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Best Online Associate's in Fire Science
Top Online Degree Programs 2021

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If you are considering achieving an associate’s degree in fire sciences, you have come to the right place. This is the perfect degree pathway for those interested in understanding the ins and outs of fire and it’s behavior. This degree calls in people who want to help their communities and literally play a role in saving lives as well as the environment. An associate’s degree in fire science offers a foundation in fire prevention and beyond. Beyond includes navigating and assessing emergency situations, providing medical care, and investigating how fires are started. This is a career path that is not going anywhere because of course there will always be emergencies and disasters. This is good news as far as job security goes. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase in the prospects of positions related to the fire sciences by 2024. 

Online learning makes this degree pathway as flexible as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of programs to a stop. With online learning, you can continue to fulfill your academic and career goals from the comfort of your home. We have ranked for you a list of the best online fire science associates degree programs. This is based on the following metric:

  • Cost
  • Reputation
  • Student Success Rate

1

American Military University

The American Military University’s School of Global Studies offers an online associate of arts degree in fire science. This has made the list as one of the best online fire science associates for a number of reasons. For starters, 72 percent of the alumni for this program have graduated with no student loan debt. That is huge. The program addresses all aspects of fire behavior including suppression, equipment, and prevention. This includes why and how fires start, how they spread, and all of the ways they can be controlled. Also, embedded into the curriculum is the history and philosophies associated with fire bureaus. This program is fully accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. The entire course of study is made up of 60 credit hours, 45 of which can be transferred in. Courses have monthly course starts and are in 8-week program formats. 

Degree: A.A. in Fire Science

2

Purdue University- Global

Purdue University-Global offers a fully online associate of applied science degree program in fire science. There are many aspects of this course of study that make this program one of the best online fire science associates. Students must complete 90 credit hours to accomplish the program. They ask students to dedicate just 15 hours per week to coursework in order to be in good standing in their classes. The courses are delivered in 10-week terms. Not to mention, the program is fully accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). Another unique aspect of this program is that students have the option of participating in a relevant internship if they are interested in gaining hands-on experience. Some of the courses offered in the program include disaster and fire defense planning, the role of fire service within the community, hazardous materials management, and analytical approaches to fire protection and investigation. 

Degree: A.A.S. in Fire Science

3

Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College offers one of the best online fire science associate degree programs. The entire course of study is made up of 60 credit hours. It is part of the Law, Public Safety, and Security subject area. Students who complete this program will have the skills to achieve a myriad of careers such as fire investigator, fire officer, fire instructor, fire safety inspector, fire insurance salesperson, and building inspector. Each course is offered on a rotation basis for one year. One of the perks of this program is that it offers a direct transfer portal to Northwood University to participate in a related bachelor’s program business administration management and fire science management. Though they have flexible online classes, there are many offerings of course formats in this program. The coursework brings together math classes with technical courses, managerial classes, along with liberal arts programming. 

Degree: A.S. in Fire Science Technology

4

West Georgia Technical College

West Georgia Technical College offers an associate of applied science degree program in fire science technology. This pathway has an entirely online program option that has made our list of best online fire science associate’s programs. This program offers a holistic approach to fire sciences. This acknowledges that the fire sciences are so much more than meets the eye. Professionals in this field must do so much more than simply put out fires, but also act as emergency problem solvers and community support leaders. In this program, they address the ways that this career path makes people vulnerable as they are expected to be able to pull people out of burning buildings while also responding to active shooting situations. The coursework in this program offers additional programming in executive development, emergency and disaster preparedness, hazardous materials control, as well as fire safety and education through virtual assessment. 

Degree: A.A.S in Fire Science Technology

5

Casper College

Casper College offers an associate of applied science in fire science technology that is delivered entirely online. This is considered one of the best online fire science associate’s programs. Graduates of this course of study will be able to gain employment in a variety of sectors related to fire science technology. They also make it easy for graduates to transfer into a related bachelor’s degree program in fire science management. Some of the skills students will learn in this program include fire ground strategy and tactics, fire investigation, and using the scientific method to come up with the correct conclusion, the five types of building construction and the dangers they present to firefighters, managing fire departments (including hiring, budgeting, policies, and discipline). Students will also have the opportunity to participate in internship programming that may include “ride alongs.” Students should dedicate around 2-4 hours per week to each class. 

