Oregon is home to 300 fire stations employing more than 3,010 firefighters. Fire safety professionals are found serving large city and rural departments, as well as wildland fire agencies to protect the residents, land, and property. In order to become a firefighter in Oregon, one must undergo training and education to be well-prepared. Many firefighters also get trained as an emergency medical technician and paramedic, so that they are ready to respond to accidents or emergencies and prevent fire loss and injuries as a result to a blaze.

The annual salaries of Oregon firefighters are higher than the national averages, but vary depending on many factors such as location, education, years of experience, and job performance. The chart below gives a quick overview of average yearly wages for firefighters, fire inspectors and investigators, and forest fire prevention professionals in Oregon at the entry, median, and advanced levels.

Oregon Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $19,570 $62,780 $78,330
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $55,120 $81,310 $96,210
Forest Fire Prevention $40,620 $44,430 $81,240


Students in Oregon can get fire science training at one of many academic institutions in the state. High school graduates looking to pursue a fire science career can start by attending community college and working toward an associate degree in the field. This degree generally takes two years of full-time study to complete, and will not only involve coursework in fire science, but also general education classes like math, history, and English, designed to provide students with strong reasoning and communication skills in the workforce. Fire science-related topics covered at the associate level may include fire chemistry, firefighting tactics and techniques, and history of fire science, to name a few. Many at the associate level will consider volunteering or interning for their local fire department to gain hands-on experience in firefighting while taking their required classes.

Firefighters with a few years of work experience and wanting to move up the ladder to obtain a higher level position in the fire department may consider going back to school and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in fire science. At the bachelor’s level, students will revisit the basics and go in-depth on them, and also learn new things, especially in specialized fields. Some classes will shed light on engineering, technology, and administration in the fire science profession, preparing students for higher level roles. Often times, students are also given the chance to pick a specialty and pick appropriate classes that will directly benefit them and help them reach their career goals. The bachelor’s degree program typically takes four years of full-time study.


Oregon students have a plethora of colleges and universities that offer fire science programs to choose from.


With technology and the Internet becoming more prevalent in our day-to-day lives today, online learning programs have become a viable and flexible way for busy students to earn their degrees. Students are able to manage their own schedule and study when it’s most convenient for them, while still attending to their personal obligations. Online degree programs also give students who live in rural areas in Oregon far away from colleges a chance to work toward a degree.

How does one study fire science online? It’s actually pretty simple — as long as you keep on top of the assigned lectures, readings, and assignments. Students generally have to watch video lectures and interact with peers and the professors via a virtual discussion board online. Students can communicate with professors via email with any questions that arise from lectures or reading materials. Because firefighting is such a hands-on field, students studying the book material online may be required to meet at an institution occasionally to complete projects and tasks in-person to gain the necessary experience of a firefighter.