based on the educational level.
Fire Inspector: Fire inspectors are the ones who are taking care of the
interior and exterior of buildings and structures for fire hazards. They make sure that
the buildings follow the fire codes and help the builders and owners to make required
changes whenever needed. They are also responsible for collecting fees to be paid for
the license and permits. Fire inspectors are also the ones who ensure that the types of
equipment like fire extinguishers are operating the way they are needed to so that
untimely hazards can be avoided. They typically hold extensive field experience.
Fire Investigator: Fire investigators provide their services to the fire
breakout locations where the fire has broken out due to the arson-related to criminal
negligence activities. Their primary aim is to analyze the site of the cause and origin
of the fire. They capture photographs to perform a thorough examination and collect the
required evidence. People holding these positions typically work as firefighters before
becoming fire inspectors.
EMTs and Paramedics: The people employed as EMTs and paramedics are the
ones who respond to emergency situations especially in the areas where human lives are
at stake. They are explicitly trained to apply CPR, first aid and other life-saving
technique to the people injured during the fire breakout. EMTs and paramedics are also
responsible for providing transportation for the medical patients requiring further
medical attention and maintain the track record of the patients they have assisted.
What are some of the fire science career options available?
Answer: Fire science programs prepare you for a wide array of
entry-level as well as managerial positions, whether you want to put the fires out, help
fellow citizens to prevent or conduct analysis to identify the source of the fire.
How long does it take to complete these programs?
Answer:The fire science programs can be completed within one semester,
that is, six months, be it individual or cumulative. However, a specific certificate or
degree program will take multiple semesters to be completed. As, in this case, the
completion will depend on the course load.
How much does a firefighter earn?
Answer: Firefighter salaries can vary across the United States of
America. While some of the firefighting professionals work in a small department that
has a limited budget, others work in the urban areas with much higher financial options.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the median pay for the firefighters
What job growth can be expected in the field of fire science?
Answer:The work of firefighters is absolutely integral to the safety and
security of the community. Consequently, these professionals are always high on demand.
Employment of firefighters is expected to grow by 5% in the years 2014 to 2024.
How does an AAS in fire protection technology help a student?
Answer: There are multiple benefits to the associate’s degree in fire
protection technology. There are several fire departments in various states that provide
a stipend to the firefighters for the AAS degree or higher. Graduates can only qualify
for the firefighter certificate once they meet a certain level of experience. An AAS
enables the fire service personnel to become more competitive for promotions. Besides
this, an AAS degree in fire protection technology can help
them fulfill many requirements that are mandatory for the bachelor’s level.
What are professional organizations and what benefits do they offer?
Answer: Pursuing a successful career in the field of fire science
requires in-depth domain expertise and exploring the connections that can guide you
well. Professional organizations serve you as a great aid to learn about the essential
facets of the chosen field through modes like online training, host networking events,
job boards, and a plethora of services tailored for the career-ready graduates. Here are
some of the options that you can choose from:
- International Association of Fire
Fighters: Helping students through the
resources like job listings, video tutorials, and library, this organization is home
to the community of 300,000 plus firefighters and paramedics operational in the
location like the US and Canada.
- International Association of Women in
Fire and Emergency Services: International
Association of Women Fire and Emergency Services is an interactive network of fire
service women providing them the needed educational resources, support, and
advocacy. These benefits come in the shape of exclusive offers on the conference
fees, trustee, and mentorship opportunities, and free access to the organization’s
online magazine. This organization has been standing as an endeavor being supported
by more than 110,000 women firefighters and fire personnel in the United States
since its inception in the year 1982.
- US Fire
Administration: US Fire Administration works
towards helping the fire science professionals to advance the status and explore the
realms of their career. They benefit the users through training and educational
programs that prepare the audience to prevent and respond to fires and other
How Long Does it Take to Get a Fire Science Degree?
