Massachusetts is prone to fires due to its major cities and dense population. As a result, the state is always in need of qualified, well-trained fire service personnel to protect residents, property, and land from injury and damage as a result of blazes. The state employed approximately 12,070 firefighters, 220 fire inspectors and investigators, and 3,210 fire supervisors as of May 2013.

The annual earnings of fire service professionals varies depending on location, expertise, experience, and education. See the chart below to get a feel for average yearly salaries for firefighters, fire inspectors and inspectors, and fire service supervisors in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $29,240 $53,430 $80,000
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $43,560 $73,100 $92,110
Fire Service Supervisors $29,330 $47,580 $71,200


Certificate, associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degree programs are all promising options for fire science students in Massachusetts. While it’s possible to become a firefighter with just a high school diploma, it’s highly recommended that students pursue at least a certificate or associate degree for better work opportunities.

The associate degree can be completed in two years at a community college and includes coursework providing a strong foundation of fire science basics and an in-depth understanding of fire control principles, prevention tactics, investigation techniques, and firefighting equipment. Students will also take general education courses such as English.

Existing firefighters can increase the amount of career options they have by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in fire science. At the bachelor’s level, students can expect to take not only firefighting courses, but also core science classes like chemistry and physics. The bachelor’s degree often prepares firefighters for promotions to higher-level, managerial or supervisory roles in the fire department.


Whether you’re a prospective or existing firefighter, there are many fire science degree programs available for you to explore in the state of Massachusetts.


Massachusetts has some great online fire science degree programs for students requiring a more flexible academic schedule. Working fire professionals looking to brush up on their current skills or gain new ones can also look into taking classes online. A majority of these online programs do require students to meet in-person to complete portions of the class, such as hands-on projects designed to prepare students for real-life situations in the fire profession.

The benefit to online learning is that a majority of the general coursework can be learned online, at each student’s own pace, in their own place — with reliable Internet connection! Students interact with their professors and peers via chat programs and online discussion boards designed for the class. Exams are often open-book, but students are of course, encouraged to complete readings and assignments in a timely manner to be most prepared and to fully take advantage of the learning materials.

Those with great time management skills, motivation to succeed, and the ability to work well with little to no direction would thrive in an online learning environment.