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Fire Protection Major

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Fire Protection

1,492 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
97 Master's Degrees Annually
#142 in Popularity
$64,140 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Fire Protection Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many fire protection graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 12,590
Associate’s Degree 4,287
Bachelor’s Degree 1,492
Undergraduate Certificate 1,028
Master’s Degree 97
Graduate Certificate 13
Doctor’s Degree 3

What Fire Protection Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to fire protection and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Fire Protection Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in fire protection should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Skills for Fire Protection Majors

When studying fire protection, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for Fire Protection Majors

Fire Protection majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Fire Protection Major?

People with a fire protection degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Fire Inspectors 7.3% $62,510
Fire Investigators 7.3% $62,510
Forest Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors 7.1% $76,330
Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists 29.4% $39,600
Forest Firefighters 7.2% $49,620
Loss Prevention Managers 8.0% $107,480
Municipal Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors 7.1% $76,330
Municipal Firefighters 7.2% $49,620
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Protection?

1,492 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
9% Percent Women
18% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 1,492 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fire protection in 2018, making it rank #142 in popularity. This major attracts more men than women. About 91% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of fire protection majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Fire Protection Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 20
Black or African American 63
Hispanic or Latino 134
White 1,107
International Students 54
Other Races/Ethnicities 114

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Fire Protection, too. About 3.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Qatar
  • Canada
  • Kuwait
  • China

How Much Do Fire Protection Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that fire protection students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $68,600 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $57,700 (25th percentile) and $68,600 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to fire protection.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $53,240 to $80,310 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to fire protection. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Fire Protection Major  ( 53240 to 80310 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with fire protection may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to fire protection have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.5%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 23.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 14.8%
Some College Courses 13.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 14.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 24.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.7%
Master’s Degree 3.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.6%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.2%
Doctoral Degree 0.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.0%

Online Fire Protection Programs

In 2017-2018, 527 schools offered a fire protection program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 350 36
Certificate (1-2 years) 217 14
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 489 84
Bachelor’s Degree 4 1
Post-Baccalaureate 350 36
Master’s Degree 23 16
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Fire Protection Worth It?

The median salary for a fire protection grad is $64,140 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 61% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $484,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to fire protection.

Major Number of Grads
Criminal Justice & Corrections 123,447
Homeland Security 5,733
Other Homeland Security 2,129

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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