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Fire Science Degree

Overview

A fire science degree  prepares students for a wide range of careers in fire control and industrial safety. From OSHA compliance officer to arson investigator, this field of study is exciting and in demand. Most undergraduate fire degrees require between 120 and 130 credit hours, typically taking four years to complete if the student is attending classes on a full time basis.  Most masters in fire and emergency services take 35 to 40 hours to complete.

Fire Science Degree Programs

Benefits

There are many reasons to choose an Online Fire Degree Program over other traditional degree programs.

  • Though industrial safety is a lucrative field, it is still limited in its scope. Should safety compliance and OSHA regulations grow mundane, fire safety and control is always exciting and can be pursued if you hold a bachelor’s degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology.
  • To be a fire fighter, the student will still need additional training that comes only from the fire department of choice. However, a Fire Science Degree will set the candidate up for promotions or a leg up on competitors for open positions on the fire department. Many can put out fires, but few can analyze their cause and work to prevent them in the future.
  • Many unforeseen circumstances, such as injury and illness, can limit an individual’s ability to remain active in a firefighting or arson investigator role. Adding Safety Engineering Technology provides more job security, as many compliance and code safety jobs are less physically demanding, thus remain viable options regardless of physical strength.

Course & Areas of Study

An degree in Fire Science will consist of classes in both industrial safety management and fire prevention and diagnostics. Though program specifics will vary, many of the most common classes for this are:

  • Hazardous Waste
  • Fire Behavior and Combustion
  • Arson and Explosion Investigation
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Physics
  • Fire Prevention Systems
  • Chemistry
  • Electrical and Mechanical Systems Failure and Analysis
  • Occupational Safety and Health

Career Opportunities

One of the finest points of this degree, by far, is its versatility. The career opportunities are numerous. A few of the most popular are:

  • OSHA Compliance Manager
  • Industrial Hygiene Engineer
  • Fire Fighter
  • Fire Marshal
  • Building Code Enforcement Officer
  • Arson Investigator

Becoming a Fire Fighter

Two warnings to anyone considering this degree should be noted. Becoming a fire fighter is a physically grueling and emotionally draining endeavor. Even after an undergraduate degree, an individual wanting to be a fire fighter must be prepared to pass rigorous physical exercises, be able to withstand many pounds of gear and understand that the initial years are difficult on family and friends. Secondarily, though fire fighting is physically exertive, a BS in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology involves quite a few math and science classes. In this regard, the student needs to be physically fit and intellectually astute. As a result, many undergraduates find this degree quite challenging, though most discover it is equally as rewarding.

Admission & Educational Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is required to enter into a BS in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology program. Research the specific admissions policies of your prospective school. Universities require either ACT or SAT scores, so looking into the program specifics at your desired school will help you avoid needlessly taking the wrong standardized test. In addition, due to the intensive math and science classes, admissions offices may weigh math and science test scores and high school grades heavier than the scores and grades the potential student earned in the humanities.

Accreditation

Before entering a course of study, the student should check with the program to see if it helps graduates become certified in their field and if the institution is accredited by these certification-granting organizations. This is vital to the future success of the graduate. There are multiple certifications, depending on the career path chosen by the student.

CSP — Certified Safety Professionals
www.bcsp.org

CHMM – Certified Hazardous Materials Manager
www.ihmm.org

COHST – Certified Occupational Health and Safety Technologist
www.cchest.org

Professional Organizations

Within any professional community, joining an organization can help the employee excel in her workplace and career. This is especially true for those who risk their lives or health around potentially hazardous materials or fires. Advocacy and camaraderie are at the heart of these organizations. Though, an added benefit is more visibility to potential clients or customers.

IAFF – International Association of Fire Fighters
www.iaff.org

AIHA – American Industrial Hygiene Association
www.aiha.org

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration
www.osha.org

AHMP – Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals
www.ahmpnet.org