30 Best Online Fire Science Degree Programs [2020 Guide]

Explore the 30 Best Online Fire Science Degree Programs for 2020. Compare top schools, online programs, careers, and salaries.

Online Fire Science Degree

Are you interested in pursuing an online Fire Science degree? Your twin passions for solving problems and serving the public can help you to excel in this critical field.

Choose between an associate or bachelor degree and prepare yourself to earn $50,000 or more per year.

Online Fire Science Degree Programs

You’re looking at two options when pursuing a degree in Fire Science.

Compare fire science programs to see which one is the right choice for you.

Associate’s in Fire Science

firefighters disinfecting the streets

Many people choose to earn their Fire Science degrees in two years using an associate’s degree program.

An A.S. in Fire Science can prepare you for service examinations to become a firefighter or fire investigator. You will learn all of the basics that go into both prevention and response.


Additionally, you will graduate from a program with the qualifications that may help you to take on a supervisory role after you accumulate enough work experience. This depends primarily on the size of your community though, as larger cities prefer candidates with a bachelor degree.

Bachelor’s in Fire Science

fire inspector checking the fire extinguisher

Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science typically start in the same positions as an associate-level graduates, performing duties as a firefighter or other type of emergency responder.

With a bachelor degree, however, you are more likely to qualify for management or more specialized roles, such as Fire Investigator or Fire Inspector. You’ll still need to put your time in before promotion, but you won’t need a master’s degree to advance in the field.


If you do want to teach Fire Science, though, a bachelor degree sets you up to enter a master’s program and eventually earn your advanced degree.

What Will You Learn in an Online Fire Science Program?

What Will You Learn in an Online Fire Science Program

A Fire Science degree will show you how to prevent and respond to fires. You will need both technical skills and skills for situational management.

Here’s a look at some courses you can expect to encounter while studying Fire Science:

Building Construction provides an overview of the relationship between building codes and fire procedures.

Defense Planning instructs students on how to prepare for fires and come up with evacuation plans.

Fire Behavior provides a core understanding of the way fires begin and spread by looking at chemical properties.

Fire Prevention goes over prevention procedures.

Fire Suppression covers how to put out fires and prevent spreading.

Hydraulics and Water covers basic water defense systems like hoses, ladders, and lift systems.

Things like the basics of emergency services, fire behavior, building construction, cooperation with government entities, protection systems, preventative measures, and fire behavior are all typically covered in a degree program.

You will also probably be introduced to HAZMAT and OSHA regulations.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Fire Science?

Fire Science Degree Salary

A degree in Fire Science will put you at the front line of keeping both the public and ecosystem safe from fires. You will be working in both preventative and responsive capacities in this field. Here’s a look at some typical roles for graduates of Fire Science programs:

  • Firefighter
  • Fire Investigator
  • Fire Inspector
  • Fire Marshal/Commissioner
  • Forensic Investigator
  • Safety/Plant Manager

Many people with this degree choose to work in the public sector. However, many private companies with manufacturing or production settings need experts with these very unique skills.

Fire Science Degree Salary

Fire Science Degree Salary

Fire experts are often paid generously because they serve essential roles that keep both property and people safe.

Here’s a look at some salary trends:

All salary and job information is provided by PayScale and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fire Science Professional Organizations

Professional Organizations for Those with a Degree in Fire Science

You will be in a very rare and specialized role when you step into your career as a fire specialist. It can be helpful to be in the loop with other professionals who are steeped in the same intense tasks that you are. Here’s a look at the associations that should be on your radar:

The International Association of Firefighters is the labor union that represents full-time firefighters throughout the United States and Canada.

The International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Service is a networking organization that promotes education, support, and advocacy for women employed in fire service.

The U.S. Fire Administration is the top federal agency for fire data collection, public education on fires, fire research, and related training. This agency is a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

These groups are important because they keep you on the cutting edge of what’s happening in your industry. They also provide advocacy that will help to ensure that you can look out for yourself while pursuing a career that keeps others safe.

Fire Science Certification and Licensure

emergency medical technologist looking at a clipboard

Many people decide to pursue EMT certification after obtaining a fire science degree.

This combination may put you at an advantage when applying to roles as a first responder.

What’s more, it should give you added confidence whenever you need to walk into potentially high-risk situations throughout your career.

Accreditation for a Fire Science Degree Online

Accreditation for a Fire Science Degree Online

Regional accreditation is something to consider when planning for your Fire Science degree. While not necessary, regional accreditation does often make your degree more attractive to employers. Regional accreditation is proof that your school has passed a stringent review process.

Those seeking degrees in Fire Science also need to be aware of accreditation from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC).

This is a top-level accreditation that is explicitly granted to institutions of higher education with programs for fire and emergency. This accreditation is a sign that a program meets strict criteria.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid for a Fire Science Degree Online

The financial aid opportunities that are available to you as you seek a degree in Fire Science will be the same opportunities that are available to students seeking any degree types through accredited two-year and four-year programs.

This includes everything from federal grants and loans to work-study programs and state aid.

Private organizations often provide special scholarships for firefighters. The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) provides access to a number of private scholarships from institutions. You may also find that your local firefighter union offers scholarship opportunities.

Get a Fire Science Degree Online

Can You Get a Fire Science Degree Online?

Yes, you can get a Fire Science degree online. It is possible that you will need to complete at least a portion of the training that goes along with this very intense field of study in person on a practicum level.

How Do I Get a Degree in Fire Science?

fire science degree student studying in a library

The path to a degree in Fire Science begins by finding a program that works for you. You’ll first need to decide if you’d like to pursue a two-year or four-year degree. This is a crucial decision because it may impact your career path once you begin applying to jobs following graduation.

