Understanding a Fire Science Degree
There are different ways to become a firefighter, and whether you decide to volunteer or make a career out of it will determine which path you take in most states.
If you’re seeking a career as a firefighter, or have spent time volunteering, you are probably considering earning a degree in fire science. This is a good move to ensure you are qualified for future full-time job openings.
Prerequisites for a Fire Science Degree
To enroll in a fire science associate’s degree program, candidates must be at least 18 years old and have their high school diploma or earned their GED. Candidates are also required to have a valid driver’s license and safe driving record, maintain a healthy physical condition, and pass physical and eye exams as well as a criminal background check. Fire school candidates also need to obtain their Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) certification and CPR clearance. Once they’ve completed 398 training hours and the Firefighter II certificate, candidates may enroll in the degree program.
Inside Fire Science
A fire science degree prepares you for a career as a firefighter in a paid engine company, fire chief, fire inspector, and fire marshal. These roles may require additional training and education steps, but a fire science degree is the first rung of the ladder.
At HCI, the program consists of 60 credits and includes the following course topics:
- Fire prevention best practices
- Fire codes and standards
- Firefighting tactics and strategies
- Fire investigation
Students of this program must also select from a list of elective courses that includes:
- Basic–Intermediate ICS
- Ethical & Legal Issues For The Fire Service
- Fire Department Administration
- Fire Hydraulics
- Fire Apparatus & Equipment
- Fire Chemistry
- Fire Investigation & Arson
- Hazardous Materials I–III
- Latent Investigation
- Private Fire Protection Systems II
- Public Information Officer
Other courses including mathematics and English basics are also required to obtain the degree.