Fire Science

Earnings Potential

Median hourly earnings of fire fighters were $18.43 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $13.65 and $24.14. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.71, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $29.21. Median hourly earnings were $18.78 in local government, $17.34 in the Federal Government, and $14.94 in State government.

Median annual earnings of first-line supervisors/managers of fire fighting and prevention workers were $58,920 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $46,880 and $72,600. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,800, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $90,860. First-line supervisors/managers of fire fighting and prevention workers employed in local government earned about $60,800 a year.

Median annual earnings of fire inspectors and investigators were $46,340 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $36,030 and $58,260 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,420, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $71,490. Fire inspectors and investigators employed in local government earned about $48,020 a year.

Facts at a glance

  • Fire fighting involves hazardous conditions and long, irregular hours.
  • About 9 out of 10 fire fighting workers were employed by municipal or county fire departments.
  • Applicants for municipal fire fighting jobs generally must pass written, physical, and medical examinations.
  • Although employment is expected to grow faster than the average, keen competition for jobs is expected because this occupation attracts many qualified candidates.

Summary of what this career entails

An individual in the fire science field either studies the prevention, detection and putting out of fires in order to provide information for firefighters or he/she becomes a firefighter. For the most part fire science professionals do become firefighters. Firefighters protect citizens from the danger of fires by using tools and wisdom to put said fires out.

Examples and or details of work

The field of fire science is one of the most dangerous in the world if the individual decides to become a firefighter. Often there are stories in the newspapers about firefighters being killed in the line of duty. It’s been said not only by firefighters, but the general public that firefighting in an underappreciated profession. Even the aftermath of 9/11 was not enough for the many people to realize the jobs firefighters have. Those in the profession that do not fight fires have an even more low-key profile. He/she does more observation and studying than anything else. A key job for those in the fire science field is keeping up with technological developments. A fire science professional also evaluates areas that may have many people such as schools to make sure that the areas are meeting standards.

Degrees that lead to this career

Degrees that lead to a career in fire science include fire science, public administration, fire engineering,

Specific Career openings in this field

Specific openings in the career of fire science include firefighter, fire chief, fire captain and code inspector.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Fire Fighting Occupations, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos158.htm

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