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Thread: College degree

  1. #1
    Forum Member
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    Nov 2011

    Question College degree

    Hello! I am a college student that is perusing the fire service field to become a firefighter paramedic. I am currently in the process of attaining my Associates degree in fire science at my community college. I am also doing general ed classes to transfer to a four year university to get a bachelors degree. I am thinking about getting my bachelors in engineering so I can fall on that career path if the fire service does not work out for me. After completing my bachelors, I want to get my masters degree in fire protection engineering. I do ride alongs with my fire science teachers department and I enjoy every moment of it. I feel this job is right for me even though it has its ups and down.

    I have a couple of questions...

    -If I get a Associates degree in fire science and a bachelors degree in engineering, will it be harder for me to get into a department with a bachelors in engineering?

    -Is a fire science degree strictly needed to get hired onto a department?

    -What degrees do departments look for and prefer?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by xiongk09; 11-18-2011 at 07:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Jul 2003


    Once again.......

    1. Use the search feature. This question is asked and answered multiple times a month, sometimes multiple times a week.

    2. You need to check with the jurisdiction in which you are interested in applying at exactly what their prerequisites for employment are. Some places require college credits, some places require a degree in something fire-related, some places require absolutely NOTHING at all. They all differ. YOU contact where you want to apply and YOU ascertain what they want. Do NOT rely on the word of someone on the internet.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
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    Nov 2009


    Yes a FPE is a great degree

    A little waste if you go into a fd , unless you use it on a side job

    If you spend that much time and effort suggest you find a FPE job and volunteer on the side

  4. #4
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    Mar 2003


    An AS degree in Fire Science is a wise choice. A Bachelors degree in communication, engineering or fire protection are all good. A degree would NEVER hurt your chances of getting hired. Whomever told you that most likely does not have a degree.
    I find that upper ranks in the fire service all (most) have Bachelors degrees. Many of us have Masters degrees. It is our level that is doing the hiring. We recognize the effort and commitment it takes to earn a degree. Everyone has an excuse as to why they don't have one. Those who find ways to overcome the excuses are successful in completing it.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief

  5. #5
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    Dec 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    A little waste if you go into a fd , unless you use it on a side job
    The FPE degree, whether bachelors or masters level, has significant use in the fire department. Some larger departments employ FPE's at the department level; other municipalities or counties may employ FPE's in the building/permitting department. Additionally, the degree would be very useful if you pursue a fire inspector career track. The degree has a heavy focus on structural issues and fire protection systems, all used day-to-day in the inspections department.

    Take the educational track you want. Many places care only that you have a degree, irregardless what the major may be. As someone above stated, if you have a desire with a specific department, research that department.

  6. #6
    Forum Member pmturner94's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    Philadelphia, PA


    Don't get a degree in Fire Protection Engineering unless you want to be a Fire Protection Engineer, it's a highly specialized discipline in the engineering community and requires a high level of dedication.

    My department allows you to use a college degree for additional points on promotional exams, not for hiring. Graduate degrees carry more weight than undergraduate degrees, but they must be in Fire Science, Public Safety Management, or a related discipline.

    Personally, I would wait until you are hired as a firefighter and have actual firefighting experience before you pursue a degree in such a narrow discipline as Fire Science or Public Safety Management.

    Make the most of your education dollars by studying something that you have a passion for, not simply because it may provide you with an edge in the hiring process. You may spend thousands of dollars on a degree in fire science or fire protection only to find out that fighting fire for real isn't at all what you thought it would be.

    I pursued a degree in political science because that was what most interested me at the university I attended. It served me well as a Captain in the Marine Corps and I had every intention that I would stay in that profession. Turns out, my desire to be a fireman outweighed my desire to continue being a Marine!

    Best of luck in your endeavors.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
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    Nov 2005


    Try openfireacademy.org, they offer certification courses in all areas of fire courses/ FESHE/ and offer degree program as well. So in other words you can get both bangs at once at the same place, and you can study and do your work at your own pace. They are IFSAC and Pro-Board Certification but you can get dual for those through them and get a Regional Accredited college degree. 1-800-225-9567 or openfireacademy.org.

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