Like the name invokes, a fire science degree prepares students to become firefighters, a dangerous but rewarding career that saves thousands of lives every year in the United States alone. To earn this type of degree, students should set aside at least two years for study and learning. Students will learn about the typical causes of fire, along with strategies for putting out fires, how to identify if a building or other structure meets fire code structure, fire prevention basics, among other topics. Students may also touch on other general topics related to a firefighter’s daily responsibilities to round out their associate’s degree. This can include subjects such as chemistry, physics and computer science.
Before the rise of online education, students typically earned a fire science degree at a community college or technical institution. Today, students can earn a fire science degree virtually, making it easier for them to set their schedule and learn on a timetable that works for them. While most curriculum can be taught in an online environment – including lectures, assignments and exams – students are required to make a handful of on-site campus visits to complete the physical performance requirements. When considering an online school for a fire degree, ensure the school is accredited by the National Fire Academy. Other important accredited agencies include Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education and International Fire Service Accreditation Congress.
In addition to obtaining a fire science degree, firefighters must complete other training as well, including an emergency medical technician certification. Firefighters must also complete a traditional job interview and an extensive physical test before being able to join the force. On average, firefighters earned $46,870 in 2015, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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