The duration of fire science degree programs varies and is also decided according to specific
parameters. For instance, the entry-level firefighters, who may or may not have a degree
must necessarily complete about 600 hours of training over a course duration that ranges
from 12 to 14 weeks. This training can be conducted by a fire academy, which has been
assigned to them by the respective fire department they work for. For various other options,
here is the required timeframe:
These are short-term courses that take less than a year’s time
to complete. The coursework is divided into practical training and theory
These programs prepare you for entry-level firefighting
positions and generally require two years of full-time study for successfully
Fire science bachelor’s degree takes four years of full-time
study to complete and is sought by the experienced firefighters for advancing
This is the most advanced degree that you can opt for. It
requires two years of full-time study to complete. You can also pursue it on the
What are the Types of Fire Science Degree Programs Offered by Institutions?
Fire science degrees can be either specific or general to the fire science specialty. That
is, they can be aimed at fire prevention, fire suppressions, or fire services leadership.
They can be made according to the entry-level positions of the firefighter or tailored for
those who want to progress in their career.
Fire science certificates and undergraduate degrees are often sought by the newcomers or the
junior firefighters who are looking for a desk job that only needs field knowledge. On the
other hand, the advanced degree programs are explicitly sought by the experienced
firefighters or related professionals who are aiming to attain policy-making roles in fire
Certificate programs do not offer you any degree, but instead are a type of credential that
establishes that you have gained training in a particular area like fire inspection, arson
investigation, etc. They are generally short courses and take less than a year’s time to
complete. High school graduates are also eligible to enroll for these programs.
Associate Degree Programs:
These are long-term programs that take two years of full-time study to complete. The
community colleges offer associate degree programs. It is mandatory for the applicant to
hold a high school diploma to enroll for the associate degree programs. These programs
prepare students for the positions such as entry-level firefighters.
Coursework of this degree program mainly includes fire behavior, rescue procedures, and the
basics of fire extinguishing. It also includes general education classes such as
subject-specific courses like emergency medical technician (EMT) introductory level, the
chemistry of fire science, and the uniform fire code. The mode of teaching mainly includes
hands-on experience and an internship. These undergraduate certification programs offer
outstanding educational opportunities for both, firefighting professionals and the students
seeking entry-level fire service positions.
A bachelor’s degree in fire science requires four years of full-time study. These degree
programs are tailor-made for the firefighters seeking advancement or the ones who are
finding the entry-level positions. This helps them gain a competitive advantage while being
A major in fire science often needs hands-on experience along with an internship that is
optional. The online course, however, solely focus on the administrative and policy-related
topics or may help the applicants to arrange field experience locally. Courses that are
common to the bachelor’s degree in fire science comprise of fire prevention, emergency
management, and fire investigation.
Master’s degree is more considered as terminal degrees. In other words, it is the highest
degree that you can get in the domain of fire science. This degree requires you two years of
full-time teaching, but can also be pursued on a part-time basis. Firefighters looking to
grab the higher positions like chiefs and other leadership designations consider going for
Master’s degree programs.
It is vital to note that a fire science certificate or degree does not replace the
importance of additional training required by the municipal fire departments. An entry-level
firefighter, regardless of the fact that he holds a degree or not, needs to necessarily
complete 600 hours of training over the duration of 12 to 14 weeks at fire academy
designated by their hiring fire department.
Online fire science degree programs generally focus on the disaster planning and response
along with long-term policy making and general administration. They are helpful for the
students, especially the working fire service professionals who do not need field training.
These programs highly benefit the firefighters who live in remote locations and do not have
access to campus schools.
Which are the Top 10 Fire Science Degree Schools and Colleges?
Colorado State University – Fort Collins
The BS in fire and emergency services administration course from Colorado State is
offered by the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship. It is tailor-made for the
students who have completed 60 credit hours at the community college level or hold an
associate degree already. It is required for the applicant to keep experience in fire
and emergency services to enroll in the course.
