Due to its massive size, Texas has a high demand for fire science professionals to protect the residents, land, and property of the state. In fact, it has the second highest number of firefighters in the country. Firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics are found serving major cities, rural towns, and wildland areas of Texas. Students looking to prepare for a career in fire science may earn their certificate or degrees from local fire academies, community colleges, or four-year universities.

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. Like most other professions, students with higher education in the field have better work opportunities after graduation. Refer to the chart below to see a rough estimate of annual wages for firefighters, fire inspectors and investigators, and fire service supervisors in Texas at the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile.

Texas Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $27,350 $46,040 $68,810
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $39,340 $58,050 $78,770
Fire Service Supervisors $25,960 $45,630 $74,060


Texas students can enroll in certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree programs in fire science. Here’s a quick breakdown of each option:


Students looking to get educated in fire science in a short amount of time will benefit from earning a certificate in fire science. It generally takes around a year to complete, and students will be exposed to the core essentials of firefighting. For example, they’ll take classes about history of fire science, fire chemistry, public safety, incident management, emergency operations, and basic tactics and techniques for firefighting and handling hazardous materials.

The associate’s degree is the next step up, though it does take an average of two years of full-time study. Students at this level will learn the same things as those in the certificate level do, however, they’ll delve in deeper in each topic and also be required to take general education and elective classes outside of the firefighting field. Some of these classes include English, math, and history — all of which are designed to develop strong communication and reasoning skills required of any worker in any job after graduation.

Since firefighting is a hands-on profession, both the certificate and associate’s level will require students to get basic medical/EMT training, as well as physical training. Firefighters must be physically fit to thrive in their working environment and work efficiently under high-stress emergency situations. Texas students can acquire this training from a college campus fire academy, like Angelina College Fire Academy.


Those looking to advance their career in fire science will benefit from pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Students at this level are able to obtain higher level positions in the field after graduation, such as administrative, managerial, and supervisory roles. Not only will students learn everything that students learn at the certificate and associate degree levels, they will also have the opportunity to pick a specialization within the firefighting field to delve in deeper. For example, someone who wants to get into detective work may consider specializing in fire investigation. Other possibilities include fire research and prevention, personnel management, and disaster planning.


Hands-on fire science training is available through a number of fire departments and academies in Texas. Most departments require students to be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED to be eligible. Training programs differ in duration length from department to department, but fire academy training is usually 12 weeks long. Students will be able to take advantage of many training facilities to simulate fire emergencies. Getting hands-on practice on how to deal with fire in a training facility will allow students to get a feel for what the job really entails outside of the typical classroom setting.


Aspiring firefighters can pursue a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree in fire science from the following institutions in Texas:


Distance learning is a great 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, strong drive to succeed, and excellent time management skills are important for those who are considering this path.

Online learners are expected to watch lectures in video format and turn in assignments via email on due dates. Additionally, they are responsible for interacting and taking part in class discussions with other peers and the instructors via chat programs or a virtual classroom discussion board. Students can do all this on their own time from virtually anywhere they want.

Students who are taking classes entirely online are encouraged to reach out to their local fire department to see what internship or volunteer opportunities are available. Because firefighting is a very hands-on field, it is crucial for hopefuls to get real-life work experience alongside their book studies.