Fire Services Administrator: Career Profile

Sep 15, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a fire services administrator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and experience to find out if this is the career for you.

Fire services administrators are in charge of all aspects of a fire department. They generally hold a college degree and have fire fighting experience. Job growth is about average in this occupation, with most positions in urban and suburban areas.

Essential Information

Fire services administrators supervise firefighters in local fire departments, private organizations and federal departments. They typically have some work experience and have completed an academic program.

Required Education Postsecondary education or training; bachelor's degree common
Additional Requirements Work experience common
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 5% for first-line supervisors of fire fighting and prevention workers
Average Salary (2018)* $80,310 annually for first-line supervisors of fire fighting and prevention workers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Definition of a Fire Services Administrator

Fire services administrators works in fire safety and oversees other fire safety professionals, managing labor, finances and emergency response. The administrator organizes individuals and ensures that they conduct their work in safe manner. Fire services administrators work alongside other leaders, including chiefs and captains who work in the fire house.

Education Requirements

Fire safety administrators typically have some experience working in the field and have completed some post-secondary training. Educational programs available include bachelor's degree and training programs geared toward those who have earned an associate's degree and meet other eligibility requirements. Bachelor's degree programs typically take about four years to complete. Online options are available.

Courses typically offered in a fire service administration degree program include:

  • Fire service administration
  • Risk management
  • Labor relations
  • Fire service
  • Community fire protection
  • Fire tactics and strategy
  • Fire inspection and codes
  • Fire service personnel management
  • Legal issues
  • Financial management
  • Fire prevention

In most cases, firefighters return to school to receive this education after they have some field experience.

Career Outlook

The BLS reported that municipal firefighting and prevention supervisors can expect average job growth of 5% from 2018-2028. In 2018, there were 68,000 first-line firefighter supervisors, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Volunteers staff many rural fire stations, so most firefighter administrators work in more densely populated urban and suburban areas. The BLS reported that first-line supervisors of firefighters made an average of $80,310 as of May 2018.

Education requirements to become a fire services administrator typically include post-secondary education and some field experience. Fire services administrators work alongside fire house leaders to manage employees, accounting, and emergency response. Job growth in this field is average for all occupations, and salaries were about $80,000 in 2018.

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