The bachelor’s in fire science only degree is built upon technical training and
emergency services knowledge to give them thorough insights in the skills required by
the people aiming to pursue administrative and leadership roles in fire protection,
prevention, and emergency services. The emergency services mainly include fire chiefs,
public administrators, fire marshals, and educators. Students can complete this course
within a span of three to four years, thanks to the elective seminars and independent
studies. However, this program can also be completed in two years.
Address: 102 Administration Building, Fort Collins,
Key Highlights: The degrees offered by this school
help you gain in-depth knowledge of the administration. It equips the students with the
knowledge to pursue careers in management. Some of the designations that students can
earn include fire chief, public administrator, fire marshal, etc.
The University of North Carolina – Charlotte
UNC Charlotte’s BS degree in fire science safety engineering technology emphasizes
profoundly on the technical as well as the non-technical elements of fire safety. It
helps the students prepare for careers in fire services and fire-protection industries.
The courses offered by this institute are designed for the applicants looking to grab
the leadership and management roles. It spans an extensive range of topics starting from
industrial hazards and electricity risk management, engineering economics, major
disasters, and organizational psychology. Coursework is entirely available online and is
delivered to the students via Moodle or Saba Meeting.
The University of North Carolina offers a 2+2 transfer options to the applicants who
already hold an associate of applied science (AAS) in the fire protection/fire science.
It is mandatory for the students to complete all the prerequisite courses or must ensure
so within the first year at UNC.
Address: 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC
Key Highlights: The program offers the students with
an engineering degree and also gives the option for getting enrolled in the master’s in
Fire Protection Administration program after completing the graduation.
University of Cincinnati – Main Campus
The University of Cincinnati, in collaboration with the National Fire Academy‘s
Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education Program, offers a flexible and convenient
source for the students to enroll for a 14-week long BS in fire and safety engineering
technology. It is mainly suitable for the people who are currently working as
firefighters and are looking for advancing their knowledge.
This fire science bachelor degree online program comes with optional accelerated
residencies wherein the students can complete three-credit courses in five days while
taking help from other fire professionals. It is required for the students to earn 40
credit hours to receive the degree. Also, some of the certifications such as BLUE CARD,
HAZMAT tech, fire inspector, BERT Technician, FF II, etc. satisfy some of the course
Address: 2624 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
Key Highlights: School offers the students to avail
scholarships active from the year 2018 by filling up the form. They can choose from the
options including Barbara Barkley Memorial Scholarship and the Chief William Flamm
The University of Nebraska – Omaha
With a record-breaking number of 15000 students, the metropolitan campus of the
University of Nebraska offers online fire science degree that helps the students earn an
education that is up to the high standards laid by National Fire Academy and the Fire
and Emergency Services Higher Education Network.
University helps the students with bachelors in multidisciplinary studies that comprises
of online fire science degree. Students are required to ace 120 total credits that
incorporate 40 in UNO’s general education core. The fire science degree program offered
here includes 30 credits in areas like personnel management, budgeting finances, and
resources, risk management, and best practices in emergency fire response.
Open to the firefighters and EMS professionals; this program prepares them for the super
visionary roles. Students can choose from secondary fields and electives coursework for
which is primarily delivered through asynchronous mode.
Address:6001 Dodge St, Omaha, NE 68182-0225
Key Highlights: Students looking for the hands-on
experience in the field can avail it through the internship program known as an
emergency service program. They can gradually expand the scope to the graduation
duration and benefit from it.
University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
The fire science degree program offered by UW is the first one to receive accreditation
from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. UW’s online bachelor’s in
applied science in the fire, and emergency response management is custom designed for
the fire safety and emergency professionals. It offers one of the best choices to the
ones who are looking for Accredited Online Fire Science Programs. The coursework
comprises of budgeting, emergency planning, administrative law, and leadership and
management of emergency services. It equips the students for holding various positions
like chiefs, officers, inspectors, firefighters, and paramedics.
