Often the first on the scene in an emergency, firefighters are America’s heroes! They train to respond to fires, medical emergencies, and disasters. According to the US Fire Administration, in 2018, there were an estimated 370,000 career firefighters in the US. There were an additional 745,000 volunteer firefighters that work in small communities for no pay. There is an increasing need for firefighters in the US. The jobs in the industry with a fire science associates degree are more plentiful than you may think.
For seasoned firefighters, an Associates Degree in Fire Science will open up higher-tiered jobs within your fire departments, such as a captain or a deputy fire chief. You can also become a manager of the customer-facing side of the fire department that deals with customer support and services. So, if you are interested in starting a career as a firefighter or advancing your career with a fire science degree, now is a great time to start. We have compiled a list for you of the Top 10 Online Associates in Fire Science for 2022 to get you started!
How We Ranked The Top Online Schools Associates Degrees in Fire Science
The Online Schools Guide editors found schools offering online or hybrid Associate Degrees in Fire Science. Then we ranked the programs based on cost, reputation, and future salary.
|1. University Of Cincinnati||AAS in Fire Service Technology|
|2. Keiser University||AS in Fire Science|
|3. Lanier Technical College||AAS in Fire Science Technology|
|4. Southern Arkansas University Tech||AAS in Fire and Emergency Response, AS in Fire Science Management|
|5. American Public University||AS in Fire Science|
|6. Black River Technical College||AS in Fire Service Administration|
|7. Casper College||AAS in Fire Science|
|8. Delta College||AAS in Fire Science|
|9. Alamance Community College||AAS in Fire Protection Technology|
|10. Albany Technical College||AAS in Fire Science|
1. University Of Cincinnati
|Degree: AAS in Fire Service Technology|
The University of Cincinnati online Associate of Applied Science in Fire Service Technology program will boost your career as a firefighter. One of the leading online associates in fire science in the country, the university prides itself on knowledge of fire science in all forms. The program teaches safety, risk management, and personnel management. Building construction and terrorism are also discussed through online courses in the program. Furthermore, students with paramedic or fire inspector certifications can receive advanced standing credit toward the degree requirements.
The UC fire programs cater to firefighters interested in promotions and advancement in the fire service. In addition to the online Associates degree, The University of Cincinnati also offers an online Bachelor’s of Science (BS) in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology. Available to students in the UC fire programs, the Bennett Family Scholarship grants $1000 every year to one student enrolled in the school’s Fire Science Program.
2. Keiser University
|Degree: AS in Fire Science|
Keiser University’s online Associate of Science Degree in Fire Science provides certified firefighters with the additional knowledge needed to do their jobs at the highest level. Crisis management, leadership, and management skills are taught to students while maintaining impeccable standards of education. Students also learn about fire investigations and other facets of the job in online courses. The sheer breadth of knowledge assimilated with their program makes Keiser a leading school of online associates of fire science. The program focuses on working firefighters studying at their leisure with typically one intensive class a month. The Keiser Fire Science degree program is 100% online. However, students must apply for admission through the school’s Sarasota campus.
Kaiser University is a private university with campuses in nineteen Florida locations and many online degrees. Kaiser is known for providing career-focused education for in-demand jobs. The school has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
3. Lanier Technical College
|Degree: AAS in Fire Science Technology|
Lanier Technical College has a Fire Science Technology Associates of Applied Science degree program offered online or in-person. The degree program is for students new to fire science, as well as current firefighters interested in upgrading skills. The program consists of 62 credits and takes most students six semesters to complete. What makes Lanier Technical College a viable entry of online associates of fire science is the quality of instruction. Lanier’s Fire Science Technology program is robust. The school offers five certificates, two diplomas, and two Associate’s degrees in fire science. No stone is unturned, and the course offerings range from hazardous materials to fire service instructor courses.
The Lanier Technical College campus is in Gainsville and is a member of the Technical College System of Georgia. LTC is well-known for its affordable workforce development degrees, certificates, and diploma programs.
4. Southern Arkansas University Tech
|Degree: AAS in Fire and Emergency Response, AS in Fire Science Management|
Southern Arkansas University Tech offers two online Associates degrees in Fire Science. Both online associates in fire science degrees take sixty credits to complete and are transferrable to four-year programs. However, each program is for a different role. The first degree is the Associate’s of Applied Science (AAS) in Fire and Emergency Response. This degree is for emergency responders and firefighters. The second degree is for managers and officers of Arkansas fire departments and is the Associate of Science (AS) Fire Science Management.
