Q&A Feature: How Do I Become a Firefighter?
Degrees and Certifications
Q: What’s more important to becoming a firefighter, a degree in fire science or having your firefighter 1 and 2 certificates?
A: You can get in with your one and two but you come out with more knowledge with your degree.
A: Right, FF1 & 2 can get you in the door but once you’re in don’t stop there, you can get your degree by attending classes on your days off or even on line. Some departments may pay you to go to school (varies from dept to dept). Education is very important in any field you choose. If you can further your education, do it.
A: I’d say it depends upon how competitive the department you’re applying for is. An Associate’s is the basic degree in Fire Science and I wouldn’t dream of applying for a paid position in a large department without one. LIke any college degree, a Fire Science Technology degree gives you far more than just fireground skills. Ideally, you become a well-rounded person with very necessary skills in, among other things, interacting with the public (public education and public relations). These are vital for any, and I mean ANY, firefighter in any size department. For those of us who are nearing the end of their days riding the big green firetruck, this degree is a great springboard to other rewarding careers in the fire service, like fire inspection, fire investigation, and more.