Fire science personnel in Missouri are responsible for educating its residents on how to protect themselves from fire-related injuries or death. Additionally, they protect homes and land in the state by preventing and extinguishing both natural and man-made fires when they arise. Fire investigators perform detective work to determine causes of fires and how they can be prevented in the future. Some firefighters are even trained to provide first response health services in accidents or emergency situations.

The job opportunities as a firefighter in Missouri are plentiful. However, the annual wages vary depending on location, education, certification, and expertise, to name a few. As with any other profession, higher education often increases one’s chances of getting better employment options and reaching the highest salary potential.

Below is a chart illustrating the average annual earnings for firefighters, fire inspectors and investigators, and fire service supervisors at the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile in the state.

Missouri Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $18,210 $41,220 $69,950
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $17,900 $44,620 $76,070
Fire Service Supervisors $24,020 $45,710 $69,660


Because firefighting is a dangerous profession that often involves high-level stress, students have to be well-prepared before entering the workforce. They are expected to go through intensive training, academically and physically. Missouri is home to a variety of public and private institutions that offer fire science certificates and degree programs. In addition to completing coursework in the classroom setting, students will also gain real-life hands-on experience out in the field via volunteering or interning at a local fire department.

While earning an associate degree is not required for entry-level firefighting, it is highly recommended for those who plan to advance their careers over the years of experience. The degree takes two years of full-time learning to complete at a community college, and will provide knowledge in the fundamentals of fire science, as well as general knowledge in core classes such as English and math. Upon completion, students will be equipped with essential reasoning and communication skills, as well as fire science knowledge that will come in handy on the job.


Aspiring firefighters in Missouri have many options to choose from when it comes to a college education. Explore our list of Missouri colleges that offer fire science degrees and certifications below.


Busy Missourians who require a flexible learning schedule will benefit from online degree programs in the state. Essentially, course material and education is delivered via web-based technology, and students engage with their peers and professors via chat programs, email, or discussion boards designed for each online class. Students will be required to complete readings and assignments on their own time, so it is important to have reliable Internet connection and time management skills.

Some online programs may be hybrid, which means that part of the class takes place on-site. While most learning will take place remotely, students will be required to meet in a classroom setting occasionally to complete projects and tasks in-person to gain the hands-on experience required in the field.