1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Rockport Maine

    Default General requirements to become a full time firefighter

    Hi, I am a senior in high school and will have been a fire fighter for 1.5 years by the time i'm out of high school. I am going to college next year for mechanical engineering, however I feel like firefighting is really what I am passionate about. I am currently taking a Firefighter I&II program and will have my end test finished by the first week in June. What requirements does your full time fire department have for hiring? I can transfer to a different college that specializes in firefighting/ fire science, however, I want to have a degree in a "brain job". Something where if i get hurt or I feel its not right after all, I have something to fall back on. By the time I am out of college I should have about 5.5 years of firefighting under my belt, and suggestions? Any advise will help.

    Thank you
    ~Hunter Schade

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Go for a fire protection engineer degree

    Schools by you

    Short of that look what your state requires for minimum just to apply and get that first

    Normally a degree is not required but looks good

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2013


    I know a couple guys that graduated with engineering degrees. A few are paid firefighters with great departments, another is an engineer. You're on a good course. Fit EMT in there somewhere and start applying (might have to wait until you're 21). Anyway, the fall back plan of engineering is a great one if you can hack it, and it will translate well into firefighting. I'd shy away from anything fire specific unless it's really something you'd want to be involved in as a civilian.

  4. #4
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    BackSteppin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    North Central Indiana


    I went to college and received an AAS degree in Fire science. It didn't help me at all get on my man! I get a whopping $500 extra a year at my FD.. So in a whole 30 yrs it might pay for schooling.. I also had about 6yrs volly and part time exp before getting hired on. I'd say get your degree in something you would love to fall back on!! Get your exp and certs through a volly or part time gig!

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2003


    First and foremost GO TO COLLEGE AND EARN YOUR 4 YEAR DEGREE!!!!!
    Have I made that clear enough?

    I am very involved with the hiring process. I can assure you that a 4 YEAR DEGREE makes a big difference. While a 2 year degree shows initiative, it's a long way from a 4 year degree.
    Most departments are not going to hire you at 21 anyway. Use this time (18-22) to earn something that will pay off for the rest of your life.

    Most of my peers fall into one of three categories:
    1. They had a degree before entering the fire service
    2. They are currently in school as a working professional working on a degree
    3. They earned a degree while working as a firefighter

    I went back to school at age 39 when I promoted to Battalion Chief (the Fire Chief made me promise). I was 9 classes short of an AS degree. I completed my AS degree. I then completed a Bachelors and a Masters. I am really glad I did. It helped me promote to my present position, it sends a great message to my kids (my daughter is a sophomore at a 4 year school), and most importantly it gives me credibility with department heads and public officials when I am advocating for issues for the fire department.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief

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