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2022 Fire Protection Degree Guide

Students who major in Fire Protection major make the world a safer place by learning how to fight and prevent fires as well as rescue people from dangerous situations. There are several concentrations in this major, allowing students to specialize in something that interests them.

Fire Science or Fire Fighting is one concentration that teaches students how to fight fires using special equipment. Students will learn how to fight different types of fires with practical techniques, as well as how to rescue victims, investigate fires, and dispose of hazardous materials.

Fire Prevention and Safety Technology will teach you how to prevent accidents through controlling hazardous materials, as well as control fire and smoke, prevent fires and assess risk for homes and communities.

Other concentrations of interest include Arson Investigation and Prevention; Wild Land / Forest Firefighting and Investigation and others.

A Recent Jump in Fire Protection Degrees

#118 Most Popular Major
13.8k Degrees Awarded
4.3% Increase in Graduates

Fire Protection was the 118th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 13,766 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 4.3% increase in fire protection degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 13,176.

Our 2023 Best Fire Protection Schools ranking analyzes 184 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for fire protection students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of fire protection programs later in this article.

Best Fire Protection Schools by Degree

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Fire Protection

Students should be committed to public service and helping others. In Fire Science, you will need to be physically strong and have the ability to act quickly under pressure in emergency situations. Learn to rely on your teammates and peers in order to work together to achieve a goal.

The study of Fire Prevention requires strong math and science skills. You will take courses in physics and calculus when learning about new materials that can help fire prevention. Logic and attention to detail will help you assess risk factors and predict hazards. Most schools will require you to intern with a government agency or private company before graduating.

Getting Accepted Into a Fire Protection Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic fire protection program qualifications, to serve in some fire protection careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Fire Protection Degree Types

There are various different levels of fire protection degrees. Fire Protection programs offered by schools range from a to a , which is the highest fire protection degree you can get. Fire Protection programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to fire protection, with approximately 28.4% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for fire protection workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 24.3%
High School Diploma 23.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate 14.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 14.1%
Some College Courses 13.8%

50.1% of fire protection workers have at least a associate. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in fire protection have received.


This of course varies depending on which fire protection career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Fire Protection Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$54k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A major in Fire Protection prepares students for a variety of careers including firefighting, fire protection engineering or disaster relief service. Graduates also possess the skills to investigate arson and assess risk for private insurance companies or government agencies.

Growth Projected for Fire Protection Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your fire protection degree? Fire Protection careers are expected to grow 7.8% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to fire protection.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Firefighters 350,900 7.2%
Fire Fighting Supervisors 63,300 7.1%
Fire Inspectors 13,200 7.3%
Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists 2,200 29.4%

How Much Money Do Fire Protection Grads Make?

Recently graduated fire protection students earned an average of $53,963 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $23,410 to as high as $103,432. As you might expect, salaries for fire protection graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Fire Protection Majors

Salaries for fire protection graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers fire protection grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Fire Fighting Supervisors $80,310
Fire Inspectors $64,140
Firefighters $53,240
Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists $49,610

Getting Your Fire Protection Degree

With over 1,080 different fire protection degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased fire protection school rankings to help you with this.

Fire Protection is one of 4 different types of Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting programs to choose from.

Fire Protection Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
Fire Science 8,102
Fire Prevention & Safety Technology/Technician 3,891
Fire Services Administration 1,450
Other Fire Protection 126
Wildl&/Forest Firefighting & Investigation 90

View All Fire Protection Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Criminal Justice & Corrections 113,121
Homeland Security 7,140
Security Science and Technology 6,888
Other Homeland Security 1,695

View All Fire Protection Related Majors >


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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