Online Bachelor's Degree in Fire Science

Fire departments rely a great deal on on-the-job training. However, by obtaining a bachelor's degree in fire science, you can prepare for a leadership or administrative position in a fire service organization. Learn about online bachelor's degree programs, technical requirements and career outlook. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Online Bachelor's Degree in Fire Science Involve?

A Bachelor of Science program in or related to fire science, such as fire and safety, can take you four years to complete. While some programs may be delivered entirely online, others are hybrids. Hybrid programs contain a number of in-person requirements, such as lab sections or workshops.

Many online bachelor's degree programs in fire science are actually degree-completion programs. These programs typically consist of upper-level courses that you would pursue in your junior and senior years. A 2-year degree-completion program generally requires 60 credits. A program can include such courses as fire investigation, fire prevention, fire protection and hazardous materials.

In order to qualify for admission to a degree-completion program, you normally have to hold an associate's degree related to fire science. Certain schools may also accept an amount of transfer credits from courses offered through the National Fire Academy of the U.S. Fire Administration. A number of these courses are available online.

Program OptionsFully online and hybrid programs available; some schools offer degree completion programs
Class StructureTypically asynchronous; online course management systems include recorded lectures, assignments, and communication methods
Median Annual Wage (2014)$45,970 for firefighters and $54,020 for fire inspectors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Some Technical Requirements?

Schools generally use a course management system, such as Blackboard. It allows you to communicate with instructors and students, receive assignments and submit papers. You'll need to have a computer equipped with high-speed Internet access, as well as an up-to-date browser and operating system and a CD-ROM drive. You may also be required to have specific hardware and software applications, as called for by the program.

Schools may deliver courses by a combination of recorded lectures, text, e-mail and the Web. Courses are most often delivered asynchronously, which allows you to access lectures at your convenience to accommodate your work schedule.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment for all firefighters was expected to increase by 5% from 2014 to 2024, which is as fast as average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). In May 2014, the median annual salary for firefighters was $45,970, per the BLS. Fire inspectors earned $54,020, while first-line supervisors of firefighters and prevention workers earned $70,670. Your chances for advancement can be enhanced with high test scores and paramedic training, as well as by being physically fit, according to the BLS. Additionally, a bachelor's degree is often required if you aspire to a position higher than battalion chief.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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