There are many different types of fire safety certificate programs, including ones designed for firefighters, safety coordinators and safety managers. Typically, these programs require the student to already have professional status in the field of fire safety. The programs are usually four to six courses long. In addition, there are several professional certifications in this field offered by state offices and private organizations.
Certificate in Fire Safety
In a fire safety certificate program, students learn how to investigate fire causes, teach fire prevention practices and conduct inspections of fire equipment and safety plans. Some certificate programs are coordinated with degree programs, while others are offered through a college's extension department. Common course topics include:
- Public protection from fire
- Fire investigation
- Human behavior in a fire situation
- Codes and inspection
- Auto alarms and sprinklers
- Public education and fire prevention
Popular Career Options
Those with fire safety certificates may find work as firefighters, fire education professionals or members of fire investigation teams (additional education or training may be required). Oftentimes certificates are earned en route to fire science degrees, with the most popular occupation being firefighter.
Other certificate holders may serve as fire safety officers in a hospital, school or organization. They ensure that their place of employment is safe from fire risks and that fire alarms and equipment are working.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Firefighters are expected to see a 5% increase in jobs from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This increase is about as fast as the average rate for all professions. In May 2015, the BLS reported a median annual wage of $46,870 for firefighters.
Certification in fire safety may be offered through the state where the person lives or by private organizations. Certifications may include Public Fire and Life Safety Educator, Fire Safety Inspector or Fire Safety Manager. Most certifications involve taking a course, then passing an exam. Many are specific to a particular occupation or employer.
For those already working in the fire safety profession, earning a fire safety certificate or becoming certified are two ways to enhance your skills and advance in your career.