Pennsylvania is home to more than 1,836 fire stations employing many skilled fire science professionals to protect the state from urban and rural fires. Not only do firefighters fight fires outdoors, some are found in regional districts, hospitals, and private ambulance companies. Those interested in pursuing fire science as a career can consider obtaining a certificate or degree in fire science at one of the academic institutions offering fire science education in the state.

Annual wages for firefighters in Pennsylvania vary depending on a variety of factors including location, education, years of experience, and type of department, to name a few. Take a look at the average yearly earnings for firefighters, fire inspectors and investigators, and fire service supervisors in the state at the entry, median, and advanced levels.

Pennsylvania Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $30,760 $47,180 $72,050
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $33,280 $49,790 $74,720
Fire Service Supervisors $28,590 $46,990 $70,300


Students can prepare for a firefighting career by beginning with an education in fire science. Pennsylvania residents have a good number of colleges, universities, and community colleges to choose from when it comes to learning fire science. Additionally, there are also online programs available for students who wish to take this route to earn their degree.

At the beginning stages, students will be required to get certified to be an emergency medical technician or paramedic. After that, they can move forward to pursue an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree at their chosen college. Those wishing to take their fire science career to the highest level can consider putting more time to earn a PhD in Pennsylvania.

Many fire science professionals will thrive just fine with an associate or bachelor’s degree. At these levels, students will be exposed to the core essentials of the field, covering topics such as history of fire science, fire chemistry, firefighting tactics and techniques, and more. The associate degree generally takes two years of full-time study to complete, while the bachelor’s degree takes four. While in school, students are highly encouraged to volunteer or intern for their local fire department to gain real-life hands-on experience and network with professionals in the industry. This will allow students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom at work, and also get a taste for what a day in the life of a firefighter is like.


Pennsylvania is home to a handful of colleges and universities that offer a fire science degree program, as seen in the list below:


While it used to be that it was only possible to earn college degrees in traditional classroom settings, times have changed to allow students to do the same online, from the comfort of their own home. Studying fire science online is a great option for busy students with other obligations that require them to have a flexible study schedule. Students can plan their day and work in their study time whenever works best for them.

Schools in Pennsylvania offer both fully online and hybrid classes. Fully online classes are exactly what they sound — they can be taken online without students needing to get out of the house, if they didn’t want to. Hybrid classes, however, are generally partially online and partially in the classroom setting. Students may be expected to learn the book material on their own time, and show up in class occasionally to complete projects or tasks to gain the hands-on experience required to be a successful firefighter.