Fire Safety Certification and Certificate Programs

There are many different types of fire safety certificate programs geared towards a particular audience like firefighters, safety coordinators or safety managers for an organization. Likewise, there are many certifications administered through the state or community colleges.

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Certificate in Fire Safety

Colleges offer various fire safety certificate programs aimed at different audiences. A fire safety certificate program may be geared towards managers in an organization, individuals functioning as a fire safety coordinator, firefighters who inspect industrial plants or safety fire offices in a correctional institution. Some certificate programs are coordinated with degree programs. Others are offered through a college's extension department.

Education Prerequisites

The requirements for admission into a particular certificate program will vary depending on the focus of the certificate program and the institution itself. In the case where the certificate is part of a degree, admission requirements for the degree program will have to be met. For stand alone certificates offered by community colleges, requirements for admission to the college may have to be satisfied. Many certificates offered through university extension have no requirement. Of course, if a certificate is for firefighters, applicants will have to be employed in that occupation.

Program Coursework

Most certificate program curriculums are between four and six courses long and depend on the type of fire safety certificate. Courses may include:

  • Public protection from fire
  • Fire investigation
  • Fire analysis
  • Human behavior in a fire situation
  • Codes and inspection
  • Auto alarms and sprinklers
  • Public education and fire prevention

Popular Career Options

Those with fire safety certificates may find work as firefighters, fire education professionals or members of fire investigation teams (additional education or training may be required). Many times certificates are earned en route to fire science degrees, making the most popular occupation a firefighter.

Others may take positions as fire safety officers in a hospital, school or organization. They ensure that their place of employment is safe from fire risks and that fire alarms and equipment are working.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Firefighters were expected to see a 9% increase in jobs from 2010-2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This increase is attributed to the growing population; however, firefighters will face keen competition for jobs. In May 2012, the BLS stated the mean annual wage for firefighters was $47,850.

Certification

Certification in fire safety may be offered though the state where the person lives or community colleges. Certifications may include Public Fire and Life Safety Educator, Fire Safety Inspector certified or Fire Safety Manager. Most certifications involve taking a course, then passing an exam(s). Many are specific to a particular occupation or employer.

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