Participants are free to transfer up to 90 credits from eligible associate degrees,
military credits, National
Fire Academy, FEMA, and American Council on Education. Most of the courses are
made available to the students in the form of accelerated, seven-week sessions delivered
through Desire2learn. Online students can also benefit from the campus resources that
are offered regarding the writing center, library, and academic advisers.
Address: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma
Blvd., Oshkosh, WI 54901
Key Highlights: Ranked among the most
cost-effective online programs, it is available to the students only for the tuition fee
of $360 per credit in addition to the veterans’ benefits and employer reimbursement.
Fayetteville State University
Students seeking fire science degree can also take advantage of online BS in fire and
emergency services administration offered by Fayetteville State’s Department of
Government and History. Aimed at bringing women and minorities to fire services, this
program is primarily conducted in conjunction with the Fayetteville Fire Department,
Fayetteville Technical Community College, and Cumberland County Schools. Participants
can enroll for this program after completing their AAS in fire protection technology
from any of the state’s community. However, students can also register for dual degree
courses to fulfill the lower-level course requirements. This program is directly
delivered on online mode and is designed according to the curriculum of National Fire
Academy’s Fire and Emergency Services higher education.
Address:Fayetteville State University, 1200
Murchison Road, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Key Highlights: Offers multiplied benefits because
the programs are designed to meet the standards of the National Fire Academy curriculum.
Students also have the choice of availing master’s in courses like Public Administration
after the graduation.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide
With its headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
helps the student to avail the online BS in emergency services through a 120-hour
program. The best of this institution is the fact that graduating students also receive
a National Fire Academy
certificate. The curriculum offered by the university has earned a certificate of
recognition from Fire Emergency Services. It equips the participants on various facets
of fire science technology including fire, investigation, aircraft rescue and
firefighting, and wildland firefighting.
Students can opt from one of the two specializations, that is, aviation emergency
management that emphasizes on aircraft accident investigation, airport emergency
management, aviation safety, and leadership in emergency response organization; or fire
emergency services that focus on the emergency response administration and leadership,
community risk management, and operational issues in emergency services.
Address:600 South Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach,
Key Highlights: College offers the students to
complete the research projects with the help of organizations like Dallas/Fort Worth
Fire Training Research Center (DFW FTRC) and the Aircraft Fire Fighting (ARFF) Working
Siena Heights University
Siena Heights University is a Catholic, coeducational institution that benefits students
through its BAS in public safety professions. The courseware is designed according to
the students who are inclined towards public safety studies, fire science technology,
correlations and law enforcement, hazardous materials, and homeland security.
Participants can transfer at the max 90 credits from AAS program, approved technical,
trade, and hospital schools, college equivalent military, apprenticeships, corporate, or
professional training, or CLEP and DANTES exams.
The BAS degree offered by SHU comes in the form of fully customizable courses that can be
modified by the students to suit their professional and educational aims. The coursework
is delivered through online mode via eCollege.
Address: Siena Heights University Main Campus, 1247
E. Siena Heights Dr. Adrian, MI 49221
Key Highlights: The fire science program offered by
Sienna Heights University is ranked #8 in Michigan. Graduates of this program also
receive additional training in liberal arts and other domains to advance their skills.
Eastern Oregon University
BS in fire service administration offered by Eastern Oregon is made for the fire service
professionals who want to equip themselves with the education required to pursue a
career as the supervisor, operations manager, executive directors, and dispatchers.
Designed around the National
Fire Academy‘s Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education Curriculum, the
coursework mostly covers the aspects like fire protection hydraulics and water supply,
strategy and tactics, and fire investigation and analysis. It is delivered to the
students through online mode via Canvas, which is an online e-tutoring portal.
Address:One University Blvd, La Grande, OR 97850
Key Highlights: The online fire services program of
Eastern Oregon University gets a place among the best online programs in the nation
listed by Best Colleges. Besides this, Online U and the SR Education Group list it among
the most cost-effective programs.
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