What Can I Do with a Fire Science Degree?

While a high school diploma and practical training is generally sufficient for becoming a firefighter, pursuing a degree in fire science could be advantageous when seeking employment and may open up advanced career opportunities. Keep reading to find out about the degree options available in this field and what you can do with a fire science degree. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Fire Science Career Options by Degree Level

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an increasing number of firefighters obtain some form of postsecondary education in fire science (www.bls.gov). Employers increasingly prefer firefighter job candidates with associate's degrees. If you're already working in the field and would like to seek management or supervisory position, you may pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in fire science.

Many postsecondary degree programs, offered on-campus or online, are approved by the National Fire Academy, an educational branch of the United States Fire Administration (www.usfa.dhs.gov).

Important Facts About Fire Science Careers

Firefighters Fire Inspectors and Investigators Emergency Management Directors
Median Salary (2018) $49,620 $62,510 $74,420
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% 7% 8%
Entry-level Education postsecondary nondegree training academies bachelor's degree
Key Skills courage, stamina, strength detail-oriented, integrity, strength critical-thinking, interpersonal, leadership

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Associate's Degree Careers

A 2-year fire science program can lead to an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science and Technology. An associate's degree in fire science may make you eligible for a career in:

  • Firefighting
  • Fire code investigation
  • Fire administration
  • Fire education
  • Fire protection

An associate's degree program in fire science includes courses in firefighting tactics, fire prevention, fire alarm and suppression systems, fire behavior and fire investigation. Because most firefighters are required to earn basic emergency medical technician (EMT) certification, some degree programs offer basic EMT training courses.

Bachelor's Degree Careers

If you seek a management role in a fire department or as a fire specialist, it may be beneficial to pursue a bachelor's degree in fire science. Departments and government agencies may prefer candidates who have a bachelor's degree when filling positions. According to the BLS, many fire departments require firefighters who are working in supervisory positions to have at least a bachelor's degree in fire science or fire science management. Some of these roles may include:

  • Fire inspectors
  • Fire safety directors
  • Fire prevention educators
  • Battalion chiefs
  • Assistant chiefs
  • Deputy chiefs
  • Fire chiefs

A bachelor's program may include courses in fire research, fire administration, personnel management, fire behavior, and fire prevention.

Master's Degree Careers

Master's degrees in fire science are designed for individuals seeking advanced managerial roles in fire service, and degree programs generally focus on building strategic administrative skills. With a master's degree in fire science, you may seek upper-level management positions, such as fire chief or fire marshal in fire departments or local and federal government agencies.

Master's degree programs include study in property loss management, fire investigation, safety materials, and fire-related accident analysis.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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