The 411 on Fire Science Degrees
Allison Tinney, Kayla Baxter | FireLink.com
Why Do I Need a Fire Science Degree?
With the increasing competition for firefighting positions, many recruits are turning to formal education to better their chances of getting hired. A fire science degree offers an appealing one-shot deal: Firefighter I Academy + experience + advanced degree.
Candidates holding a high school diploma find it hard to compete against someone with such credentials.
What Will I Learn?
Fire science students receive all the basics of fire suppression plus an in-depth understanding of industry science, administration, fire detection systems, hazardous materials, fire behavior, crisis management and incident salvage.
Some fire science programs also instruct students in ecosystems including landscape-specific fire effects and rehabilitation.
In addition to industry-specific information, fire science students are often required to take public speaking, technical writing, and administration courses, preparing them for a career as a public figure.
All of these courses combine to create a well-rounded firefighter. A fire science degree prepares a candidate to go above and beyond basic firefighting, making the educational experience an integral part of career advancement.
Associate v. Bachelor
If you find a program that offers you the choice between an Associate or Bachelor fire science degree, you may wonder what the best option for you might be.
An associate degree can be thought of as a shortened education, or as an addition to an undergraduate bachelor’s degree. An associate degree is usually a two-year track, that tends to be suited for firefighters already working or volunteering. It is also a great way for someone who is transitioning careers to prepare themselves for the hiring process. Think of this not as a condensed form of a bachelor’s degree, but rather a stripped down, specified focus.
Bachelor’s degrees are a great track for students just leaving high school, or individuals willing to dedicate at least four years worth of time to schooling. The Bachelor of fire science is often a full-introduction to firefighting including Firefighter I Academy.