Degree: A.A.S. in Fire Science Technology

6

Albany Technical College

Albany Technical College offers an associate of applied science degree in fire science technology that can be completed entirely online. This program was designed to help people not only gain professional skills but specifically as they relate to becoming leaders in the field of fire science. In order to qualify for the program, prospective students must first have a high school diploma or GED. Students will learn the skills necessary to effectively respond to fires and other emergencies. This includes natural disasters as well as safety risks like active shootings. The entire program is made up of 62 credit hours. Some of the required classes include an introduction to computers, introduction to fire service, fire admin/ supervisor and leadership, firefighting strategies and tactics, fire behavior and combustion, fire prevention, and inspection, fire and arson investigation, incident command, fire admin management, among many others. There will also be several general education course requirements that will make it easy to later transfer to a four-year degree program. 

Degree: A.A.S. in Fire Science

7

St. Petersburg College

St. Petersburg College offers an associate of science in fire science technology. This best online fire science associate’s is designed to train students to have a complex scientific awareness of fire hazards. This includes how to operate during an active fire as well as other emergencies. There are a series of additional classes that students can take in order to qualify for the fire officer supervisor certificate. The major courses in this program include fire department occupational safety and health, fire chemistry, fire prevention, private fire protection systems, building construction for the fire service, company officer, fire service course delivery, and firefighting tactics and strategy. Additional electives can include: legal issues for safety officers, fire codes and standards, blueprint reading and plans review, and fire cause and origin determination. The entire program is made up of 60 credit hours. This program works with the state of Florida to support students to gain employment following graduation. 

Degree: A.S. in Fire Science Technology

8

Kilgore College

Kilgore College offers an associate of applied science degree in fire protection that is delivered entirely online. This is considered one of the best online fire science associate degree programs. The entire program is made up of 60 credit hours, which is inclusive of basic fire academy training. Many firefighters choose to complete this training in order to have more marketable skills and opportunities for promotion. Some of the required classes include: firefighter health and safety, building construction in fire service, fire protection systems, legal aspects of fire protection, fire and arson investigation, fire prevention codes and inspections, fire service hydraulics, and public speaking. The entire program is made up of 60 credit hours. In addition, there are some English composition general education requirements. Students must complete all of the coursework with a C average in order to achieve their associate’s. Each student will also complete a capstone course experience. 

Degree: A.A.S Fire Protection

9

Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State Community College offers an associate of applied science in fire science.  This is considered one of the best online fire science associate degree programs. The major course requirements include: principles of emergency services, principles of emergency services safety and survival, fire prevention, fire behavior and combustion, fire protection systems, and building construction for fire protection. The entire program is made up of 60-61 credit hours. Each student will take nine electives from the following list: rescue awareness, fire investigation, introduction to homeland security and disaster management, fire protection hydraulics and water supply, strategies and tactics, leadership development, principles of fire and emergency services administration, hazardous materials, occupational safety and health for emergency services, hazardous materials, special topics in fire sciences, among others. In addition, there are some general education requirements that bring together English composition and other topics like speech writing. 

Degree: A.A.S. in Fire Science

10

Southern Arkansas University Tech

Southern Arkansas University Tech offers an associate of apple science degree in fire and emergency response. This program can be completed entirely online or partially online, depending on the student. This online programming is designed to be flexible and convenient in order to account for the busy schedules that working adults keep. This made our list as one of the best online fire science associate’s degree programs for a number of reasons. They have an articulation agreement with Southern Arkansas University that enables students to transfer to their four-year degree programs. This specifically would be for a bachelor’s degree in business with a minor in fire science management. There are many opportunities for students to get financial aid while participating in the program. There are many resources available for online students, including library resources and student life opportunities. 

Degree: A.A.S. in Fire and Emergency Response

11

Thomas Nelson Community College

Thomas Nelson Community College has an associate of applied science in fire technology program. This online option offered to students allows for candidates to learn in a flexible way, the course work is offered online by using the school online canvas program, discussion boards, video conferencing, and email. Instructors are focused on providing students with all the skills necessary to become fire inspectors, fire investigators, firefighter, and forest fire inspectors. Furthermore, Thomas Nelson Community College has a rigorous program to offer.  While becoming a firefighter is a fearless job what makes taking the risk is knowing you are learning all you need to know to stay safe. Coursework for the two years 60 credit program covers topics such as fire suppression, management, and the prevention of hazardous chemical accidents. 

