Firefighting is a lucrative career in New Jersey. It is home to 729 fire stations employing approximately 4,170 firefighters and 1,040 fire inspectors and investigators in the state. Fire service personnel are responsible for not only preventing and fighting fires, but also investigating and determining the causes of them. They also provide emergency medical services by responding in accidents or emergency situations.

The compensation for firefighters in New Jersey is one of the highest in the nation, but the exact numbers vary based on several factors like location, education and expertise levels, and years of experience. See the chart below for a quick overview of average annual salaries for firefighters, fire investigators and investigators, and fire service supervisors at the entry, median, and advanced levels in the state.

New Jersey Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $43,740 $42,900 $76,940
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $29,420 $51,950 $81,180
Fire Service Supervisors $32,600 $50,320 $75,580


A high school degree will suffice for those wanting to get into firefighting on the entry-level, however, many do strive for their associate degrees and beyond for more work opportunities. New Jersey firefighters often undergo EMT training so that they are well-prepared to perform emergency medical services in emergency situations to prevent fire loss and injuries.

Students can begin their fire science education in New Jersey by either going with a certificate or associate degree. The certificate level covers the fundamentals of fire science at a very basic level, and may require students to train on the field as well. The associate level will cover the same fundamentals on a more in-depth level, and will also require students to take general education classes like history, math, and English, which are all designed to brush up communication and reasoning skills that come in handy in the workforce. The associate degree can be completed in two years of full-time study.

Current firefighters looking to advance their careers and pursue supervisory or managerial roles in the fire department may consider pursuing a four-year bachelor’s degree in fire science. Specialized topics are covered on this level of education, such as arson investigation, technology, and engineering in the field.


Explore New Jersey’s postsecondary institutions that offer fire science programs using the list below.


Web-based learning is a viable option for New Jersey students who require a flexible learning schedule. Online classes allow students to work toward a degree whenever is most convenient to them, from virtually anywhere, while attending to their personal obligations as well. Students are responsible for going through video lectures, participating in class by posting on class discussion boards, and submitting assignments when due via email.

Another advantage to online learning is that certain New Jersey colleges offer exclusive classes in their online degree programs. As a result, students have a wider range of options to choose from. Distance learning is a great way to gain general knowledge in the field. However, students may be required to volunteer or intern at a local fire department to gain hands-on experience in the field while they complete book-learning at home.