What Can I Do with a Fire Engineering Degree?
With a bachelor's or master's degree in fire engineering, you can choose from a variety of careers that allow you to play an integral role in preventing, taming and controlling fire's destructive behavior. Read on to learn more about career options for fire engineering degree holders and to get details on bachelor's and master's degree programs in this field.
Fire Engineering Career Options
A degree in fire engineering can lead to a variety of careers in the fields of fire safety, prevention, investigation and protection. Your expertise can be put to use in a number of industries, including fire equipment manufacturing, public fire service, risk analysis and forensic investigations. Below are a few examples of the many job opportunities you can choose from as a graduate of a fire engineering or fire protection engineering program:
- Fire chief
- Fire prevention officer
- Loss control specialist
- Safety engineer
- Fire suppression system designer
- Fire protection engineer and consultant
- Building inspector
- Arson investigator
The following information looks at important facts of three common careers, as well as the educational requirements for this field.
Important Facts About the Highest Paying Health Professions
|Safety engineer||Firefighter||Building inspector|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)||9% growth||7% growth||10% growth|
|Key Skills||Critical thinking; problem solving; reading comprehension; keen observation||Good judgment and decision making; physical strength and stamina; courage; clear communication||Mechanical knowledge; attention to detail; clear communication; physical stamina|
|Work Environment||Manufacturing; construction; state and local government||Federal, state, and local government; scientific research and development services||Federal, state, and local government; architectural, engineering, and related services|
|Similar Occupations||Fire Inspectors; industrial engineers; mining and geological engineers||EMTs and paramedics; police and detectives; correctional officers and bailiffs||Construction managers; electricians; surveyors|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
In its survey of salaries in June 2019, Payscale.com reported that fire protection engineers earned a median annual salary between $52,000 and $118,000 in 2019. These data show that fire protection engineers are among the highest paid engineers in the nation. This site listed an annual total median compensation of $67,997 for those with a bachelor's degree and less than four years of professional experience in the field.
An undergraduate degree program in fire engineering, fire safety engineering or fire protection engineering will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate, reduce and prevent losses caused by fire. You will study safety program management, fire prevention, industrial loss prevention and detection systems.
Required courses commonly include fire behavior, hazardous materials, standard fire alarm codes, and structure design for fire safety. The curriculum combines traditional classroom learning with hands-on labs and simulated activities so you can gain and apply field-specific knowledge. A bachelor's degree program prepares you for entry-level job opportunities, such as with local governments or engineering firms, or for graduate-level study.
Graduate-level programs provide advanced study opportunities in fire science and fire technology. You will develop an in-depth understanding of how to protect structures, property and people from the threat of fire. You will study fire growth, fire protection strategies and common fire starters. Required courses often include smoke control, fire modeling, human responses to fire, fire protection systems and building fire safety.
Programs generally take two years to complete, and both thesis and non-thesis options are available. Besides opening up traditional fire engineering career options, earning a master's degree might allow you to work in the field of fire protection research.