Fire Fighting Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

While no formal education is required to apply for a fire fighter position, fire departments do offer extensive training to employees. Earning a certificate or degree in fire science or technology can provide students with an edge over the competition and prepare them for management or command positions in fire services.

How to Select a Fire Fighting School

There are several options for individuals wanting to enter the fire fighting profession or already working in the fire services industry. Programs are available at the certificate, associate degree, bachelor's degree and master's degree level. An associate's degree helps prepare students for entry into fire service and for management and command positions, such as a fire administrator, arson investigator or safety director. Schools offer Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Science or Associate of Art degrees in fire science, fire technology, fire officer, fire investigation, fire prevention and wild land fire management. Students can also earn a bachelor's degree in fire science technology or fire protection systems. Students study multi-agency command, catastrophic rescue, community disaster management and emergency medical services management. A master's degree in fire science prepares students for leadership roles in the public and private sectors of fire protection services. Students investigate the chemistry of fires and explosions, strategic fire service planning, public safety management, public fire protection, arson analysis, terrorism, fire and building codes and fire scene reconstruction. Certificates are available in fire science, wild land fire control and arson investigation. Graduates of a certificate program learn about the fundamentals of fire behavior, fire safety and prevention, rescue tactics and equipment education. The following considerations should be noted when choosing a fire science school:

  • When selecting a fire fighting school, students should be clear about their career and educational goals.
  • A certificate program may help students start their careers in the fire fighting profession or current fire fighting employees obtain a promotion.
  • Some programs require that students be of a certain age or have EMT training before enrolling.
  • A few schools even have state of the art equipment and 'burn buildings' for training

10 Schools with Fire Science Programs

College/UniversityInstitution Type
Oklahoma State University4-year, Public
Eastern Kentucky University4-year, Public
University of Akron4-year, Public
CUNY-John Jay College of Criminal Justice4-year, Public
University of Florida4-year, Public
University of North Carolina-Charlotte4-year, Public
Idaho State University4-year, Public
University of Cincinnati4-year, Public
University of New Haven4-year, Private
Utah Valley University4-year, Private

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