Utah employs approximately 3,500 firefighters and over 22,000 emergency medical technicians and paramedics to serve and protect its residents, land, and property in cities and rural areas of the state. These professionals are found working in local emergency response organizations, hospitals, and private ambulance companies, in addition to fighting fires outdoors. Fire academies, colleges, and universities in Utah provide ample training for the rigorous duties of firefighters through certificates and degrees in fire science.

Annual salaries for firefighters in Utah differ depending on a variety of factors such as location, education, and years of experience and service, for example. See the chart below to get a quick glance at annual wages for firefighters, fire inspectors and investigators, and fire service supervisors in Utah at the entry, median, and advanced levels.

Utah Fire Service Careers 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Firefighters $16,720 $28,340 $63,270
Fire Inspectors and Investigators $33,680 $52,260 $73,870
Fire Service Supervisors $23,770 $44,400 $66,960


Fire science professionals have a variety of occupations to choose from in the industry. Some examples include wildland firefighting, emergency medical services, fire prevention, emergency management, technical rescue, and hazardous materials response, to name a few. The colleges and universities in Utah are designed to prepare students for these occupations through their rigorous degree programs.

Certification courses walk students through the core basics of firefighting through classes like fire chemistry and fire prevention. Those wishing to enroll in the certificate program can consider Utah Fire and Rescue Academy, Davis Applied Technology College, or Utah Valley University.

Students wanting to pursue a career in firefighting and take it to the next level can consider earning an associate (2-year) or bachelor’s (4-year) degree. Students at the associate degree will learn the core basics that students in the certification level learn, and also take some general education and elective coursework designed to develop strong reasoning and communication skills required in the workforce. At the bachelor’s level, students will have the opportunity to pick a specialization in the field depending on their career goals and interests. For example, a student wishing to dedicate their career investigating fires may want to look into a fire investigation specialization. At this level, students will also take basic fire science classes and general education courses. The bachelor’s degree is perfect for those wanting to take on a higher-level position in the fire department, such as managerial or supervisory roles.


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


Distance learning is a viable route for those who live in remote locations in Utah or have personal obligations to attend to, preventing them from committing designated time frames to commuting to/attending classes. Online classes allow students to learn the same material as those would in a traditional classroom setting on the Internet. A strong drive to succeed, ability to work well independently, and excellent time management skills are important for online learners.

How does distance learning work? It’s relatively simple and rather convenient; students are expected to watch lectures in video format on their own time 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 craft their own schedule and fit studying in whenever works best for them.

Because firefighting is a hands-on profession, students may still be required to meet on-campus occasionally to complete hands-on tasks and projects in order to finish certain classes. These are designed to prepare students for the working world and allow them to put their book learning into perspective.