A two-year degree program for Fire Science will be sufficient if your goal is to become a firefighter. A two-year degree is likely going to be a more desirable option for you if you have your eye on a supervisory role.

Jobs related to fire safety and investigation in the private sector can often be obtained with both two-year and four-year degrees. However, what you’ll generally find is that four-year degrees typically set you up for supervisory roles.

The final perk to discuss in relation to four-year degrees is that you will have the option to pursue a master’s degree that’s related to your field. You may find that your career path puts you in the spot of needing a master’s degree in engineering or a related field after a few years.

How Much Does a Fire Science Degree Cost?

fire science degree student studying at home

The full cost of a Fire Science degree varies based on a few different factors. The obvious factor is the length of study you choose.

An associate’s degree in Fire Science that is earned in two years is obviously going to be less expensive than other degree options. This is why it’s often the recommended route for those aspiring to become firefighters.

For instance, the average cost of a two-year degree from a public college is somewhere around $10,000.

The cost to get a four-year degree in Fire Science varies wildly. The price will essentially be the same as the cost for any other type of bachelor’s degree from the same institution.

The primary benefit of completing a program online is that there won’t be any need to pay fees for room and board that can put the price out of reach for so many.

List of Schools Offering Online Fire Science Degrees

Each of these colleges and universities is regionally accredited and offers associate or bachelor degrees in fire science online.

#1  Albany Technical College

Albany Technical College campus

  • AAS in Fire Science Technology

Albany Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#2  American Military University

American Military University campus

  • AA in Fire Science

American Military University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#3  American Public University

American Public University campus

  • BS in Fire Science Management

APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#4  Anna Maria College

Anna Maria College campus

  • BS in Fire Science

Anna Maria College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

#5  Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green State University campus

  • BS in Fire Administration

Bowling Green State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#6  Bucks County Community College

Bucks County Community College campus

  • AA in Fire Science

Bucks County Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#7  Casper College

Casper College campus

  • AAS in Fire Science

Casper College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#8  Colorado State University

Colorado State University campus

  • BS in Fire and Emergency Services Administration

Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#9  Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University campus

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Protection Administration
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology

Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#10  Eastern Oregon University

Eastern Oregon University campus

  • BA in Fire Services Administration
  • BS in Fire Services Administration

Eastern Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#11  Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University campus

  • BS in Fire and Emergency Services Administration

Fayetteville State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#12  Florida State College at Jacksonville

Florida State College at Jacksonville campus

  • AS in Fire Science Technology

Florida State College at Jacksonville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#13  Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College campus

  • AS in Fire Science Technology

Hillsborough Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#14  Idaho State University

Idaho State University campus

  • AS in Fire Services Administration
  • BS in Fire Services Administration

Idaho State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

#15  Johnson County Community College

Johnson County Community College campus

  • AA in Fire Services Administration

Johnson County Community College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#16  Keiser University

Keiser University campus

  • AS in Fire Science

Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#17  Lake Superior College

Lake Superior College campus

  • AS in Fire Science and Administration

Lake Superior College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#18  Lakeland Community College

Lakeland Community College campus

  • AAS in Fire Science Technology

Lakeland Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#19  Liberty University

Liberty University campus

  • BS in Fire Administration

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#20  Mount Wachusett Community College

Mount Wachusett Community College campus

  • Associate’s degree in Fire Science Technology

MWCC is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#21  Passaic County Community College

Passaic County Community College campus

  • AAS in Fire Science Technology

Passaic County Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#22  Providence College

Providence College campus

  • BS in Fire Administration

Providence College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#23  Purdue University

Purdue University campus

  • BS in Fire and and Emergency Management
  • BS in Fire Science

Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#24  St Petersburg College

St Petersburg College campus

  • AS in Fire Science Technology

St. Petersburg College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#25  University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati campus

  • BS in Fire Science and Safety Engineering Technology

UC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#26  University of Florida

University of Florida campus

  • BS in Fire and Emergency Services

The University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#27  University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus

  • BAS in Fire and Emergency Response Management

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.

#28  Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State Community College campus

  • AAS in Fire Science

Volunteer State Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#29  Waldorf University

Waldorf University campus

  • AA in Fire Science
  • BS in Fire Science Administration

Waldorf University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#30  Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University campus

  • BS in Fire Protection Services – Fire Science

Western Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Is a Degree in Fire Science Worth It?

firefighters working together to put out a fire

Yes, a degree in Fire Science is worth it. Firefighters earn close to $50,000 per year.

There’s a good chance that you’ve always been a little more daring than the people around you. In fact, you’re probably the type of person to walk toward a problem instead of running away from it.

It’s hard to frame the idea of a degree in Fire Science as something that’s “worth it” if you’re simply a person with a passion for taking care of problems and keeping those around you safe.

The simple answer is that you’re going to be walking into a very rewarding career that challenges your mind, body, and skills on a daily basis. There’s simply no gliding by in this industry!

firefighter saving a child from a fire

Entering a two-year or four-year program for Fire Science is entirely worth it if you have your mind set on becoming a firefighter.

In fact, obtaining this necessary credential is going to make it possible to begin applying to positions that are open in the fire department in your own town or state soon after graduation.

It’s also worth looking into four-year degrees if you think you’d like to use your skills and expertise to move into the private sector or government sector at some point.

A four-year degree is an excellent option if you’re looking for the possibility of being promoted and carving out a very long and fulfilling career.

How do you become a trusted fire expert? It all begins by getting into a program that will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and credentials necessary to be taken seriously. Apply to the degree program that will fuel your fire for a Fire Science career today!

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Carmen Reed
Carmen Reed
Author
Stephen Wilson
Stephen Wilson
Editor