Degree: A.A.S. in Fire Science Technology

12

Pikes Peak Community College
Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peaks Community College’s associate of applied science in fire science technology program is fully online. Finding the best online associates in fire science can be challenging. This is a great program for matriculation to an advanced degree. PPCC has created a rigorous program that follows the United States Fire Administration guideline for its program to be nationally recognized. This means that the curriculum implemented is approved and created by the organization that creates procedures as they are related to fire and safety and prevention. This program also offers a first-year certification, so potential firefighters can begin to apply for a position in the fire department. Students are expected to formulate basic ground tactics during a fire incident, compare and contrast fire suppression systems and so much more. The program will take close to two years to complete all of the required coursework. 

Degree: A.A.S. in Fire Science Technology

13

Idaho State University
Pocatello, ID

Idaho State University has an associate’s of Science in fire service administration, welcome to the ticket to a transfer. As we discussed, most students begin their education with an associate degree as a way to save money or to further understand the inner workings of any particular career path before fully committing to it. Another reason is to transfer to an advanced degree. Idaho State University offers a seamless transfer to their bachelor’s degree program. Another aspect of this program is that it is entirely online; coursework, faculty communications, and even applying for the program can be done entirely online. As the fire service field constantly changes, Idaho State University attempts to stay updated with the current fire administration curriculum guidelines as well and fulfill the growing need for fire prevention professionals. The entire program includes 37 general education credits, as well as 16 credits of major course credit. 

Degree: A.S. in Fire Services Administration

14

Columbia Southern University
Orange Beach, AL

Columbia Southern University offers an associate of science program in fire science. This made our list as one of the best online fire science associates degree programs for a number of reasons. The course of study is made up of 60 credit hours. It is very transfer-friendly, so students can transfer up to 45 credit hours into the program. The major requirement coursework is made up of classes such as: principles of fire and emergency services, principles of fire and emergency services safety and survival, fire behavior and combustion, introduction to fire prevention, fire protection structure, and systems, and legal aspects of emergency services. The program brings together the imperative concepts of fire protection and prevention. Prospective students are those who are interested in expanding their base of knowledge and those who are already working in the field. This program is recognized within the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) initiative. 

Degree: A.S. in Fire Science

15

Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College offers an associate of applied science degree in fire and emergency medical services technology. This course of study was designed to be incredibly flexible. The online format that they use enables students to participate in their coursework when and where it’s convenient for them. Another perk that places this on our best online fire science associates list is the fact that students can transfer credits to any institution of higher learning that is aligned with the US Fire Administration’s FESHE initiative. Some of the key courses in the program include: principles of emergency services, fire investigation, principles of fire and emergency services safety and survival, building construction for fire protection, fire behavior and combustion, fire protection services, and fire hydraulics and water supply. This program offers an excellent pathway to a four-year transfer program. There are many four year institutions of higher learning in the state of Michigan that are easy transfers. 

Degree: A.A.S. in Fire and Emergency Medical Services Technology

16

Lanier Technical College

Lanier Technical College has an associate of science in fire science technology available in an online format. The requirements for entering into this program is a GED or high school diploma, along with SAT or ACT test scores. Fire science technology is a comprehensive study of the introductory course work in fire service. The learning outcomes for this program include enabling students to have the skills to obtain and retain a position as fire service professionals. The completion time is 6 semesters. The coursework includes general education studies in math English and liberal arts, with 47 credit hours of the required 60 devoted to major course work. Oftentimes, to advance as a firefighter, completion of a fire science associate’s will qualify professionals for advancement opportunities. What some people look for in the best online associates in fire science is a flexible method of study. With online learning, this program provides just that. 

Degree: AS in Fire Science Technology

17

Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Keiser University’s associate of science in fire science programs has several Florida campus options. What made it on its list is the flexible online format. To become a fire service professional, state and local guidelines are requiring hirees to have a basic knowledge of fire prevention and safety. To fulfill that requirement students can complete an associate of fire science degree. Keiser University offers just that. 60 credit hours, online course work, and knowledgeable faculty to guide students through certification and assignments. Upon completion students will learn to conduct fire scene investigations, provide community service protection of life and property, as well as train students to hold leadership roles in the fire department. A notable aspect of the program is the close attention faculty pay to detail. Students will not feel alone as they learn in-depth theories and procedures that were intended to save lives. 

