Fireman School and College Program Information

Firefighting training may be offered through certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree programs. Students learn fire prevention, detection and suppression as well as rescue techniques. Programs may prepare students to sit for exams in states where professional or certification exams are required.

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Fire science programs can be found at fire academies, community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities. Both in-person and online options are available.

Schools Offering Bachelor's or Associate's Degree in Fire Fighting/Fire Science

The following schools list certificates and undergraduate degrees for firemen programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (in-state; out-of-state, 2015-2016)*
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice NYC 4-year, public Bachelor's $6,810
Idaho State University Pocatello, ID 4-year, public Bachelor's $6,784
Lake Superior State University Sault Ste Marie, MI 4-year, public Certificates, Associate's, Bachelor's $10,580
Lewis-Clark State College Lewiston, ID 4-year, public Associate's, Bachelor's $7,224
New Jersey City University Jersey City, NJ 4-year, public Certificate, Bachelor's $5,715
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, public Certificate, Bachelor's $6,381
Utah Valley University Orem, UT 4-year, public Associate's $5,386
Arizona Western College Yuma, AZ 2-year, public Associate's $2,540
Chattanooga State Community College Chattanooga, TN 2-year, public Certificate,Associate's $3,973
Crowder College Neosho, MO 2-year, public Certificate, Associate's $3,312 (in-state)
$3,312 (out-of-state)

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School Website

School Selection Criteria

When searching for a program, students may want to consider the different areas of training offered.

  • Students may want to consider programs that offer emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedic certification, since many fire departments require firefighters to be EMT certified or certified paramedics.
  • Think about taking courses in leadership, management and fire prevention, as they may make graduates eligible for higher-ranked positions or job advancement opportunities.
  • Since different departments have different standards, students may want to consult with the fire department they wish to work with to find out which qualifications would be most beneficial.
  • Students may consider whether or not a program allows students to take courses online and verify that the online education is accredited.

Certificate Program in Fire Science

Certificate programs offered at community colleges and vocational schools may be completed in a few months. More advanced certificates exist for individuals with prior experience working or volunteering in a fire department. Programs may include a clinical ride-along. Certificate programs cover basic courses such as in fire protection, fire investigation, and fire codes.

Associate's Degree in Fire Science

Associate's degree programs cover similar topics to those in certificate programs, but they also include general education requirements in English, science and mathematics. These programs are typically completed in two years. Students may receive training in emergency services fundamentals, fire prevention, and building construction.

Bachelor's Degree in Fire Science

Bachelor's degree programs cover all areas of fire safety and fire code enforcement. Specialization may be available in areas like fire science engineering and hazardous materials. Students may be required to complete an internship. Coursework topics also include fire protection hydraulics, hazardous materials management, fire protection construction, and legal issues in fire service.

There are a number of educational options available to a prospective fireman, including certificates, associate's degrees, and bachelor's degrees. Students should look at all a program has to offer before making a decision, and possibly talk with the fire department they hope to work for.

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