Fire Science Degree Programs
Fire Science Education
With competition on the steady rise and employers having higher employment standards and requirements, pursuing a fire science degree is helpful for all prospective firefighters these days. This is especially the case if you’re looking to fill higher roles such as management, supervisory, or leadership positions within the fire department. Both two and four-year programs are available for aspiring fire service professionals.
A Quick Glance: Associate Degree in Fire Science
High school graduates thinking about pursuing a career in fire science but not 100% committed to the field will benefit by enrolling in an associate degree program. Usually, this program takes two years of full-time study to complete, and is much more affordable than a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Students can also get their elective and general education courses out of the way at lower tuition rates.
At the associate level, students can expect to dabble in topics including emergency services, first-response medical care, and fire personnel on a basic level. Basically, this degree gives students a basic overview of fire science. To-be firefighters may also learn about fire behavior, fire prevention techniques and strategies, and protection systems, for example. Graduates of the A.S. degree will have a working foundation of the firefighting field and be able to perform well as an entry-level firefighter.
Once students get a good taste of what the profession entails, they can decide whether or not they want to continue their education and earn a Bachelor’s degree, which will open up more employment avenues for them to explore.
One Step Up: Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science
An associate degree will suffice if you want to be a firefighter, but in order to take on higher roles that require more specialization or leadership skills, one will be expected to have a Bachelor’s degree when applying for those jobs. Students at the Bachelor’s level will be expected to learn topics at the associate level but delve in deeper. Additionally, they may be given the option to pick a specialization within fire science studies that would best fit their long-term career goals.
Bachelor’s degree programs may involve general classes in addition to coursework in higher-level topics like engineering, environmental science, and OSHA regulations. Specific course requirements will differ from state to state and from college to college, so it is critical for students to do thorough research and even speak with several college advisors to make sure they know what they are getting into by choosing a specific college to earn their Bachelor’s degree in fire science.
Keep Striving: Master’s Degree in Fire Science
A Master’s degree is useful for students aiming to take on managerial or supervisory roles within the fire department. The Master’s degree programs will prepare graduate students with the advanced skills necessary for advancement to leadership positions.
Master’s degrees usually take anywhere from two to three years of full-time study to finish, depending on the scope of the program and student schedules. Those already with an undergraduate degree can transition into their Master’s degree studies, or can choose to work a few years to gain some experience as an entry-level firefighter before returning to finish their graduate degrees.
Why Pick an Accredited College?
When researching colleges, it is critical to make sure that your list of colleges are accredited. Accreditation ensures that institutions, degree programs, and classes meet or exceed certain designated standards set by independent accrediting agencies. By meeting these set standards, it means that they are up-to-date and of high-quality. Students can be assured that they are receiving a quality education for what they are investing in monetarily.
Choosing an accredited college means that college credits can be easily transferred to another accredited college in the future should you choose to move and continue your fire science education elsewhere. These credits usually do not transfer if you attend a non-accredited college, and employers are much more likely to recognize your hard work and degree if you graduate from an accredited college.
College Life: Tips for Success
As a prospective college student, you may be wondering how to make your college years as smooth sailing as possible. While classes may be challenging, there are definitely ways students can alleviate stress and make sure they succeed in their classes. Here are just a few tips that will help students excel in their fire science studies:
- Don’t procrastinate. Many college students have a habit of waiting until the last minute to complete assignments or study for exams. By starting early, students avoid having the last-minute anxiety and can study with a clear and open mind. By not procrastinating, students allow themselves time to ask questions or attend professors’ office hours as needed to get class material clarified.
- Form study groups with other students. Study groups are a great way to not only network with other peers, but also to get active studying going on. With other people around, you’ll be held accountable to study and discuss class topics.
- Make use of professors’ office hours. Did you know that by paying for tuition, you’re paying for one-on-one attention from your professors? Even if you attend a large college, you can get personalized class attention by taking the extra mile to attend office hours to chat about class materials or get something clarified before an exam. Not only will you be doing yourself a favor, you will surely make a great impression to professors who may in turn be happy to give you references in the future on a need-basis.
- Take advantage of available resources. Whether it be after-school tutoring on campus or student groups, be sure to maximize your usage when it comes to resources — after all, you’re paying a premium for your college education!
- Remember to take good care of yourself. It’s easy to get bogged down with projects, homework, and studying, but it’s important to set aside time to make sure you are eating right and squeezing in at least thirty minutes a day for physical activity of some sort. It could be as easy as a walk out at the park or yoga at home. Also, remember to get enough rest so that your mind can think clearly on the next school day!
- Make sure your classes will transfer. By attending accredited colleges, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem with this one, but it’s always safe and smart to talk with an advisor every now and then to make sure that your classes will transfer in the event that you move or choose to go to a different school to study fire science. This way, you won’t have to retake classes that have technically already been completed!
- Use a planner. With so many things going on in a student’s life, it is extremely useful to have a planner to keep track of all upcoming due dates, exams, and student activities.