Southern Arkansas’s fire science degrees impart the finer details of fire science to aspiring firefighters. Of course, there are plenty of online associates of fire science to choose from. Still, Southern Arkansas University Tech’s program covers everything you need to earn that coveted degree. Arson investigation, legal aspects of fire services, fire prevention, and fire administration are just some of the courses offered in the program. Southern Arkansas University Tech also offers scholarships to students in the program that cover tuition costs.
5. American Public University
|Degree: AS in Fire Science|
The American Public University online Associate of Science in Fire Science degree prepares firefighters and aspiring firefighters for leadership roles and advancement through the ranks in the industry. Students will learn about the history of combating fires and how science applies to the spread of fire and fire retention strategies. Students will also learn leadership skills through classes focused on legal aspects of fire safety and administration work.
Courses are online and last from eight to sixteen weeks. There are monthly start dates so students can begin the program throughout the year. APU offers a tuition discount for military and veterans that qualify. In addition, the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress accredits the APU program. The attention to detail makes American Public University one of the best online associates of fire science degrees to earn. The American Public University campus is in Charles Town, West Virginia.
6. Black River Technical College
|Degree: AS in Fire Service Administration|
The Black River Technical College’s online Associate of Science in Fire Service Administration focuses on municipal and rural fire protection administration. This program is a sixty-credit associates degree and is the only 100% online BRTC Firefighter program. Students prepare for administrative and leadership positions in the fire service. Black River Technical College has one of the better online associates of fire service administration programs in the nation. Furthermore, students in Arkansas or neighboring states can take advantage of the school’s other programs and training.
In addition to the online degree, the Black River fire science program offers two on-campus entry-level certificates. First, students can complete the Firefighters Essentials Certificate of Proficiency or Technical Certificate. These certificates stack to an Associates degree. Second, in addition to the online AS in Fire Service Administration, BRTC offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Fire Science. The school is associated with the Arkansas Fire Academy. The BRTC Fire Training Center is used to teach in-person classes to Arkansas Firefighters. The campus of Black River Technical College is in Pocahontas, Arkansas.
7. Casper College
|Degree: AAS in Fire Science|
Casper College and its online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Fire Science degree program bring quality education to working adults. This degree is for students entering the fire service or interested in advancement in the field. You can learn about fire science with intensive online classes that typically meet 2-4 hours a week. Some of the core courses for the Associates degree in fire science include fire fighting strategies, fire prevention, and firefighter development.
The Fire Science AAS at Casper is also a transfer degree program. Graduates moving to a bachelor’s degree program in fire science management will have approximately two years of credit towards the bachelor’s degree. Casper College has one of the more respected online associates of fire science programs in the country. In addition to the associates degree, the school offers a thirty-credit Fire Science Technology Certificate. Casper College’s campus is in Casper, Wyoming.
8. Delta College
|Degree: AAS in Fire Science|
Delta College’s online Associate in Applied Science in Fire Science degree is one of the most coveted in Michigan for firefighters. Students in the program usually become civil firefighters or work within the DNR (Michigan Department of Natural Resources) to be forest firefighters. However, some graduates of the program also go on to become excellent fire investigators.
Delta College focuses on fire prevention, fire fighting, leadership roles, and EMT classes to produce well-rounded graduates. This vast knowledge base within its graduates makes Delta College University Center, Michigan, an excellent destination for those seeking online associates of fire science.
9. Alamance Community College
|Degree: AAS in Fire Protection Technology|
The Alamance Community College online Associate in Applied Sciences in Fire Protection Technology is a stackable degree program. This short but powerful program focuses on fire protection. It includes classes in fire protection safety, fire suppression management, and public relations. Alamance Community College’s program covers all bases within the industry to further the knowledge of students looking to get into the industry or current firefighters wanting to expand their knowledge. In addition to the online Associates degree, Alamance offers three online certificate programs in Fire Protection, Fire Inspections, and Fire Protection Management.
Students earning the fifteen credit certificate take the same classes as the degree students. After earning a certificate, students can earn a thirty-three credit diploma and then a sixty-three credit associates degree. Designed to save time and money, this stackable fire safety program provides a guided degree path for the student. Alamance Community College’s program is a fine addition to the country’s quality online associates of fire science degrees. Alamance Community College opened in 1958 in the town of Graham, North Carolina. The two-year school is part of the public North Carolina Community College System and offers affordable degrees.
