Fire Protection Degrees
Career summary: Firefighters
National Average, Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
7% job growth by 2022, which is below average
Earn a degree in fire protection from an accredited college
Only a degree in fire protection can prevent the destruction and fatalities of fires. Fire protection is minimizing fire hazard in all environments, urban to wilderness; fighting fires; and investigating the cause, natural or criminal, of fires. Property damage, injuries, and death due to fires cost the U.S. $62.5 billion in 2008. An additional $300 billion was spent on fire prevention and protection. Clearly this is a problem. Luckily, you have an opportunity to be involved in treating the problem, and perform a great civil service which will save lives.
Why should I get my fire protection degree?
This is the best way to score a job in fire protection. While a high school diploma may suffice, a bachelor’s degree in fire protection engineering coupled with experience in the field or related activities will be very helpful for you. If you want to be a hero, rescue and treat injury victims, keep the public safe from harm, catch the crazy kids with firecrackers, and maybe save Granny’s cat along the way, this is the career for you. The work can be stressful and dangerous at times, but it’s very rewarding to know you have served your community.
What kinds of jobs are typical with a fire protection degree?
The most well-known and revered is surely a fire fighter. You can also obtain supervisory positions, and you could be a forest fire prevention specialist/inspector. Other common fire prevention careers include fire protection engineer, fire inspector, fire marshal, ranger, forest patrolman, fire investigator, and fire and ambulance dispatcher. Related occupations are those like security guards, radio operators, detectives, bill and account collectors, product safety engineers, and more.
Top 5 Careers
- fire fighter
- fire protection engineer
- fire inspector & investigator
- police, fire, and ambulance dispatcher
- forest fire prevention specialist
How much will I make?
The salary for common fire protection occupations averages out to be approximately $56,500. As a fire fighter, you’ll likely earn around $47,700. Supervisors’ and managers’ median pay is $71,900. Fire prevention engineers make mean wages of $75,400. Fire inspectors make an average of $52,200.
How is the job market?
Employment of fire protection jobs is expected to grow no faster than average in most cases. However, a surge of volunteer-to-paid positions will facilitate some expansion. You’ll have to beat serious competition to get into fire protection, because it is a highly sought after career. To steal a job opening, it will be helpful for you to have experience (you could volunteer, for example!), some college, or education in criminal investigation.
What skills do I need?
An important aspect of fire prevention is organization and teamwork. You need to be able to collaborate and council with others to decide on certain courses of action, and exhibit leadership qualities as a fire chief or supervisor. Good judgement and decision making will be very important skills as you handle situations that can become intense and pressured. Fire fighters also must learn medical skills and be ready to handle emergencies, fire-related or other. You should have patience and courage. If you choose to enter engineering, you’ll have to think analytically and study math, physics, chemistry, and obviously engineering.
What classes and qualifications will I need for a career in fire protection?
Your education will focus on fire science, public safety and safety management, perhaps engineering, and it may dabble in crime, medical, and disaster relief courses. A college degree will give you preference when seeking employment. You’ll probably have to pass written and physical tests. Fire fighters and some other fire prevention workers, spend several weeks at the training center or academy. A lot of the necessary qualification comes from classroom instruction, training, and on-the-job experience, where you study fire fighting techniques, fire prevention, hazardous materials control, and building codes. Nearly all departments require you to be certified as an emergency medical technician.
Salary and career outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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