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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Fire Science

Majors Overview March 10, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Fire Science and its education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Fire Science

Most firefighters acquire the necessary training and education for their job via on-the-job instruction and two-year associate’s degree programs. However, four-year bachelor’s degree programs in fire science are also offered through some community colleges and universities, and these can be taken advantage of by those that wish to occupy management and leadership positions in the fire service industry.

Apart from advanced instruction in both new and traditional methods of fire protection and fire prevention, coursework in a bachelor’s degree program in fire science also covers the leadership and operational skills needed in managing a crew of firefighters.

Students are taught about leading entire organizations through dangerous situations, managing a group of employees, overseeing human resources and training, and designing and implementing organizational policies. They also gain a more in-depth grasp of hazardous materials management procedures, safety measures, legal aspects of fire protection, and state and local fire codes.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria may vary by school; however, most schools expect incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Some schools may also require professional experience working within public safety agencies, such as a fire service organization.

Coursework

Coursework within a bachelor’s degree program in fire science is devised to help students gain a more advanced grasp of fire safety techniques, in addition to a basic grasp of management principles. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Fire department safety
•Legal aspects of fire protection
•Fire analysis and investigation
•Hazardous materials
•Fire prevention organization and management
•Advanced fire administration
•Fire protection
•Fire science hydraulics
•Leadership skills
•Principles of fire behavior

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of seven percent has been predicted for firefighters over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought home $45,250, while over the same period, supervisors of firefighting and prevention workers banked $68,210 on average (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Few schools, if any, offer master’s degree programs in fire science; the most commonly offered terminal degree in the field is a bachelor’s degree. Those seeking continuing education beyond the bachelor’s degree may seek advanced training sessions sponsored by the U.S. National Fire Academy and similar professional organizations or by their departments.

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