Prepare For A Firefighter Career: Education Options
Earning a postsecondary degree or certificate in fire science is not an absolute necessity to entering the firefighter profession. However, some employers give preference to new hires with an undergraduate degree or certificate in fire science or a closely-related subject. Earning a postsecondary degree or certificate can provide holders with the specialized knowledge and skills needed to advance their careers into management and administration roles.
Below is a comprehensive look at the various elements that make up postsecondary fire fighter education starting with the types of colleges, universities, and other institutions that offer training. Both on-campus and online training programs exist for firefighters. Keep your long-term goals in mind as you consider each option.
Also known as technical schools, vocational and trade schools are career-focused institutions providing practical coursework and training programs geared toward preparing students for employment in specific trades and occupations. Vocational and trade schools today offer a range of options, including subject-specific diplomas, professional and skill-specific certifications, postsecondary certificates, and in some cases two-year associate degrees. A few schools even offer four-year bachelors degrees in occupational or technical-related majors.
Best for: Individuals intent on kick-starting a firefighting career by gaining basic knowledge and skills in the shortest amount of time.
Types Of Fire Science Degrees
A fire science certificate or degree can be a huge plus when trying to land a firefighter job or advance your firefighting career. Fully-accredited, quality fire science undergraduate professional certificates and degrees, as well as masters degrees on the graduate level, are offered by colleges and universities throughout the country. Heres a detailed look at whats available:
Certificate in Fire Science
The purpose of an undergraduate-level certificate in fire science is to provide students with the fundamental knowledge , training, and skills in a particular firefighting-related subject. Common certificate subjects include fire science, firefighter , fire prevention specialist, fire apparatus operator, and hazardous materials operations.
The main advantage to earning a fire science certificate is time. A certificate can be earned in several weeks or months depending on the specific program. Certificate programs are available on community college and technical/vocational school campuses throughout the U.S. Online firefighting certificate programs may also be available.
Best for: Those seeking quick entry into ground-level jobs as fire fighters or EMTs. Bear in mind that completing fire academy training and meeting other prerequisites will still be necessary.
Associate Degree in Fire Science
Bachelors Degree in Fire Science
Masters Degree in Fire Science
Certificate In Fire Science
Certificate programs for firefighters go by many names, but the most common are fire science or fire technology. The focus is on providing students with the basic knowledge necessary to understand how fire moves and feeds and the tools needed to best combat it in a variety of situations. Most certificate programs take one year or less to complete. Below are several courses that students may expect to find in a typical program.
Principles of Fire and Emergency Services
This course explores the history of fire services, the various career paths available, laws and regulations, basic fire protections and working with the public in emergency situations.
- Bringing buildings up to code
- Knowing how codes affect insurance rates
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Start Taking Firefighter Tests
What better way to understand all of the phases of the firefighter hiring process than taking firefighter tests? Each test better prepares you for the next. Who cares if you fail a portion of the test what matters is that you have exposed yourself to the process and more importantly, have a better idea of what to expect in the future, since most fire departments have very similar hiring process components.
You may fail most do at some point in the process of becoming a firefighter. I failed a physical ability exam, a written exam and even an oral interview because I did not truly prepare and was not sure what I was getting into. Learn from your mistakes and don’t make the same mistake twice. You’ll never know your strengths and weaknesses in the hiring process unless you start taking tests.
How do I find out which departments are testing? A great place to start is to sign up for firerecruit.com and be advised of firefighter opportunities across the country. Don’t rely on word of mouth or solely on your own efforts. Most departments test very infrequently.
Although some departments test every six months, most departments test every two or three years some large metropolitan departments may go as long as six to 10 years between tests. The test you did not hear about and did not apply with may have been the one. Taking tests is the only way to get hired, so knowing whose testing and taking the tests is obviously of utmost importance.
Guide To Become A Firefighter In Texas
To become a firefighter in Texas, you have to complete the following steps:
To become a firefighter in Texas, you will have to complete high school education or get an equivalent GED. These educational credentials will make you eligible to complete a fire suppression training program.
Getting an Emergency Medical Technician certification might or might not be mandatory. This requirement varies from city to state and from state to state so, it is advisable that you conduct proper research before applying for the position of a firefighter.
Once you have completed all the prerequisites, you can apply for the position of a firefighter at the fire department of your choice.
