Fire science is a great field to pursue in Alabama. All together, the state has around 800 fire stations and approximately 6,000 fire service employees, including fire investigators and inspectors, those providing medical services in emergency situations, etc.

Firefighting is a growing profession in Alabama, and the cost of living in the state is relatively low. Fire service personnel can achieve better salaries through extensive training and experience as well.

Here’s a quick look at the incomes for firefighters, fire inspectors and investigators, and forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists at the entry, medium, and advanced levels.

Alabama Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $24,050 $39,430 $59,220
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $28,500 $46,370 $68,420
Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists $25,100 $29,130 $49,390


Because the growth rate for the firefighting profession is relatively slow between 2012 to 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is essential for current and aspiring firefighters to advance their career by pursuing higher education. Alabama offers a plethora of excellent fire science programs that will increase the chances of employment. Students can choose between two and four-year degree programs as well as certificate levels, depending on their career goals. For those new to the industry and looking to get a taste for the field, community colleges offer great associate programs that can be completed in two years. Employed firefighters looking to obtain a higher-level position may want to consider earning a Bachelor’s degree in fire science or engineering from a four-year college or university.

At a community college, students can expect to learn the basics behind fire service and the necessary skills needed on the job. These introductory topics serve as a perfect segway into higher education, for those who are interested in advancing their careers. At the bachelor or master’s degree level, students can pick specializations in the field to delve deeper, such as investigations, fire science law, emergency services, hazardous material handling, and other subjects that will help prepare them for administrative positions.


There are 13 accredited fire schools in the state of Alabama. Aspirants can choose between three different levels of training to best suit their career goals:


Students who prefer a flexible schedule for learning can consider taking convenient distance learning programs in fire science. Keeping in mind that fire science is a field that requires hands-on and lab experience, students will still be expected to show up in a classroom setting to perform tasks in-person and conduct lab experiments with other peers. However, most of the learning will take place online.

Some online coursework students will have to take include the core basic subjects, including math, English, and fire science classes. Students will be expected to participate in online class discussions, communicate with their professors via Skype or e-mail, and submit assignments on the web when due. Aspiring firefighters can choose online programs in the entry, medium, and advanced levels available at community colleges (2-year program) or four-year colleges and universities (4-year+ program), depending on their career goals.