Nevada is filled with booming cities such as Reno and Las Vegas, which means that firefighters are constantly working hard to keep the residents, homes, and property in the state safe from fire loss and injuries. The state has approximately 1,660 firefighters and 210 fire inspectors and investigators that respond to fires in the mountains, remote deserts, forests, and metropolitan areas.

Those looking to pursue a career in firefighting in the state can start by exploring the field at colleges that offer fire science certificate and degree programs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that students with higher education have better work opportunity options after graduation. The chart below illustrates a rough estimate of annual wages for fire inspectors and investigators and fire service supervisors at the entry, median, and advanced levels in Nevada.

Nevada Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $67,480 $67,550 $97,880
Fire Service Supervisors $31,720 $45,870 $67,480


Students in Nevada can get a taste for the fire science field by taking courses toward a certificate or an associate degree. To become an entry-level firefighter, one must pass state and national exams, and be physically fit. While a college education is not necessary to be an entry-level firefighter, it is highly recommended for those who plan to move up the ranks and pursue a higher position in the fire department in the future. For example, fire inspectors and investigators need years of work experience and a college degree in a fire-related field to thrive in this competitive job market.

Students pursuing a certificate in fire science can expect to take classes covering fire protection, fire codes, wildland firefighting, and EMT services on a basic level. Hopefuls that are going for the associate degree can expect to learn about the same basics in a more in-depth level, in addition to other useful topics such as firefighting tactics, legal aspects of emergency services, and fire company management, to name a few. Associate degrees and higher will also require that students complete general education coursework like English, math, and history. These classes are designed to hone communication and reasoning skills in the workforce.


Aspiring firefighters can pursue a certificate or associate degree in fire science from the following institutions in Nevada:


Distance learning is a viable option for those who live in remote locations or have busy schedules. Online classes are designed to allow students to learn the same classes as those would in a traditional classroom setting using web-based technology. Reliable Internet connection, strong drive to succeed, and excellent time management skills are important for those who are considering this route.

How does online learning work? Simply put, students watch lectures in video format online and turn in assignments via email on assigned due dates. Additionally, they are expected to interact and take part in class discussions with other peers and the professors via chat programs or a virtual classroom discussion board. The benefit to taking online classes is the ability to work at each students’ own time, in their own place.

It is highly recommended for students who are taking classes entirely online to reach out to their local fire department to see what internship or volunteer opportunities are available. Because firefighting is a very hands-on profession, it’s important for students to get some real-life work experience. Interning or volunteering will also allow students to apply what they learn in the classroom into their jobs.