Degree: AS in Fire Science

18

Navarro College

Navarro College offers an associate of applied science in fire science protection technology, Before we get too deep into the nuts and bolts of this program, let’s talk about the unicorn. This is a hybrid program. There are some sprinkled throughout this list; the cousin of online programs. A fun thing about Navarro college is they offer all the fire science programs online and the general education courses in person. So, if you have some credit to transfer you can fast track your program to fully online status. Otherwise, this program is for students that can attend in-person school and take online courses. Now back to the nuts and bolts. Students will learn strategic leadership, fire protection techniques, and public and personal safety. As successful completion of the coursework and learning outcomes, students will be qualified to work as firefighters, fire inspectors, police/fire alarm dispatchers, and so many opportunities within a fire department. 

Degree: A.A.S. in Fire Science Protection Technology

19

Waldorf University
Forest City, IA

Waldorf University offers an Associates of art in fire science that is100 percent online. This is not to be confused with the Waldorf Hotel. We promise this school will train you how to be a firefighter among other things. As one of the best online associates in fire science, they require 60 credit hours of coursework. Degree program splits coursework between general education and fire science. Students will tackle subjects like fire dynamics, fire investigation analysis, along with the principles of fire emergency services. These classes are at the center of the learning as it is this information that will get students through the doors of fire departments. Depending on the state where you are located and even the township requirement for a position can include EMT certification. A popular next step with this program is to transfer to Waldorf’s FESHE recognized bachelor’s degree program. 

Degree: A.A. in Fire Science

20

Black River Technical College

Black River Technical College offers an associate of science in fire service administration entirely online. This is a higher education accredited program and has proudly helped train firefighters and advanced fire service professionals to leadership and management roles within the Arkansas fire safety sector. This program is very similar to other accredited degrees, so the instructors are loaded with real-life experiences. The diverse course work is all geared toward preparing students for the demanding job of working in a fire department. BRTC has fire service advisors to discuss your desired outcome so as to pick the perfect program that will apply to student’s individual goals. Another interesting fact about the program is it applies modern city and rural fire protection techniques. These techniques are constantly changing to accommodate the technology evolution within the field. This best online associate in fire science is 60 credits of coursework. Upon completion, students can expect to find a rewarding job in a fire department. 

Degree: A.S in Fire Service Administration

21

Coffeyville Community College

Coffeyville Community College offers both an Associate of science and an Associate of applied science in fire science. This multi-format program has an online option, that will give students a way to work and maintain a home life balance. This is the best online associate in fire science for those interested in earning credentials for promotion or entry-level positions within the public sector fire service. This program follows the curriculum of the fire service training association. What we found interesting about this program is the classes are taught by experienced fire service professionals. There are 57-60 credit hours of online course work to qualify for completion of this program. With this degree, there are several professional opportunities as a result of graduating from this rigorous online fire science program, fire alarm installer appraiser/adjuster, property loss claims investigator. 

Degree: A.S./A.A.S in Fire Science

22

Cape Fear Community College

Cape Fear Community College has an associate in applied science in fire protection technology offered entirely online. This program tackles educating students about the technology used to aid fire departments and firefighters in providing the ever necessary blanket of safety for all the people of small towns to large cities. While this program does cover a great deal of fire protection course work it also focuses on providing students with the knowledge in technical and managerial skills required for advancement. With the completion of this program, students will qualify to work in fire departments, government agencies, industrial firms, and educational organizations. Students will learn from a dedicated faculty taught in an online format, 65 credit hours of diverse subjects, and course work geared towards preparing students to engage with the fire protection community. 

Degree: AAS in Fire Protection Technology

23

Passaic County Community college

Passaic County Community College offers an associate of applied science in fire science technology. This program is geared towards educating individuals that want to enter into law enforcement as an arson investigator, or municipal safety officer. This program offers 27 major credit courses and 25 general education course credits. While this program is the study of in-person, first response, action-oriented work, the courses are delivered entirely online. This option makes it possible to study at home at your own convenience. While there are many things that make this program exceptional, the fact that they accept prior educational experiences for credit towards your degree makes this the best online fire science associate. The entire program is 60 credit hours and can be completed in a time frame of 24 months. Coursework includes behavior and combustion, institutional racism, building construction for fire prevention.

