EKU Online > Online Fire Science Degrees & Certificates > Fire Science Career Opportunities

Modern Fire Professionals Don’t Just Fight Fires

The fire field has evolved dramatically to offer diverse and challenging career opportunities in the following fields:

  • Fire Protection Administration
  • Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation
  • Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology

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Increase earnings and advancement opportunities

Career Success Starts with a College Degree

Regardless of U.S. labor market conditions one constant holds true: Education boosts earnings and reduces unemployment.

According to the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) the earnings gap between college graduates and those with less education continues to widen. In 2021, median income for recent graduates reached $52,000 a year for bachelor’s degree holders aged 22–27. For high school graduates the same age, median earnings were $30,000 a year.

Those with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 75% more over the course of their lifetime.* In addition to increased earning potential, a bachelor’s degree can provide opportunities for promotion or entry into a new career.

*Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce

People with a bachelor’s degree earn on average

more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma

Popular Fire Science Careers


National Median Annual Salary
4% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated April 2023
Highest paying cities for Firefighters in Kentucky
Louisville, KY
Owensboro, KY
Bowling Green, KY
Bachelor's typically preferred for entry-level positions

Fire Engineers

National Median Annual Salary
4% growth increase thru 2031
Local Estimated Base Salary
Updated April 2023
Top Companies for Fire Investigators in Kentucky:
Western States Fire Protection Co.
Koorsen Fire & Security Inc.
Vulcan Fire Systems
Bachelor's typically preferred for entry-level positions

*National job opportunities data is based on national medians and figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook handbook.
*Local job opportunities data is based on estimated base pay and figures from Indeed.com.

Employment Opportunities Include:

Fire Protection Administration

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) predicts that employment of firefighters will increase by 4 percent from 2021 to 2031 and employment of fire inspectors and hazardous materials workers is projected to grow 6 percent in the same time period.


Leadership within the fire industry will be increasingly important to ensure operations run smoothly and the emergency needs of communities are met.

Job Opportunities Include:

  • Firefighter
  • Fire chief
  • Fire marshal
  • Fire safety director or officer
  • Building inspector
  • Fire investigator
  • Hazardous materials specialist

Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) employment of fire inspectors and investigators is projected to grow 6 percent by 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Fire inspectors will be needed to assess potential fire hazards in newly constructed residential, commercial, public, and other buildings in the coming decade. Fire inspectors will also be needed to ensure that existing buildings meet updated and revised federal, state, and local fire codes each year. Although the number of structural fires occurring across the country has been falling for some time, fire investigators will still be needed to determine the cause of fires and explosions.

Job opportunities include:

  • Fire marshal
  • Fire investigator (public and private)
  • ATF agent
  • Firefighter
  • Building inspector
  • Fire and arson investigations detective
  • Insurance company consultant


Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology

Fire protection engineers have some of the highest starting salaries among all college graduates.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics* (BLS) employment of health and safety engineers is projected to grow 4 percent by 2031. As buildings, products, and processes continue to become more complex and new regulations are created, these engineers will be needed to reduce costs, save lives, and produce safe consumer products. A bachelor’s degree is required for most entry-level positions.

Job opportunities include:

  • Fire protection and prevention systems designer
  • Building inspector
  • Fire safety director
  • Insurance company consultant
  • Industrial safety specialist
  • Fire protection and safety engineer
  • Fire protection technician and related occupations

EKU Fire Science Program in the Workforce

Where Have EKU Fire Science Graduates Worked?
  • Indiana State Fire Marshal
  • LaBella Associates Construction Engineering Company
  • City of Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • City of Stevens Point
  • Forensic Fire Consultants, Ltd.
  • Newport Fire Department
  • City of University Park
  • The City of Rochester Hills Fire Department
Increase Job Opportunities and Earning Potential

Fire science is a dynamic, multidisciplinary field of study that prepares students for a wide range of career options. A degree can open doors to numerous roles and graduates pursue careers in fire protection administration; fire, arson and explosion investigation; and fire protection and safety engineering technology.

Employers in the fire science field often require a degree for entry-level positions. Having a fire science  degree on your resume can increase your chances of landing a job in the field. Moreover, having a degree enhances your opportunities for career growth, promotion into leadership positions, and higher salaries in comparison to those without a degree. 

EKU Online Career Services

Career planning is tough, but with EKU you don’t have to tackle the process alone.

The EKU Office of Academic and Career Services is a one-stop shop for all of your career and professional development needs. We offer a variety of services to current online EKU students and alumni to help you with your career development, decision-making and job search.

Services include:

  • Creating/Updating Your Resume and Cover Letter
  • Interviewing Tips and Coaching
  • Career Documents Review
  • Job Search
  • “I can confidently say that — as someone who doesn’t even live in the United States — EKU’s online program has been extremely accommodating and flexible. I can discuss advising appointments over email, and I can have my textbooks shipped to my address overseas.” – Sydney Garner Lewis
  • “After the birth of our first child, I knew I needed to go back and finish what I started,” said McKenzie. “I was happy that I could pick up where I left off at EKU even though I lived in a different state.” – EKU Online student and mom
  • “I chose EKU because I am a unique student with unique needs, and EKU provides an avenue for students like me to succeed.” – EKU Online Psychology student Jason Tate
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