What classes should I take to become a firefighter
Planning on becoming a firefighter but I don't know what classes I should take in college. Should I major in something else as a backup? Or do I just focus on firefighting? #college #firefighting
My best advice is to get a degree in what you find interesting, not what you think someone else wants you to have. When you're writing a term paper at 2am, it better be something you care about or you're going to fall asleep! If you're not sure what you're interested in, that's fine. A degree in Fire Science is a great place to start. You usually get credit for things you have to do anyway, like a firefighter academy and EMT class. Plus, you know 100% of it will be applicable to firefighting.
Downsides to a fire science degree are 1) it's only really applicable to a career in firefighting, so if you change your mind your degree might not be worth much to other employers and 2) it's a little bland - if you want to stand-out compared to other applicants for firefighting jobs and promotions, you might want something more unique. I also like Gloria's response...there are many specialties within firefighting, and if you know for sure you're interested in one of those, you can certainly start studying it now.
General Firefighting: Fire Science, Emergency Management, Homeland Security, etc.
Wildland Firefighting: Forestry, Ecology, Natural Resource Management, etc.
Fire Management: Business*, Government, Politics, Leadership (*if I go back to school, its for a degree in Business / Public Administration!)
Emergency Medicine: Pre-Med, Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Sports Medicine, Counseling, etc.
Hazardous Materials: Chemistry, Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Safety and Health, etc.
Fire Investigations: Chemistry, Criminal justice, Sociology, Pre-Law, Paralegal, Technical Writing, etc.
Also, don't forget about the trades. Firefighters respond to a lot of house fires, gas leaks, and car wrecks. If you're the guy on your engine company that knows the most about building construction, plumbing, EVAC, electrical, automotive technology, etc. you'll be a big asset and your supervisor will love you!
Here is a local academy in San Francisco where you can get more info: https://www.ccsf.edu/academics/schools/allied-health-physical-education-social-services/administration-justice-fire-science-department/ccsf-fire-academy
Here is a local university which offers an emergency management degree: https://www.usfca.edu/public-safety/disaster-preparedness
I recommend leaning on advisors for more info but this is a good start.
Hope this helps, best of luck and keep us updated on your progression.