Fire science has become a popular field for those interested in helping communities stay safe, and many ask the question, “How do I get a degree in fire science?”. The good news is that getting a degree in fire science is relatively easy. Another positive factor is that graduates of fires science degree programs have many career opportunities available to them other than just working as firefighters. Although the rate of major fires has been declining steadily through the years, there is still a demand for fire science professionals. Here is some information on how to get a degree in fire science as well as what graduates can look forward to in terms of career opportunities.
What is Fire Science?
Fire science is the study of all things related to fire, including firefighting, fire investigation, fire prevention and fire behavior. Professionals in the fire science field use engineering and science to determine the effects of, causes and prevention of fires. Fire science covers a vast field, but the main parts of fire science education include:
• Fire Safety
• Fire Prevention
• Fire Protection
In addition to these areas, fire science also encircles fire management, fire investigation, fire behavior and safely handling hazardous materials. Because so many important areas are covered in the study of fire science, graduates of fire science programs can utilize their training in many different career settings.
Fire Science Degree Options
Candidates interested in working in the field of fire science and earning a degree in fire science have many educational options available to them. Firescience.org indicates that fire science degrees are offered at the following levels.
• Certificate – These programs, which do not result in a degree, may be just a course or one-year programs that focus on a specific area of fire science.
• Associate’s Degree – Open to those with a high school diploma, these two-year programs prepare students for entry-level positions in firefighting.
• Bachelor’s Degree –These four-year programs are generally chosen by firefighters interested in advancement or wishing to switch to another area such as emergency medical services.
• Master’s degree – This terminal degree generally takes two years to complete beyond the bachelor’s degree. This is the degree of choice for fire science professionals interested in leadership positions.
In addition, many schools and colleges offer fire science degrees through distance learning. The degree programs can be general and cover all aspects of fire science, or they may be specialized in one specific area such as fire suppression, fire prevention or fire services leadership.
Graduates of fire science degree programs have a wide variety of career options available once they graduate and obtain some work experience. While some of the jobs may be obtained upon graduation, others may require some additional training and several years of on-the-job training. Career options possible with a degree in fire science include the following.
• Fire Investigator
• Fire Marshal
• Fire Chief
• Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
• Forensic Science Technician
• Fire Captain
Related Resource: 25 Best Affordable Fire Science Degree Programs
Working in a fire science-related field can be challenging but also very rewarding. The feeling of being able to help others and the community can make an individual glad they made the career choice they did. Because there are so many directions fire science professionals can go, earning a degree in fire science can be an excellent choice for many.