Fire Science programs prepare graduates for success in a fire and emergency service environment, along with the leadership skills to be successful in progressing through the ranks of the fire and emergency services. Most experienced firefighters continue studying to improve their job performance and prepare for promotion examinations. To progress to higher level positions, they acquire expertise in advanced fire fighting equipment and techniques, building construction, emergency medical technology, writing, public speaking, management and budgeting procedures, and public relations.
Opportunities for promotion depend upon the results of written examinations, as well as job performance, interviews, and seniority. Hands-on tests that simulate real-world job situations also are used by some fire departments. Usually, firefighters are first promoted to engineer, then lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, assistant chief, deputy chief, and finally, chief. For promotion to positions higher than battalion chief, many fire departments now require a bachelor’s degree, preferably in fire science, public administration, or a related field. The National Fire Academy requires a bachelor’s degree to be admitted into the Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP).
- Fire Science (degree/diplomas)
- Firefighter/Emergency Medical Services Professional (diploma)
- Fire Officer I/II TCCs
- Firefighter I/II TCCs
- Basic Fire Company Officer TCC