An online fire science degree is a program through the Internet that provides a degree to be a firefighter. While many firefighters work on a volunteer basis, there is a growing need for professional firefighters who have been trained and instructed through formal teaching. Obtaining an online degree in fire science usually takes less time than through classroom instruction. An online fire science degree is geared toward those already involved in fire service or related fields, such as volunteer firefighters and emergency response workers.
Online fire science degree programs will teach students methods for fire suppression and cessation, crisis management, investigation strategies to determine the cause of the fire, community service instruction, fire detection systems, identification tactics for toxic materials, patterns of fires and safety practices. A student who begins to work toward an online fire science degree will quickly learn that there is much more to firefighting than simply putting out a fire. Those with a fire science degree are well equipped to eventually become a manager at a fire station.
An online fire science associate’s degree involves 60 credit hours, with 36 hours in fire science classes. Additional courses cover management and administration topics. Chemistry and engineering classes are recommended, and depending on the online fire science degree program, these subjects could be required. They provide a more solid basis for uncovering the causes of fires and for implementing fire prevention tactics.
A student can also receive a bachelor of science from an online fire science program. This degree involves more of a focus on disaster planning and the implementation of fire-protection services. A large focus is placed on leadership, as firefighters are expected to remain calm and in control while on a firefighting assignment. During training for online fire science degrees, students will be exposed to crisis situations such as fire on top stories in skyscrapers, fire on aircraft and hazardous product spills.
After completing an online fire science degree, not everyone becomes a firefighter. Additional jobs that can be pursued include positions in government agencies, hospitals, engineering firms, public safety agencies and contracting or architecture companies. Online degrees in fire science prepare individuals for careers in general crisis management, and several worksites include the possibility for disaster. Those who wish to work more directly in the line of firefighting can become a fire chief or fire prevention specialist. The higher the position within an organization, the higher the pay, but firefighters often work in poor and obviously dangerous conditions with low pay.