Why This Matters


    Location is a big factor when it comes to how much you’re likely to make as a firefighter. The top-paying jobs for firefighters in the United States are in New Jersey, California, Washington, New York, and Hawaii.


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the need for firefighters is expected to increase by 6% between 2019 to 2029, which represents above-average industry growth.


    Firefighters earn an average median pay of $52,500 per year or $25.24 per hour.

Our Research

This list features associate-level programs in fire science in online and blended formats. Some examples of degrees awarded by the various programs we’ve profiled include Associate of Science in Fire Service Administration, Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science Technology, and Associate of Applied Science in Fire Services Leadership.

The International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) provides specialty accreditation for fire science and related programs. In addition to IFSAC-accredited programs, our list also features programs with accreditations from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and regional organizations such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

  • 65 hours to write this article
  • 78 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 133 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Associate in Fire Science Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

An online Associate in Fire Science is a good first step in any career related to fire safety. There are online Bachelor in Fire Science degree programs for those seeking career advancement, along with master’s level programs for students with leadership aspirations.

Search for accreditations that pertain to the industry such as IFSAC. Fire and Emergency Service Higher Education (FESHE) is another notable accreditor. Distance learning accreditations — like the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) — are also good to look for.

Firefighter positions are expected to increase by 6% between 2019 and 2029. This rate of growth is considered rapid for the industry; students who complete a fire science associate degree program can expect to find an increasing number of job openings over the next decade.

Not all firefighters are required to be college graduates; some have technical diplomas or on-the-job training. However, with an Associate in Fire Science, firefighters may have the opportunity for higher pay and more job options.

What’s Next?

Ask these questions when researching online associate in fire science programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? To be eligible for an online associate in fire science program, prospective students must have a high school diploma or GED. Exact admission requirements may vary depending on educational institution, so read all details carefully when searching for a Fire Science degree program.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? On average, it takes two years to earn an Associate in Fire Science — with an average requirement of 60 credit hours. Due to the flexibility of online degree programs, it may take more or less time for students to complete the program.

Speak to an admissions counselor at the schools you’re considering to learn more about entry requirements. The school’s financial department can instruct you on applying for financial assistance and paying your tuition. When comparing schools, take notes and compare your findings before making a final decision.