By earning a bachelor of fire science degree, students acquire the knowledge and experience necessary to administer and lead fire service organizations. Programs in fire science teach a mixture of theory, principles, and real-world application so that students gain insight into what it is like to be a fire service professional today. The diverse and complex subject material offered by these programs covers important subjects like fire prevention, protection, investigation, and analysis. Once students have graduated from such programs, they may be fully prepared to enter the workforce at entry level positions within the industry*.
The universities and colleges which offer these kinds of programs typically reward a Bachelor of Science degree once all the required coursework is finished by the student. In general, anywhere from between 125-135 credit hours are required to be awarded a bachelor of fire science degree. This includes 35-50 credits in core coursework studies as well as other electives and general education courses. Generally, it takes between four to five years to finish the degree, assuming the student has no previous experience in the field**.
Common courses from these programs include fire combustion, fire protection systems, principles of fire prevention, emergency services, fire investigation, and firefighter safety, as well as many others. All of these courses together comprise a comprehensive introduction to the field of fire science that ensures students are ready to transition from being students to workers after graduating*.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters and fire inspectors earn between $45,250 to $53,990 per year, with inspectors generally receiving the highest pay. Entry level work pays an average of $33,920 per year, while the top ten percent of earners -- generally those with the most experience -- take home about $87,400 annually***.
Unfortunately, job growth for both fire inspectors and firefighters is expected to be considerably less than that of the average profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a six to seven percent increase in job openings for these two professions within the next ten years****. The reasons for this languid growth are numerous, but the primary one is that the growth of local government is expected to stall as more resources and projects are managed by state and federal governments instead. Since the majority of firefighters and inspectors are employed by local cities and counties, employment growth for these two fields will be tempered. Still, it is an essential job, meaning that every city and town across the United States requires experienced fire service professionals on standby. So work may still be there for those who wish to pursue it as a career.
Are you ready to pursue your bachelor degree? Get information on programs in your area and online using our bachelor degree finder at the top of this page. ↑
*For more information, please visit: http://worldwide.erau.edu/degrees-programs/programs/bachelors/fire-science/
**For more information, please visit: http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/criminal-justice/fire-science-bachelor.aspx
***For more information, please visit: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/fire-inspectors-and-investigators.htm
****For more information, please visit: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/firefighters.htm