10. Albany Technical College
|Degree: AAS in Fire Science|
The online Associates of Applied Science in Fire Science at Albany Technical College is for fire service workers at all levels. The sixty-two credit online degree program takes most students approximately two years to complete. In addition to the associates degree, Albany also offers a Fire Science Technology Diploma. Students can complete this diploma program with fifty-six credit hours. A testament to the quality of education, the fire science program has a warranty from Albany Technical College. Therefore, the school will re-educate graduates that do meet program standards at no cost.
ATC is a member of the Technical College System of Georgia. Its main campus is in the town of Albany, Georgia. Students can choose from over seventy certificates, degrees, and diplomas. In addition, Albany Technical College provides degree pathways for students to transfer to six universities.
Can You Get An Online Associates Degree In Fire Science?
Yes – there are quite a few schools that offer online associates degrees in fire science. Students can typically complete a fire science associates degree program in two years with sixty-course credits. Fire science degree requirements usually include courses in building construction, firefighting, fire behavior and combustion, fire investigation and analysis, and fire and emergency services principles. Most fire science degree programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED.
What Jobs Can I Do With An Associates Degree In Fire Science?
There are many different fire science careers for individuals with an associates degree in fire science. Naturally, with a higher degree, there will be more job opportunities and a higher salary. An associates in fire science will open up higher-tiered jobs within your fire departments, such as a captain or a deputy fire chief. You can also become a manager of the customer-facing side of the fire department that deals with customer support and services. Below are a few examples of the job profiles and fire science degree salary with a fire science associates degree.
- Firefighters work in cities and towns and extinguish fires in emergencies where life, property, or the environment are at risk. Firefighters also work to combat forest fires or wildfires in large wooded areas. Firefighter duties can include fire prevention, search and rescue, disaster assistance, and emergency medical service. In cities, firefighters are emergency first responders and frequently deal with traffic accidents and medical emergencies.
- Median Annual wage: $52,500
Fire Inspector and Fire Investigator:
- Fire Inspectors and Fire Investigators conduct investigations and determine the cause of fires and explosions. They also inspect buildings for fire hazards and enforce state and local fire laws.
- Median Annual wage: $64,610
Supervisors of Firefighters:
- Supervisors of Firefighters oversee and coordinate the daily activities of a group of firefighters. Other names for this title are Fire Chief or Fire Captain.
- Median Annual wage: $78,870
What Comes Next After An Associates Degree In Fire Science?
A Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science will qualify an individual for even more jobs within the industry and include job opportunities outside of the industry. Within the industry, you can become a fire chief, fire marshal, or firefighter. Outside of the industry lies the most exciting possibilities in terms of jobs. For example, graduates can become safety managers for a company that may or may not include environmental health duties. You could also become an engineer and work within the fire industry on fire protection or sprinklers products. Master’s Degrees in Fire Science open up even more outside opportunities with companies and corporations, including safety consultancy.
What Is The Job Outlook For Fire Science And Firefighters?
According to the Bureau of Labor, firefighter jobs will grow eight percent (8%) between 2020 and 2030. Jobs will come from older workers retiring and the need for more firefighters due to population growth. Jobs will also come from the conversion of volunteer firefighting positions to paid positions. Simply put, there will always be fires, and we will always need firefighters. The job stability in this field makes a fire science degree worth it!
How Long Does It Take To Get An Associates Degree In Fire Science?
Many universities with online programs have a two-year degree program. Some community colleges have more concentrated online fire science associates degree programs that last as short as fourteen months. It all depends on how much time you have to study and work on your classes. Juggling school with working duties can be cumbersome, so the concentrated method may be a better option as there are fewer classes to attend. Still, much more information is contained within each class.
How Much Do Firefighters Make With A Degree In Fire Science?
Entry-level firefighters can make around $40,000 on average, to start with some of the more-seasoned veterans making close to $50,000 after a few years on the job. Having a degree in fire science makes you more valuable, not just to the department you work in but also to the open market. So, graduates tend to make a little more to start than your average entry-level firefighter as their salaries tend to fall somewhere in the middle.
Associate Degrees in Fire Science bring many opportunities for future work within the industry with an eye towards upper management. Jobs can vary from firefighters to fire chiefs and marshals as different degrees bring different job opportunities for the degree holder.