Fire Safety Certification and Certificate Programs

Learn about certificate programs and professional certifications in fire safety. Find out what prerequisites need to be met before enrolling and what is taught in a certificate program. Get details about career options for graduates, as well as salary and employment information for firefighters.

Essential Information

There are many different types of fire safety certificate programs geared towards a particular audience, like firefighters, safety coordinators or safety managers for an organization. Some certificate programs are coordinated with degree programs, while others are offered through a college's extension department. Students of these programs learn how to investigate fire causes, teach fire prevention practices and conduct inspections of fire equipment and safety plans. In addition, there are several professional certifications in this field offered by state offices or private organizations.

Education Prerequisites

The requirements for admission into a particular certificate program will vary depending on the focus of the certificate program and the institution itself. In the case where the certificate is part of a degree, admission requirements for the degree program will have to be met. For stand alone certificates offered by community colleges, requirements for admission to the college may have to be satisfied. Many certificates offered through university extension have no requirement. Of course, if a certificate is for firefighters, applicants will have to be employed in that occupation.

Program Coursework

Most certificate program curricula are between four and six courses long and depend on the type of fire safety certificate. Courses may include:

  • Public protection from fire
  • Fire investigation
  • Fire analysis
  • 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). Many times certificates are earned en route to fire science degrees, making the most popular occupation a firefighter.

Others may take positions 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 were expected to see a 9% increase in jobs from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This increase is attributed to the growing population; however, firefighters will face keen competition for jobs. In May 2012, the BLS stated the mean annual wage for firefighters was $47,850.

Certification

Certification in fire safety may be offered through the state where the person lives or private organizations. Certifications may include Public Fire and Life Safety Educator, Fire Safety Inspector certified or Fire Safety Manager. Most certifications involve taking a course, then passing an exam(s). Many are specific to a particular occupation or employer.

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