Bachelors in Fire Science Online Degree Programs of 2021

Bachelor's Degree in Fire Science Career Options & Salary

Overview of a Bachelor’s in Fire Science

The job market is slated to show a dramatic uptick in demand for firefighters in the foreseeable future. In response, colleges and universities have been putting more energy into developing programs for firefighters or students who wish to earn a fire science degree, such as a fire science bachelor’s degree. Completing an online or traditional fire science degree, you'll have the skills, knowledge, and credentials necessary to boost your firefighting career to the next level.

In your fire science program, whether it's online or in-person, you will learn more about how fires start, spread, and how to prevent the destruction they cause. Programs also feature courses that emphasize leadership and management functions, such as working with budgets and ethical concerns. Every course you take will inform your role in public health and safety. Below are some of the subjects you might study:

  • Building Inspection - Hazardous Materials
  • Fire Prevention and Fire Protection
  • Wildfire Science
  • Disaster Planning and Control
  • Fire and Emergency Management - Fire Resource Management
  • Fire and Emergency Services
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Fire Administration
  • And More
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  • Emergency Service Workers
  • Fire Prevention Supervisors
  • Fire Inspector
  • Firefighter
  • Wildfire Science Educator
  • Field Training Supervisor
  • Management positions at Emergency Services Departments
  • And More


Bachelor's fire science degree programs have many positive attributes. Chief among them is the fact that you will learn much about your choice of profession. Four-year fire science degree programs for firefighters will educate you on the very nature of fire, how it spreads, and how to prevent it. You will also learn about fire and emergency services, personnel management, public policy, and even how to work with a budget and resource manegement.

A bachelor's degree program typically offers other opportunities, as well. You may be able to augment your fire science major with a minor concentration in an area such as management, leadership, disaster planning and control, public policy, or political science, though these are likely less easy to access through online learning.

On top of the incredible intellectual benefits, your career will receive a boost as well. Firefighters with a degree are able to command higher pay, promotions, and heightened responsibility around the firehouse. Since degrees are relatively rare in the profession, yours will help you stand out from the pack and gain access to supervisory positions.


While there are many positive aspects of a Bachelor's Degree in Fire Science, there may also be drawbacks. One of the biggest drawback is the up-front financial outlay. You may have to take on debt to complete your degree, even if it is earned online, and there's no iron-clad guarantee that your salary will increase enough to make the expense worth it. While a degree is often worthwhile, it is not a sure-fire investment.

Along the way to your degree, you will also see that college takes a lot of your time. It may be difficult to schedule time to study and complete assignments. This means that you will need to schedule your studies to accommodate both your work and your family life. Students who attend online must also be careful to set aside time to do their schoolwork.

Another consideration is that, while your Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Degree may put you ahead of the pack, there are still position which may require a master's degree.

Certificate vs. Bachelor's

If you have an online associate degree in an area unrelated to fire science, you might be tempted to return to school for a certificate. After all, you can complete a certificate program in a year or so; it costs less and the added credentials are sure to boost your marketability. However, you should consider an online Bachelor of Science in Fire Science instead.

A four-year degree will take longer and cost more, that is true. However, the long-term benefits in terms of your salary and job opportunities may outweigh those concerns. Furthermore, if you ever decide to leave the firefighting profession, a bachelor's degree will help ease your transition, regardless of what path you choose.

What Fire Science Bachelor’s Degrees are Available Online?

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
    A BS in Fire Science is probably the most common degree conferred in this field. A BS is fairly interchangeable with a Bachelor of Arts, but generally a BS indicates that you have focused more on analytical and scientific topics.
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Fire Science
    A BAS typically indicates that your degree focused on career-minded topics that are specific to the occupation. This might suit your professional goals, but keep in mind that students sometimes have trouble transferring their BAS credits to a graduate program. If this concerns you, you can discuss the matter with your academic adviser.
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Fire Science
    A BA in Fire Science may be a bit less common than a BS, but the two degrees are often nearly identical. Every program is unique, but generally a BA degree will put slightly more emphasis on non-analytical or non-scientific subjects such as public policy, ethics, and management topics. Review your program's curriculum to make sure you are going to study the topics most pertinent to your particular career path.
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Fire Science
    Most applied degrees come from programs that focus more on occupational issues rather than purely academic topics. Your instruction may rest on course with less rigorous academic research. For this reason, you’ll need to think about how well your credits might transfer. You might also see what you can learn about the instructors' backgrounds, as someone with experience in the field will be better able to prepare you for it.

Admission Requirements

To enter an online Bachelor's program for Fire Science you will need a high school diploma, or the equivalent. You will also need to supply sufficient scores on the SAT or ACT, as well as an admissions essay and letters of recommendation. Though not every program will have such requirements, if you intend on applying to multiple schools, you will likely need all of those items for at least a few applications.

If you already have an Associate Degree in Fire Science from another school, you will need to have your official transcripts sent to your new school. Additionally, you may be well served by including information regarding your experience as a firefighter, if any. On that note, some fire science programs require that all applicants be certified firefighters in their state.

How long does it take to earn a Fire Science Bachelor's Online?

Though most Bachelor of Science in Fire Science degree programs are designed to take four years, the duration largely depends on you. Some students skip all summer breaks, take extra classes, and generally immerse themselves in school so that they can graduate in three or three and a half years. Most students, however, take up to six years to graduate.

