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Where should I go after college to start my wildland firefighting career?

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James’s Answer

The best places to begin are the Department of Forestry or Department of Natural Resources in your state as well and the United States Department of Agriculture: Forest Service. There may also be useful career information and opportunities through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency.

I worked alongside the Department of Forestry, and from the outside looking it... it looked amazing! They get to travel and volunteer and have great retirement benefits! Michelle Mcgill

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Jared’s Answer

Hutchinson community college they have a whole fire science building separate from the main campus. You can get your wildland firefighting and saws certification in 1 semester. You chop down trees at the Hutchinson airport and can get your class C Faller certification. The premier fire science program in Kansas. You get your wildland firefighting certification and saws certification thought the Kansas Forest service. You also have the opportunity to go on medigation and potentially get your class B Faller.

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Mary’s Answer

There are many good schools to consider; you can do some research to find your best fit with regard to location, cost, and programs offered.
There are two-year Associate degrees; four-year Bachelor degrees, and Master of Science degrees in Fire Science. Having a degree may qualify you for increased pay based on your level of education. According to www.universities.com, the top schools to obtain an Fire Science degree for 2020 include (in ranked order):

1. CUNY - John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY (http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/)
2. University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut (https://www.newhaven.edu/)
3. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (https://www.ufl.edu/) (offers an online option)
4. Lewis University, Romeoville, IL - private, Catholic institution, offers an accelerated Bachelor of Arts degree in Fire Service Administration - (https://lewisu.edu/index.htm)

Good luck!

Mary recommends the following next steps:

Research different schools here: https://study.com/articles/Best_Schools_for_Fire_Fighters_List_of_Top_US_Schools.html
Society of American Foresters has info on https://www.wildfirex.com/
Four-year progams: https://www.wildfirex.com/four-year-colleges-with-fire-programs/
Some suggestions can be found here: https://study.com/articles/Best_Schools_for_Fire_Fighters_List_of_Top_US_Schools.html