Degree: AAS in Fire Science Technology

24

Waukesha County Technical College

Waukesha County Technical College nestled in a cozy town in Wisconsin offers an associate of applied science in fire protection technician. What makes this program amazing is it a hybrid program so students can engage with the coursework online and in-person. As a regional fire training center, WCTC offers all levels of certification in Wisconsin. So for those in central America wanting to join the fire protection team in Wisconsin, this is the program for you. Another standout fact about this program is candidates get the opportunity to sit for the EMT certification and firefighter I, a requirement for fire departments. The entire coursework for this program is 60 credit hours. While the degree title speaks for itself, the subject area for this program includes fire behavior and combustion, fire tech, and communication, as well as building construction. It takes more than a degree to become a part of the bravest group of humans in our civilization, but this is a great way to start. 

Degree: AAS in Fire Protection Technician

25

Durham Technical Community College

To finish off our list is the associates of applied science in fire protection technology offered by Durham Technical Community College. This program is the best online fire science associates program for advancement in the fire protection community. If you have wanted to be a firefighter an associate degree is a good place to start. The course load consists of 66-67 credit hours all conveniently offered in an entirely online format. There are a lot of opportunities with a fire protection technology associate’s degree. Graduates can move on to a bachelor degree or work in a variety of government agencies. This diverse program covers a great deal of information related to fire safety, including fire ground strategies, local government finance, and laws that function in conjunction with emergency service management. This program will provide a solid foundation in fire science, fire intervention, and emergency planning. 

Degree: AAS in Fire Protection Technology

Why Should I Get My Fire Science Associate’s Online?

While there is an endless number of reasons why people do one thing or another, deciding to begin a career in fire service is a huge consideration. Online learning due to the pandemic has become a grateful option for millions of students while continuing to be the only option for full-time work professionals. As the economic divide continues to grow due to the increased educational requirement for well-paying jobs. The growing need for fire service and safety professionals makes this a great field to invest in. Higher education is an investment, for those that may not be able to pay for college in full obtaining an associate’s degree is an inexpensive option. Obtaining an online associate’s degree in fire science can be the format and career that you need to enter into the public sector. Another reason students or professionals may choose an online associate is traveling to campus can increase the cost of obtaining an education, students that choose fire science associates online save movies everyday by turning their homes into their classroom. 

How Do I Choose an Associate’s Program?

Choosing an online program can be difficult, so we are going to go over some key tips to use when selecting an online program. The first step to selecting a program is figuring out what you want to do. For the purpose of this article let’s assume you want to be a firefighter, an EMT, or an emergency dispatcher. Now that you have identified your job goals, you can begin to search for schools that have the resources to train you according to current procedures. That’s where accreditation comes in, FESHE recognized schools are programs that closely follow the curriculum curated by the United States Fire Academy. Just to be clear you want to choose a school that is accredited, and their program recognized by the FESHE. Once you have identified the school’s credentials, examine their admission advisors, having a passionate advisor and faculty is key to a successful student experience. Online programs require a lot of long-distance communication, emails, video conferencing, and online work submissions. You do not want to commit to a school that has insufficient staff and an outdated school database. Another thing to consider when choosing an associate program is transfer options. Some programs are created to transfer to advanced programs like a bachelor’s or master’s degree. These schools tend to require more general education and liberal arts courses for completion. Other programs focus heavily on the major course material, in our case fire science.

How Much Can I Make with an Associate’s in Fire Science?

With an associate’s degree in fire science, fire protection, fire technology, or fire administration, graduates can qualify for a wide range of positions. Overall firefighter jobs are considered an entry-level position so the first day on the job you may not make as much, but firefighter salary with an associate degree is reportedly higher than those applying without a degree. According to payscale firefighters can make an average base salary of $48.598 annually. Firefighters with years of experience can also use their experience to potentially get them an increase in their salary. Fire service at times can seem like a dangerous career, yet what is even more dangerous is not having them at all. State and local agencies make sure that firefighters are taken care of. 

Related:

What Can I Do with an Associate’s in Fire Science ?

Ultimate Guide to Fire Science Degrees

What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s in Fire Science?

25 Best Online Bachelor’s in Fire Science

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