More and more employers are demonstrating preference for firefighters and fire inspectors with at least a two-year degree. Such credentials also allow practicing fire professionals to advance in their careers. In this ranking, we explore the top ten online associate’s fires science degree programs.
- Under $10,000—1 point
- Under $7,500—2 points
- Under $5,000—3 points
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
• Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, Certificate Programs, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)
1 point per special accreditation or recognition (e.g. U.S. Fire Administration and Emergency Services Higher Education Institution)
1 point per special program such as transfer programs or credit for prior learning programs, for example
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us
Ranking the Top 10 Online Fire Science Degree Associate’s Programs
To develop the following ranking of the top 10 online associate’s fire science degree programs, our editors used tuition data from College Navigator as well as program information from each school’s website to apply the ranking methodology above. In the case of a tie, the more affordable online fire associate degree program was awarded the higher ranking.
#10 –Purdue University-Global
Online Associate’s in Fire Science
The online associate’s fire science degree program from Purdue University-Global prepares students for leadership positions in fire service organizations or for further study at the baccalaureate level. Courses comprising the curriculum for the program include Principles of Emergency Services, Fire Behavior and Combustion, Fire Prevention Tactics, and Fire Protection Systems. Graduates of the program are qualified for rewarding careers as fire investigators, fire inspectors, first line supervisors, and firefighter managers. This online associate’s fire science degree program is recognized as a U.S. Fire Administration Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education Institution.
In-State Tuition: $9,992
#9 –Albany Technical College
Online Associate’s in Fire Science Technology
Albany Technical University offers a 62-credit hour online associate’s fire science degree program through its Division of Public Safety. The curriculum for the program is broad and include occupational courses such as Introduction to the Fire Service, Fire and Arson Investigation, Fire Administration Supervision and Leadership, and Fire Service Safety and Loss Control. An admissions test is required for entry into this online associate’s in fire science degree program, and a diploma program is also required.
In-State Tuition: $2,712
#8 –John Wood Community College
Online Associate’s in Fire Science
A pioneer in distance education, John Wood Community College has been offering online associate’s fire science courses since 2001. The school’s online fire associate degree provides students with foundational knowledge in fire science and includes courses such as Fire Service Management, Incident Management for the First Responder, Fire Prevention Principles, and Fire and Emergency Law. John Wood’s online students also have access to a hands-on training on location.
In-State Tuition: $8,100
#7 –Idaho State University
Online Associate of Science in Fire Service Administration
The online Associate of Science in Fire Service Administration program from Idaho State University is designed to prepare practicing firefighters for organizational leadership positions. The curriculum for the program is mostly prescribed but does feature some free electives. Course titles include Fire Behavior and Combustion, Principles of Emergency Services, Fire Administration, and Fire Protection Systems. Scholarships are available for eligible online fire associate degree students from organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association, Professional Firefighters of Idaho, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and the International Association of Firefighters.
In-State Tuition: $7,166
#6 –Columbia Southern University
Online Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science
Columbia Southern University offers a comprehensive online associate’s fire science degree program from its College of Safety and Emergency Services. The program’s curriculum features major requirements such as Principles of Fire and Emergency Services, Fire Behavior and Combustion, Fire Protection Structure and Systems, and Building Construction for Fire Protection. Designed for both practicing and prospective firefighters, this online fire associate degree is recognized by the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy (NFA).
In-State Tuition: $5,415
#5 –Greenville Technical College
Online Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science Technology
The online associate’s in fire science degree program from Greenville Technical College’s Health and Wellness Division is suitable for both firefighter hopefuls and practicing professionals. The curriculum for the program is prescribed and covers topics such as hazardous materials operations, fire behavior and control, safety and salvage procedures, and fire prevention methodology. Specific course titles include Principles of Emergency Services, Fire Service Hydraulics and Water Supply, Building Construction for Fire Protection, and Occupational Safety and Health for the Emergency Services.
In-State Tuition: $4,806
#4 –Kilgore College
Online Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection
The 60-credit hour online associate’s in fire science degree program from Kilgore College is offered from the school’s Division of Public Services and Industrial Technologies and includes Basic Fire Academy Training. In addition, students will take online classes such as Firefighter Health and Safety, Fire Service Hydraulics, Fire Prevention Codes and Inspection, and Legal Aspects of Fire Protection. Graduates of the program may find careers in fire protection technology, municipal and industrial fire protection, and fire suppression and detection marketing. They are also prepared for further study in a baccalaureate program.
In-State Tuition: $3,504
#3 –Northern Virginia Community College
Online Associate of Science in Fire Science
Northern Virginia Community College offers a 67-credit hour online associate’s in fire science degree designed for entry or advancement in the field of fire science. The curriculum for the program is prescribed and includes course titles such as Fire Protection Systems, Fire and Risk Analysis, Fire Protection Hydraulics and Water Supply, and Legal Aspects of Fire Service. This online associate’s fire science degree program is designed to be completed in two years, but accelerated options are available, including a transfer program and credit for prior learning.