Once your application is accepted, you will have to pass a comprehensive screening process. Every fire station has its own criteria, but generally you will have to pass a written exam, an oral interview, a background check, drug screening, and a medical exam, etc.
Once you have passed the screening process, you will have to get the Texas Commission on Fire Protection Basic Fire Suppression Certificate. You will have to pay a certain fee to obtain this certificate.
You will also have to pass fire academy training. The duration will depend on the fire department you apply to.
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How Important Is Accreditation
Accreditation is a way of ensuring that a degree or certificate program has been properly vetted to meet minimum standards for academic quality. There are two basic types of accreditation and its crucial that any program you consider has both. Institutional accreditation validates the school as a whole and is administered by both regional and national accrediting agencies recognized by the by the U.S. Department of Education. Programmatic accreditation is concerned with specific degree and certificate programs. In the U.S., fire science programs are accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress . Programs may also be certified by Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education , a program of the U.S. Fire Administration.
Fire Science Degrees & Concentrations
Advertising is a large field, comprised of creative and business professionals who share one main goal: to motivate customers to buy products or services. Whether looking for an accredited online program or a traditional on-campus degree, students have plenty of options for receiving a quality education. For those unsure of which level of degree to pursue in the quest for an advertising career, the table below explains each option.
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Licenses Certifications And Registrations For Firefighters
Usually, firefighters must be certified as emergency medical technicians. In addition, some fire departments require firefighters to be certified as a paramedic. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians . certifies EMTs and paramedics. Both levels of NREMT certification require completing a training or education program and passing the national exam. The national exam has a computer-based test and a practical part. EMTs and paramedics may work with firefighters at the scenes of accidents.
Department Funded Paramedic Training Each Year
As the first-responders on all medical emergencies within the city, each of our firefighters is trained to a minimum level of EMT-Basic. AFR has partnered with the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College to host a Paramedic Training School at our Fire Academy and the EMSA each year. We are one of three Fire Departments in the country that still has their own internal Paramedic School. This is a condensed Paramedic training program that allows us to complete the Paramedic training in 11- 12 months rather than the standard two-year program, through a traditional college program. We have a fair and objective testing process for those interested in this training.
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Keep Your Social Media Nose Clean
If you use Facebook or other social media platforms, be mindful of what you post, repost, comment on and like. Expect all potential employers to scan your social media presence. If theres embarrassing, immature, risqué or otherwise inappropriate posts on your pages, remove them. Ask your friends to remove any such posts involving you from their pages. In some cases, it makes sense to close out your accounts.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Firefighter
Entering the firefighting field takes time and so does moving up the career ladder. But just how much time it takes is not a simple answer. As youve probably learned, a lot depends on what area of the firefighting field youre interested in entering and how far up that career ladder you want to climb. So, its good to start with an assessment of your long-term career goals. Remember that nothing is set in stone, and its possible that your goals will change as you move through your career. Assessing your goals now will help you determine your career starting point and the education youll need to get there.
Here are three common entry points into a firefighting career, along with the estimated timeframe for each:
in Fire ScienceTwo years full-time. Part-time programs are often available.
Keep in mind that these are just a few possible entry points. Continue reading to learn more about whats needed to start a firefighting career, including training requirements and postsecondary education options.
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Emergency Medical Services Bureau
The Los Angeles County Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Bureau was created in ____ ____, to address the growing EMS needs across the County. In total, EMS 9-1-1 calls comprise nearly 85 percent of the Departments responses. The Department is committed to providing prompt, clinically skilled, and caring medical service to ensure positive outcomes for everyone, every time.
Associate Fire Science Degree Or Related
An associate degree typically takes two years to complete. Students can choose from two separate tracks: an associate degree program, which includes general education courses and can serve as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree, or an applied associate program, which focuses on the major and gets students into the workforce upon graduation. Either option will offer students a solid overview of the world of firefighting. Here are a few courses students may expect to see in the catalog.
Focuses on the potential actions of terrorist groups and the expected and appropriate response from emergency services personnel.
- How to employ firebreak procedures
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Maintain A Clean Background And Lifestyle
Whether you agree or disagree, it doesn’t matter. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Having a track record of problems will only make it harder for you to stand out in a positive way when compared with your competition. You can’t change the past, but you can start making some changes that will affect your future.
