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Careers in Fire Science

Be a Hero through a Career in Fire Safety, Prevention and Protection

Today's fire service professionals do more than extinguish blazes. They educate and engage the community, work with the media, investigate potential fire-related crimes, manage employees and anticipate and plan for disasters. Anyone interested in becoming a fire chief, battalion commander, or any other high-level firefighter position should consider a degree that prepares individuals for growth and advancement in the fire and emergency services sector. The online Bachelor of Science in Fire Science from Anna Maria College provides you with both practical and leadership skills that can help position you for promotions and management positions.

Help keep your community safe and earn a degree that can propel your firefighting career beyond the front lines. With a B.S. in Fire Science from Anna Maria College, you'll gain the knowledge and skills to obtain advanced career roles, including:

  • Fire Chief
  • Fire Captain
  • Fire Marshal
  • Fire Prevention Educator
  • Fire Officer
  • Fire Service Trainer
  • Municipal Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors
  • Wildland Firefighter
  • Fire/Arson Investigator
  • Insurance Investigator

Firefighter Salary Outlook

Firefighter salaries can start at a median of $45,2501 but vary depending on your years of experience and position. Fire investigators have a median salary of $53,9902 and fire chiefs have a median salary of $72,848.3

The International Association of Firefighters encourages individuals to continuously build their skills and knowledge in their roles as firefighters, paramedics or other similar positions in order to better serve and protect the community and in order to advance their careers. As there continues to be stiff competition for advanced roles in firefighting, attraction to the position challenges and opportunities for further public service, leadership openings often receive multiple applicants. Obtaining advanced credentials could help you rise above the competition and stand out among other applicants, especially those who don’t hold a fire science degree.

What are the Educational Requirements to Become a Firefighter?

Although new recruits are required to complete Fire Academy training prior to becoming a firefighter, most departments do not require applicants to have a college degree. A high school diploma or GED and necessary certifications are typically the only education requirements to apply for firefighter jobs in the United States, but holding a degree in fire science from an accredited school such as Anna Maria College can lead to increased employment opportunities, career advancement, and higher pay. Although all applicants are expected to pass the same written, physical, and medical examinations, those who list a B.S. in Fire Science on their resume are typically given more serious consideration than non-degree holding applicants. Firefighter education requirements can also vary depending on the specific position you are applying for.

How to Climb the Firefighter Career Ladder

Whether you’re currently working as a firefighter and are interested in advancement or are considering a career in fire service, below are helpful tips in rank-climbing within the department:

  • Possess a working knowledge of contemporary fire service issues (like those covered in the fire science degree curriculum) and be able to communicate your knowledge with superiors.
  • Take state, local, and National Fire Academy training courses that fit in a firefighter’s professional development plan.
  • Review your fire department’s leadership hierarchy and identify the training, experience, and education requirements at each step above your current position.
  • Demonstrate key firefighter leadership qualities and an ability to work well with your peers, supervisors, and the community you serve.

Start Now!

Make a difference in the lives of others and in your life with a degree that will prepare you for a career in firefighting. Request more information about Anna Maria College’s online B.S. in Fire Science or call 877-265-3201 to speak with an admissions adviser.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Firefighters, on the Internet at (visited January 22, 2014).

2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Fire Inspectors and Investigators, on the Internet at (visited February 18, 2014).