In-State Tuition: $5,498
#2 –St. Petersburg College
Online Associate of Science in Fire Science Technology
St. Petersburg College offers a 60-credit hour online associate’s in fire science program featuring an optional Fire Officer Supervisor certificate. The curriculum for the program is three-pronged and is comprised of general education requirements, major core courses, and elective courses. Core course titles include Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health, Private Fire Protective Services, and Firefighting Tactics and Strategy, while elective classes include Fire Codes and Standards, Legal Issues for Safety Officers, and Fire Cause and Origin Determination. Graduates of this online associate’s in fire science degree program find careers as fire officers, fire inspectors, fire investigators, and more.
In-State Tuition: $3,352
#1 –Navarro College
Online Associate’s in Fire Science Protection Technology
Navarro College is home to two online associate’s fire science degree programs: an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science Protection and a Fire Officer Associate of Applied Science. Both programs are vocationally focused and feature 60 credit hours of coursework, including classes like Fundamentals of Fire Protection, Building Codes and Construction for Fire Prevention, and Fire Fighting Strategies and Tactics. A 30-credit hour Fire Officer certificate is also available. Navarro College collaborates with Texas A&M University-Commerce and Tarleton State University-Midlothian, meaning online fire associate degree students can conveniently transfer to a bachelor’s program.
In-State Tuition: $3,870
Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Associate’s in Fire Science Degrees and Programs
The decision to pursue an online associate”s fire science degree is a big one, so it’s understandable that you’d have some questions. Take a look at some of the common questions prospective students have about this type of degree program.
Q: How long does it take to earn a fire science degree online?
A: Like most associate’s degree programs, online fire associate degree programs typically take two years to complete. However, you may be able to complete your degree sooner if you choose an accelerated program, or if you take advantage of certain program options such as transfer programs or credit for prior learning. Conversely, some programs will allow you to pursue your degree on a part-time basis if you need more time to complete the degree requirements.
Q: What factors should be considered when choosing an online associate’s in fire science degree program?
A: Not all online associate’s fire science degree programs are alike, and there are many things to consider when selecting a program that fits your schedule, career goals, and preferences. This ranking should serve as a good starting point for selecting the right online fire associate degree program for you. One of the most important considerations for any prospective student is format. While some online associate’s in fire science degree programs can be completed entirely online, others require visits to campus for more hands-on learning experiences. In addition, it’s vitally important to look at the program’s curriculum to ensure that it’s suited for the particular type of fire science work you want to do. Previewing the types of classes you’ll be expected to complete in a given program can ensure that you don’t waste precious time on coursework that’s irrelevant to your career pursuits.
Q: What career choices do I have with an online associate’s fire science degree?
A: The career choices you’ll have with an online associate’s fire science degree will depend largely on the type of fire science degree you pursue. General fire science degree programs may include a basic training component and will prepare students for the basic duties of a firefighter. These programs may also qualify graduates for some entry-level management or supervisory roles in a fire service organization. Other programs may allow students to specialize in a certain area of fire science such as fire protection, fire protection technology, or fire service administration, for example. Depending on which degree and/or specialization you choose, you may qualify for careers as fire officers, fire inspectors, fire investigators, first line supervisors, firefighter managers, fire suppression and detection specialists, and more.
Q: How much does it cost to pursue an online associate’s fire science degree?
A: The cost required to pursue an online associate’s fire science degree will inevitably vary depending upon which program you choose. Through the research required to develop this ranking, our editors discovered that the tuition for such programs varies from less than $3,000 per year to more than $20,000 annually. With such a large cost disparity amongst offerings, it’s important to select one that you can afford while still keeping in mind the qualities you desire in an online associate’s in fire science degree program. When considering the potential cost of an online fire associate degree, keep in mind that you may be eligible for certain types of financial aid such as scholarships, grants, and loans. This aid could come from the university itself or from third parties.
Q: How much will I earn with a fire science degree online?
A: Your estimated earnings with an online fire associate degree will vary depending on what area of fire science you end up working in. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that fire inspectors and fire investigators are expected to earn approximately $59,260 per year while fire fighting and prevention workers are projected to earn about $10,000 less annually.
Q: Will an associate’s in fire science online degree prepare me for further study in fire science?
A: Typically, though some online associate’s fire science programs are better suited for bachelor’s degree preparation than others. If this is your end goal, it’s important to check with your particular school to ensure that the curriculum for the online associate’s in fire science program you choose will adequately prepare you for the rigors of baccalaureate study.
Other Online Associate’s in Fire Science Degree Programs
American Military University
Online Fire Science Degree
Fire Science Degree Online Associate’s
University of Cincinnati
Associate of Applied Science Fire Service Technology
Macomb Community College
Online Fire Science Degree (Associate’s)
AAS in Fire Protection and Safety Technology/AAS in Fire Services Administration
Quinsigamond Community College
Online Fire Science Degree (Associate’s)
Hillsborough Community College
Associate of Science in Fire Science Technology
Fire Science Degree Online Associate’s
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