What made you want to become a firefighter? At the start of your career, it may have been the promise of helping people in your community or facing (sometimes extreme) challenges and gaining recognition for it.
But being a firefighter can lead to much more. The fire service industry offers a wide range of opportunities for development and specialization. It is also highly competitive. That is why it is in your best interest to explore how you can progress in your career. Completing your BS in Fire Science can help you achieve more and lead to career advancement.
The Need to Keep Up with an Evolving Industry
In past decades, having an associate’s degree, high school diploma or a GED was enough to get you a job as a firefighter. Today, there are significantly more job applicants than openings; departments sometimes receive hundreds of applications for one position. Therefore, it is increasingly important to find a way to stand out from the competition.
While firefighting is a growing industry, an advanced degree can help increase your chances of a long-term career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor, “physically fit applicants with high test scores, some post-secondary firefighter education and paramedic training should have the best job prospects.”
Once considered a blue-collar job, the role of firefighter has evolved from vocational to professional. It often requires specialized skills, such as “prehospital care and chemistry in hazardous materials.” Throughout the fire services industry, graduates of fire science programs are looked on favorably. Obtaining a degree in higher education may indicate a candidate has a deeper level of commitment, knowledge and competency to fulfill the requirements of the job.
The Benefits of Getting a B.S. in Fire Science
Firefighters have a wide range of responsibilities, from emergency rescue to disaster management and environmental protection. While there’s no substitute for on-the-job experience, familiarity with these and other topics is often required — even for entry-level positions.
Furthering your education also provides you with the skills and knowledge (both theoretical and practical) to get a targeted position or promotion. Supervisor roles come with a higher salary, additional responsibilities and more prestige.
Fire Science programs allow you to explore your options and specialize in something you are passionate about. You’ll also have access to new technologies and advanced safety features. This can help you discover a new career path or branch off into a related career. Here are just a few of the positions you might consider:
- Fire Chief or Fire Captain
- Arson Investigator or Fire Inspector
- Fire Engineer
- Fish and Game Warden
- Forest Ranger
- Forensic Science Technician
Ready to complete your bachelor’s in Fire Science? Consider enrolling in the Online Fire Science program at Anna Maria College, one of the first schools in the country to be awarded Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education recognition. Anna Maria College is also regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. In addition, the curriculum was developed by distinguished and knowledgeable faculty to comply with the International Association of Fire Chiefs professional development recommendations and National Fire Protection Association standards.
For more information about Anna Maria’s Online Bachelor of Science in Fire Science, contact us today at 877-265-3201 or visit online.annamaria.edu/fire-science.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Firefighters.” http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/firefighters.htm (accessed July 25, 2016).
- Revere, M. “Going back to school? Advice for the adult learner.” Firefighternation.com. http://www.firefighternation.com/article/professional-development/going-back-school-advice-adult-learner (accessed July 25, 2016).
- Parow, J. “Higher education: The key to professional fire/EMS recognition.” Lafc.org. http://www.iafc.org/Operations/LegacyArticleDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=4279 (accessed July 25, 2016).