With more fire departments seeking more qualified candidates, does a fire science degree help you get hired or promoted? There is a lot of discussion about this topic, so lets take a look at some options for your fire science degrees.
One of the easiest ways to get your fire science degree is to earn it online while working. Many firefighters have found that a degree from an accredited program that is earned from an online school, like Eastern Kentucky University or Kaplan University have helped them. While not every person can attend school prior to being hired by a fire department, if you have the opportunity to do so, it can help you get hired on the department that you want.
When it comes to being hired on a fire department, there are several things that will help prepare you for the job. First is the personal fitness level required to go through the testing. Many departments are using the Candidate Physical Agility Test (CPAT). This intense test measures your ability to complete job related tasks within a certain time period, which is usually around 10 minutes.
The next area that many departments look at is your math, science and analytical skills through a written test. This isn’t always completed by every department, however larger cities use a civil service exam for most applicants.
The reason that a fire science degree will help you in the hiring process is due to the fact that many degrees will teach you fundamental applications about fire service operations that will help you during the hiring process. It will also show the department that you are wanting to be hired by that you have made an effort in learning and educating yourself about particular information related to the fire service in general.
Now, if you are wanting to be promoted in the department that you are currently working for, an online degree related to the fire service will help you also. Some departments will give you extra points during the promotion process for almost any degree, however an advanced degree in the fire service helps because they often focus on leadership and administration, more intense areas of focus on incident management and command and other topics that go beyond the basic training that many people have obtained.
So what does this have to do with firefighter health and wellness? Well, you can also put yourself above other candidates by having a personal fitness degree or personal trainer certification. You can obtain some of these online, however most of the more recognized certifications require that you attend a class and have continued education to maintain these certifications.
One of the main things to remember is that not all online fire science degrees are created equal. Some of the programs offer basic things that you can learn without having a degree, such as haz-mat training, basic hydraulics, etc. However, some of the more recognized programs will give you several different degree options, such as Administration, Investigation, Fire Engineering and other programs.