There are approximately 1,081 fire stations in Illinois, employing well-trained firefighters, investigators, EMTs, paramedics, and fire service supervisors. The state offers a plethora of degree programs in fire science to choose from, for those interested in exploring a career in the field.

Annual salaries vary depending on location, education, and experience. We’ve created a chart below to show the average yearly earnings for firefighters, fire inspectors and investigators, and fire service supervisors in the Illinois.

Illinois Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $18,330 $38,450 $86,590
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $33,640 $61,470 $93,060
Fire Service Supervisors $30,810 $48,910 $66,360


In addition to work experience, education is important to have in the fire science field. Workers with an educational background (the higher the better) are much more likely to be considered for positions in the industry. Higher education increases one’s chances of getting promoted or being offered a higher-level position.

In Illinois, students can choose from a plethora of certificates or associate degree programs. At this education level, students can expect to be exposed with the basic training needed for a firefighting career. Additionally, they’ll learn the fundamentals of fire science, including fire behavior, hazardous materials handling, firefighting tactics, and more. Associate degree programs can usually be completed in two-years.


Illinois has many fire science schools to choose from. Browse through your options using our list below!


Are you one to learn best on your own pace, in your own place? Distance learning may be perfect for you! Luckily, Illinois is home to several online colleges that offer great fire science programs for those looking to earn a degree. Some colleges offer both online and traditional classroom style courses, giving the best of both worlds to students wanting a bit of both.

Because fire science is a very hands-on field, it is wise for students to take some hands-on classes such as skills in fire protection and hazardous materials operations to get a feel for what they can expect on the job after graduation. Taking on an internship or volunteer position at your local fire department is also a great way to get real-life experience while learning the book material from the online classes.

Taking classes online will require students to have a reliable Internet connection and drive to succeed with little to no hand-holding. Classroom participation will take place on online discussion boards set up by instructors, and interaction usually takes place via email, Skype, or a chat program set up for a specific class.