Fire service careers in Louisiana vary from local fire stations to state, federal and even private company employment. These skilled professionals can enter specialized areas, such as wildland fire service or fire inspection. Louisiana is home to 5,890 firefighters and close to 200 fire inspectors and investigators. There are also emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics who provide medical care during emergencies and accidents.
Although fire service professionals in Louisiana may not earn as much as those in other parts of the country, many have the opportunity to enhance their employment outlook by pursing certifications or advanced education. Below is a glance at annual wages for professionals at the entry, median and advanced levels:
|Louisiana Fire Service Careers
|Fire Inspectors and Investigators||$33,350||$53,450||$84,230|
|Fire Service Supervisors||$25,520||$40,000||$70,300|
From emergency medical services to specific fire service careers such as structural firefighting, Louisiana has potential opportunities for students with fire science education from accredited institutions. These colleges and universities combine general education and hands-on fire instruction to give students information they can apply in local, state, federal and private sector fire service careers.
One of the institutions available for fire science instruction is Louisiana State University Eunice, with an applied associate in science degree focusing on fire and emergency services. This program could prepare individuals for supervisory duties or employment with emergency service departments, private corporations and industries. Other areas of specialization for students include fire science technology and emergency services technology or management.
The state of Louisiana relies on two schools, both offering associate degrees in fire sciences, for education of those looking to serve in the firefighting community. Below is a list of their locations in the state:
|DEGREE LEVEL||STATE||SCHOOL NAME||PROGRAM NAME|
|Associate||Louisiana||Delgado Community College||Fire Science / Fire-fighting|
|Associate||Louisiana||Louisiana State University Eunice||Fire Science / Fire-fighting|
|Award (<2 years)||Louisiana||Delgado Community College||Fire Prevention and Safety Technology / Technician|
|Award (<2 years)||Louisiana||Louisiana State University Eunice||Fire Protection, Other|
|Award (<2 years)||Louisiana||Louisiana State University Eunice||Fire Science / Fire-fighting|
|Award (<2 years)||Louisiana||Louisiana State University Eunice||Fire Services Administration|
|Award (<2 years)||Louisiana||Southern University at Shreveport||Fire Prevention and Safety Technology / Technician|
Learn how things work. Read a book about Archimedes or learn about fulcrums and levers. Sometimes it's not muscle that is needed to move something, but knowledge of how to move an object. Join the military and serve as an active member for at least two years or join the military reserve force. The discipline instilled will help in your fire service career.
Pick a field that you enjoy. While a mechanical background would help in some situations, the discipline required to excel in your chosen area of study will benefit you in the fire service. Common sense is critical to the safety of you and your co-workers. Volunteer to be a member of an Urban Search & Rescue team. The training you'll receive as a member could save your life or help you to save the life of someone else.
Flooding is always an issue in this community. It doesn't take a hurricane to flood streets here. Every year, street flooding occurs and motorists seem to find their way into a drainage canal. Water rescues, while not an everyday occurrence, take place almost once a year.
Delgado Community College, located in New Orleans, offers an associate degree in science in Fire Protection Technology.
Program Name: Fire Protection Technology
Program Description: The Fire Protection Technology program at Delgado Community College is for current firemen and for those seeking a career in fire service. The program's goal is to prepare individuals for possible employment or career enhancement in fire service or other community-based service. Firemen use this curriculum for potential career advancement, and those looking to employment attend this program for the training and skills needed in Louisiana’s fire departments. Not only do fire departments enroll members in this program, industrial and manufacturing facilities also attend Delgado’s program for use in their own fire brigade and emergency response teams. The program at Delgado Community College has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Those looking to pursue fire service in this state can consider the Fire Protection Technology program at Delgado Community College.
For more information on the Delgado Community College program, visit: http://www.dcc.edu/academics/business-technology/construction-architecture-engineering/fire-science-technology.aspx
Louisiana State University Eunice offers a program for those interested in careers in fire service.
Program Name: Fire and Emergency Services
Program Description: The program of fire and emergency services at Louisiana State University Eunice is designed for those seeking supervisory responsibilities in fire departments, governmental agencies, private corporations and other industries. For fire and EMS departments, this program offers necessary skills. The associate degree program is broken up into a freshman and sophomore year of instruction. Each covers 30 credit hours of instruction in subjects such as hazardous materials and fire behavior and combustion. The LSU curriculum also explores topics such as human resource management, emergency services technology and safety and health compliance.
For more information on the program, visit the Fire and Emergency Services program page: http://catalog.lsue.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=5&poid=215&returnto=644
For those seeking online instruction, fire science programs don’t always have this option, due to the intensely physical nature of firefighting. For some general instruction courses, such as English and other prerequisites, there is a possibility of web-based learning. Conceptual and academic subjects can also be presented online, such as the principles of emergency service management. Since Louisiana only has two institutions for fire science degrees, distance learning could benefit students who don’t live in the area of those schools. Online colleges offer a variety of fire science-related degrees, including bachelor's degrees in fire administration.