Before you apply to a baccalaureate program, take time to consider how you can manage to maintain a full-time course load while meeting your work and family obligations. To help realize this goal, seek out schools that offer at least some online courses.

Potential Careers in Fire Science with a Bachelor’s

  • Firefighter
    Firefighters need only a high school diploma and the physical ability to fight fires. The job generally entails several days straight, living in the firehouse, interspersed with similar stretches at home where you might pursue online courses or otherwise strive to advance your career.
    The average salary for firefighters is $48,400.
  • Fire Inspector
    This profession entails inspecting buildings to make sure that they have adequate fire safety equipment, unobstructed egress, etc. Fire inspectors also investigate suspicious fires to determine the cause of the fire and how it spread, to either make a case for or against arson.
    Fire Inspectors earn an average salary of $52,100.
  • Fire Chief
    This position requires a great deal of administrative wherewithal, as well as a deep knowledge of emergencies and proper responses. You'll need to implement protocols to ensure that your team has the best equipment possible and is adequately staffed to handle any sort of emergency.
    This position pays an average salary of $79,700.
  • Forester
    Foresters need to have a deep knowledge of fire science, especially those who work in the western states, where fires have increased in number and severity in recent years. You will also spend a good deal of time collecting census data in the forest.
    The average salary for a forester is $52,000.
  • HazMat Removal
    This job might entail clean-up after a fire, but this work can also be a valuable part of fire prevention. You will need to know about how certain volatile chemicals interact and how to best handle them to avoid problems, such as an environmental disaster. HazMat removal work might be great experience for future firefighters.
    These workers earn an average salary of $39,400.

Options to Advance

If you are working in a fire station and want to advance, you can take two general, non-exclusive routes. First, and most traditionally, you can work hard and let your experience be the primary force in your advancement. Your experience is bound to provide lots of practical on-the-job skill and knowledge, but it won't necessarily give you an edge over the competition.

On the other hand, you could pursue an online Bachelor's Degree in Fire Science that will give you an edge over those who don't have a degree. When you earn a degree, you are able to effectively leapfrog many years in the trenches to achieve a broader base of knowledge. Your knowledge base in emergency management, the science of fire, and public administration will help you not only manage a firehouse with utmost efficiency, but it will help you facilitate relationships with your city, county, or state officials.

Best Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Programs

  • University of New Haven
    New Haven, CT

    The University of New Haven has designed a comprehensive fire science program that includes two concentrations: fire investigation and fire administration. Their administration concentration will groom you for leadership in a fire department, while the investigation focus is packaged with a criminal justice minor to help you craft a career as an investigator.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science – Fire Administration concentration
    • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science – Fire/Arson Investigation concentration
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice
    New York, NY

    The John Jay College is world famous for its alumni, who are some of the top fire investigators in the nation. The admission requirements for this program are stringent and include Calculus II and General Physics. This program is focused on the science of fire and investigating arson cases.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
    • Master of Science in Fire Protection Management
  • East Georgia State College
    Augusta, GA

    East Georgia State College offers a degree that focuses on the administration of emergency services more than fire science. However, if you wish to advance your career into the administration of fire services, this is the degree for you. Later, if you need more knowledge of fire science, you can find an online certificate program in Fire Science. Thus, you can become the ultimate fire professional.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Arts in Fire and Emergency Services Administration
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    Charlotte, NC

    UNCC offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Safety Engineering Technology. The program is designed to produce graduates whose knowledge is balanced between technical and non-technical approaches to the field of fire safety. As your work progresses, the program offers courses online for your convenience.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Safety Engineering Technology
  • New Jersey City University
    Jersey City, NJ

    With a Bachelor of Science in Fire Science from New Jersey City University, you will be on track to become a top-notch firefighter and then a leader in your fire department. The program seeks to emulate real-world scenarios to give students practical knowledge and experience that will make all the difference when they enter the working world.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science

Traditional Schools Offering a BS in Fire Science

  • Purdue Global University

    Purdue is a top university that is now offering its courses to students worldwide. Their Fire Science Bachelor of Science program will groom you for success as a fire investigator, manager, and firefighter. Purdue's program follows the FESHE model and is accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC).

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management
    • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
  • University of Florida Online

    Thanks to the internet, you can now take Fire Science courses from the University of Florida no matter where in the world you are. With your laptop and a Wi-Fi connection, you can prepare for a brilliant career in emergency services management, fire department management, insurance investigations, or state government, among other possible outcomes.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services
    • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology
  • University of Cincinnati

    Ohio's University of Cincinnati offers future firefighters and fire prevention professionals the opportunity to study online. The program will steep you in knowledge on topics ranging from fire services administration to fire investigation and analysis. Since the program is offered online, you can take courses from your bunk in the firehouse.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology
    • Associate of Applied Science in Fire Service Technology
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte Online

    UNCC can now prepare you for a stellar career in Fire Safety through their Engineering Technology department. You will be prepared to fight fires both on the ground and from the administration offices. Since the degree includes coursework in public administration, you can branch out beyond the fire department, if you so desire.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Safety Engineering Technology
  • University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh

    The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh claims the distinction of being the very first online Fire and Emergency Response program to receive full accreditation from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). Once you graduate, you will have the management and leadership skill necessary to thrive in contemporary fire departments. You might also pursue a career in public safety and address emergencies from a broader perspective.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Bachelor's Degree in Fire & Emergency Response Management – Fire Services Management
    • Bachelor's Degree in Fire & Emergency Response Management – Emergency Management

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