South African Fire Fighter Requirements:
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Who Will Struggle In This Career
Those who are not resilient will struggle as a firefighter, as they are constantly faced with suffering and death. Those who do not have a strong stomach will struggle with the blood and gore of working as a firefighter. Similarly, those who are not naturally excitement or thrill seeking may struggle with the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the work. If you are someone who cannot easily forget or leg go of things, then you may struggle with the emotional turmoil of being a firefighter the key to doing this job and keeping good mental health is to learn to leave the terrible things at work.
What Is A Firefighter
Its probable that you already know what a Firefighter does, after all, its in the name.
However, Firefighters do much more than just fight fires, they also find and rescue victims, help in emergency situations, treat sick people, help with chemical spills, and teach citizens about fire safety.
Some Firefighters can be found teaching classes to youth, new Firefighters, and communities as well.
Firefighters are an important part of our society they help keep us safe and are always there when there is an emergency.
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Featured Programs And Schools
The number of fatalities due to fire outbreaks has gone down over the years, thanks to better equipment and quicker emergency management systems. In 2021, fires in the country caused property loss of about 15.95 billion US dollars. This is a decrease from the previous year, when fires caused about 21.87 billion US dollars in property loss.
With numbers such as these, it is safe to say firefighters are going to remain high in demand for the foreseeable future. If you are interested in a firefighter career, the following guide would be of use to you. It provides information on firefighter career statistics, firefighter career outlook and how to become a firefighter in the US.
Make Sure Youre Fit To Be A Firefighter
Regardless of the specific area of practice, all individuals working in the firefighting profession must possess certain traits and characteristics necessary for career success. These questions will help you determine if you do:
- Physical Fitness: Am I physically fit? Do I have the strength and stamina needed to effectively carry out my duties? Am I willing to put in the time and effort required to maintain my physical fitness through the years ahead?
- Integrity: Am I honest and trustworthy? Can I be relied upon to be accountable to my peers and to uphold the trust placed in me by my community and its citizens?
- Commitment to Excellence: Do I have the compassion and drive to always perform at my best? Do I possess a strong work ethic and take real pride in what I do? In short, when it comes to my job, do I believe that good enough is not good enough?
- Work Skills: Do I have good communication and people skills? Am I flexible in my outlook and able to adapt to changing, stressful situations? Do I work well with others? Am I a problem solver? Am I good with my hands and with tools?
- Courage and Dedication: Am I dedicated to helping others, even if it means placing my own self in physical danger? Am I willing to put my life on the line if the situation requires it?
If you answered yes to these questions, you may be an excellent fit for a firefighter career.
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Discover Your Program In Minutes
Those who fight fires are trained to do their job anywhere from forests to rural areas to urban high-rises. Firefighters work first and foremost to protect lives, and then they turn their attention to protecting property. Some firefighters choose to work their way up the ladder, so to speak, starting with volunteer work at their local firehouse, coupled with their high school diploma. Those who want to advance up the ranks faster can turn to a fire science degree that will prepare them for responsibilities at the state or federal level. Understanding different types of firefighting careers and what each entails is the first step to choosing the right path.
How Old Is Too Old
Similar to the physical training, it all depends on you. We do not have an age limit for applicants. It is very possible that two people the same age, whether 20 or 40, will perform very differently. It is up to each recruit, in conjunction with their medical physician, to determine what they are physically capable of doing.
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Three: Lay The Groundwork
Next, turn that positive energy to activities that will specifically prepare you for a career in the fire service. A great way to learn more about your local agencies and departments is to stop by for station visits. Talk to the firefighters working there to learn more about what they like and what they dont like, what to prepare for, and any other advice. There may be volunteer opportunities that serve as a foot in the door, while also helping you get a taste of fire service life. These steps will help educate you AND look great on your resume. You will also have excellent material for your oral interview questions.
Most fire departments require firefighters to either acquire their EMT certification . Consider starting that process ahead of time to not only better prepare you for your career, but help your application stand out from the competition.
Another great recommendation is to attend a college academy, where there is more leeway for retaking exams and a bigger learning curve. Acquiring your Firefighter 1 certification is another excellent way to prove your commitment to the career path and show your hiring committee that youre ready to hit the ground running.