North Dakota may be one of the least populated states in the country, but it still has around 300 fire stations employing over 400 firefighters and 800 emergency medical technicians & paramedics. These fire professionals are well-trained and qualified to respond to emergencies across the state.

The annual wages for firefighters in North Dakota vary greatly depending on education, length of service, and continued training, to name a few. See below to get a feel for what a firefighter might make on average at the entry, median, or advanced levels in North Dakota.

North Dakota Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $30,630 $41,120 $54,470


North Dakotans may find it challenging to get fire science training because of harsh winter weather conditions. Many opt in for online education options in the state, but students can also get training through the Fire Academy of North Dakota. Training and mandatory tests must be completed before firefighters earn their state certification from the North Dakota Firefighter’s Association.

Since North Dakota has no fire science degree programs at the higher education level, students wishing to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree in fire science may consider other options like learning online. The University of Cincinnati offers online programs in fire science for students in Ohio and other states including North Dakota.

Entry-level firefighters in the state will also have to complete EMT training. Firefighting candidates who have paramedic certification are not only well-prepared for their job, but also will have better employment opportunities. Students looking into the emergency services aspect of firefighting may benefit from attending Bismarck State College, which has some programs for EMTs. This college gives students the option to either obtain a certificate or associate degree in the field.


Bismarck State College is the only college in the state that offers fire related programs for students to explore at the certificate and associate levels. Most North Dakota students consider online learning options if they are looking to earn a higher degree.


North Dakotans looking to pursue higher education in fire science may have to consider online learning options considering the fact that there are no fire science colleges in the state. Students taking online classes are expected to participate in class by virtually attending lectures (usually video lectures posted by professor on a program like Blackboard), engaging in class discussions online, and submitting assignments via email, for example. Strong time management skills, the ability to work well independently, and reliable Internet connection are all vital for success when it comes to distance learning.

In addition to completing coursework online toward a degree, students are also highly encouraged to either volunteer or intern for their local fire department to gain the required hands-on experience expected of a firefighter.