Firefighters are highly trained experts who extinguish fires and rescue people and animals from life-threatening situations. According to data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters earned a median annual income of $49,620 which amounts to $23.85 per hour in the year 2018. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has also predicted a 5% employment growth for firefighters between 2018 and 2028, which as fast as the average for other professions.
Featured Programs and Schools
If you are interested in pursuing a career in firefighting, you must complete the relevant education and gain the required experience. To help you begin, here is a list of the top 10 schools for firefighters. The schools have been listed according to the ranking provided by Niche’s compilation of ‘2020 Best Colleges with Fire Science and Firefighting Degrees in America.’ The criteria for ranking has been explained on their website in detail and includes features like, academics, diversity, athletics and campus etc.
The following list of firefighter schools provides a comprehensive overview of various firefighting degrees or programs offered at the mentioned universities. For further details on degree requirements, admission criteria, curriculum breakdown, faculty and campus life etc., kindly visit the relevant website of each university.
1 – University of Florida
The University of Florida is a highly ranked public university located in Gainesville, Florida. As per the university website, 70% of undergraduate students get employed in the state of Florida after competing their degree. This prestigious university offers 2 excellent degree programs for firefighters. For instance, you could opt for a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Fire and Emergency Services or a 2-year master’s degree of the same subject with 33 credit hours. Both of these degrees are offered online.
2 – University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati is one of the highest-ranking universities. It is a fairly large institution located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Close to 36,000 undergraduate students are currently enrolled in various programs. The University of Cincinnati offers a 4-year on-campus bachelor’s degree in Fire & Safety Engineering Technology which requires students to complete 120 credit hours to graduate.
3 – Providence College
The Providence College is a very well-reputed private college located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a small college campus and has 4,834 students enrolled at its campus as stated on the university’s website. The Providence College offers an online Bachelor of Science (BS.) degree in Fire Administration with 120 credit hours that students must complete to graduate.
4 – Fox Valley Technical College
The Fox Valley Technical College is one of the most highly rated public colleges in Wisconsin. It is a small institution located in the Appleton Area of Grand Chute, Wisconsin. As per the college’s website, close to 50,000 students enroll in the college each year. The Fox Valley Technical College offers a 2-year associate’s degree in Fire Protection for firefighters. The students of this degree must complete 64 credit hours to graduate.
5 – CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
The CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a public college located in Manhattan, New York. It is quite a large institution with more than 13,000 students enrolled in various undergraduate programs. The CUNY John Jay College offers a graduate diploma in Fire Life Safety Director which is to be completed with a training period of 31 hours. This diploma stays valid for 9 months and candidates must pass the first FLS Director computer-based exam which is conducted by the FDNY. To complete the process, the candidates must also clear the second FLS Director exam within 9 months of passing the first one.
6 – Western Iowa Tech Community College
The Western Iowa Tech Community College is a public institution located in Sioux City, Iowa. This college offers 3 types of programs for firefighters. An entry-level certificate in Firefighter, a 1-year diploma in Fire Science and a 2-year associate’s degree in Fire Fighter/Paramedic. The graduation requirements vary for each degree for example, students of associate’s degree must complete 78 credit hours to graduate.
7 – Davis Applied Technology College
The Davis Applied Technology College is listed as a public institution. It is a small institution located in Kaysville, Utah. The college offers a 1-year certificate for firefighters. The curriculum includes courses like, Introduction to Fire Science and Hazardous Materials Awareness etc. The students of this degree must complete 340 course hours to graduate.
8 – San Jacinto College
The San Jacinto College is a public institution, located in Pasadena, Texas. It offers a 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Protection Technology. Students of this degree must complete 60 credit hours’ worth of coursework to graduate.
9 – Hutchinson Community College
The Hutchinson Community College is a public institution. It is a small institution located in Hutchinson, Kansas. As per the college website, approximately 5,500 students enroll in this college in various degree programs per semester. The Hutchinson Community College offers a 1-year certificate with 18.5 credit hours and a 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree with 64 credit hours in Fire Science.
10 – Western Technical College – Wisconsin
The Western Technical College in Wisconsin is a highly-rated institution. It is a relatively small college. This community college offers a 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Protection Technician. Students of this degree must complete 60 credit hours to graduate.
Choosing the Right Firefighting Degree and Concentrations
While it is not mandatory to have a degree in firefighting, there are certain courses that are part of the firefighter degree course that can give you an edge over the others. Firefighter degree programs provide a platform that can pay off in the long run. Some of the important subject areas that will open many opportunities for you in your firefighting career include:
- Fire Science.
- Fire Technology.
- Fire Administration.
- Fire Prevention and Arson.
- Emergency and Disaster Management.
- Wildfire Science and Management.
- EMT/Paramedic Degrees.
- Management Courses and Risk Assessment.
- Trades/Vocational School Degree.
If you have decided to obtain a professional degree in firefighting and are looking for the right one to determine your career path then we have compiled a list that will make degree selection easier for you.
Education Requirement/Career Goals
A serving firefighter looking to step up the ladder and enhance knowledge. Have the desire to develop leadership skills but needs flexibility to balance both job schedule and studies.
To enter the field of firefighting with a competitive advantage and have options to pursue a career of your own choice like arson and investigation, forensic science, fire prevention management, and disaster management.
An aspiring firefighter with the desire to gain fundamental knowledge in firefighting. Benefit from a carefully developed curriculum that prepares for the job and areas like fire investigation, fire behavior and combustion, and firefighting.
|Ambition to enter the big leagues and focus on career advancement like fire management, leadership, design, and finance. Desire to reach top positions like Fire Chief, Fire Inspector, or Safety Consultant.|
Interested in entering the field of firefighting by learning the basic skills and acquiring fundamental knowledge. Positioning yourself to enter the field in a fast-track manner.