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What Is Required to Earn a Fire and Emergency Services Certificate?

A fire and emergency services certificate provides additional training to fire fighters to allow them to become fire managers or supervisors. Read on to learn about the requirements for earning a fire and emergency services certificate.

Program Overview

Certificate programs in fire and emergency services are designed for firefighters and other emergency services personnel who want increased knowledge of their field without committing to a four-year program. Community colleges and some universities offer certificate programs in fire and emergency services. Admission to these institutions usually isn't required to enroll in this type of program.

Important Facts About Fire and Emergency Management

Common Courses Management principles, fire prevention, catastrophe management
Prerequisites Works in the fire and emergency field, associates degree, experience in the field
Online Availability Sometimes available fully online
Programs Administration, investigation, safety & health

Coursework

Classes in fire and emergency services certificate programs provide advanced knowledge of firefighting and the management skills necessary to lead a team. These programs take 15-20 credit hours to complete. Classes include firefighting tactics, fire and emergency services management, policy, and fire service management reports.

Skills and Abilities

After completion of the program, students will be able to understand building codes. They will also be able to determine a fire's cause through investigation. Graduates can efficiently manage a fire fighting company.

Duties and Responsibilities

If you're already a firefighter, completing a fire and emergency services certificate program can help you become a fire supervisor or manager. In addition to doing all the fieldwork of a regular firefighter, fire supervisors also train and evaluate fire fighters' work. Other duties include supervising fire inspections and preparing incident reports.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) predicts a 7.2% increase in the number of jobs for firefighters from 2016-2026. Although competition for these jobs will be keen, the BLS advises that firefighters who have the most training will have the most chances for advancement. In May 2018, the median annual wage for fire-fighting supervisors was $76,330, per the BLS.

Institutions that Offer Certificates and Degrees in This Field

See table below for a sampling of schools across the nation with programs in fire and emergency services.

Institution Program(s) Offered
Arizona Western College Fire Academy Professional Certificate (24 credit hours)
Reynolds Community College (Richmond, VA) Associates in Fire Science Technology (66 credit hours)
University of Florida Fire/Emergency Services Management Certificate (15 credit hours; must already be a professional in the field and hold an Associate's)
Columbia Southern (Online) Fire Science Certificate, Associates in Fire Science, Bachelor's in Fire Administration and Fire Investigation