Nearly 3,500 firefighters are employed by city, rural, regional, state, and federal fire service organizations in Utah. Additionally, more than 22,000 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics hold jobs with Utah’s state and local emergency response organizations, private ambulance companies, and hospitals. Because of the state’s diverse landscape, climate, and urban centers, fire science and first response professionals must be highly trained individuals. Utah’s colleges and universities, fire academies, and online schools offer degrees and certificates for beginning, intermediate and leadership roles in firefighting and emergency medical services.
Utah firefighters, investigators/inspectors, and supervisors are compensated by rank, education and experience. Salaries can also vary by type of organization and service area. Here are earnings for Utah firefighters and related fire science careers:
|Utah Fire Service Careers
|Fire Inspectors and Investigators
|Fire Service Supervisors
Jobs in the fire sciences fall into a number of specialized categories, including structural firefighting, wildland firefighting, emergency medical services (EMS), technical rescue, fire prevention, emergency management, and hazardous materials response. As a result, training options are widespread and varied. Certification courses are available at several Utah colleges and universities to prepare students for different aspects of a career in fire sciences. Examples of fire science careers include Firefighter I & II, Hazardous Materials Awareness, Paramedic, and Wildland Firefighter. Courses vary widely in length, from eight hour online-only classes to 100+ hour courses that include live fire components. Students can register for certification courses at the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy (UFRA) of Utah Valley University or community colleges including Davis Applied Technology College.
Students pursuing a career with the fire department may choose to earn an associate’s in emergency services in conjunction with relevant certification. Salt Lake Community College and Utah Valley University both offer an emergency management associate’s degree. For those who aspire to enter a longstanding career in emergency services with advancement potential to a management level, a bachelor’s program in the field of public services management is ideal. Utah Valley University offers a bachelor’s in emergency care, as well as a bachelor’s in emergency management that can be earned through online classes. EMT training programs can be in the form of certificates or associate’s degrees and are offered at many Utah colleges such as Dixie State University, Weber State University, and the University of Utah.
Utah Valley University (UVU) offers some of the state’s most comprehensive fire sciences programs, including associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees in emergency services, as well as firefighter certifications through the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy (UFRA).
Program Name: Emergency Services Administration
Program Description: Students interested in a career in the fire sciences can earn one of three degrees offered by UVU: an associate of science in fire science, an associate of applied science in fire science, or a bachelor of science in emergency management administration. The school recommends one of their two associate’s degrees for prospective firefighters, and the bachelor’s degree for those interested in management positions in emergency services. UFRA offers certification programs at UVU, including required basics such as Firefighter I and II, and specialized areas of study such as Airport Firefighter and Wildland Firefighter.
UVU offers many courses in its emergency services department through online and hybrid delivery, as well as traditional on-campus courses. To learn more about Emergency Services Administration programs at UVU, visit http://www.uvu.edu/esa/academics/.
Affordable, flexible, and career-focused, Davis Applied Technology College serves nearly 60,000 high school and adult students in Kaysville, Utah. The school’s firefighter program is ideal for recent high school graduates or working adults looking to enter the fire service.
Program Name: Firefighter Program
Program Description: Davis Applied Technology College offers a five-month firefighter course that prepares students with the fundamentals of firefighting and hazardous materials handling. The program uses a team-based learning approach and is taught on evenings and Saturdays to accommodate working professionals. Students will be trained for and have the opportunity to take four industry certifications (Firefighter I, Firefighter II, Hazardous Materials – Awareness, and Hazardous Materials – Basic Operation), making them prepared to join community fire departments after successful program completion.
The school boasts a 79 percent job placement rate for graduates of its Firefighter program. For more information, visit the Davis Applied Technology College Firefighter page at https://www.davistech.edu/firefighter.
Though many elements of training for firefighters must take place in person, there are also online options for schooling in emergency services and fire sciences. Critical concepts such as disaster management, homeland security, ethics and values, and legal considerations for emergency services can all be conveyed thoroughly through online means. UVU offers a relevant bachelor’s degree in emergency services administration with a fully-online option. Other courses offer an introduction to relevant topics such as wildland fire behavior through online modules. These introductory courses are followed by hands-on courses later in a program, which allow students to practice what they’ve learned. Lastly, some classes offer a blend of online and in-person methods, such as UVU’s Firefighter Training classes. Students complete a series of online modules that fully explain the topics at hand, followed by a field day where they demonstrate learned knowledge to instructors. Online and hybrid courses are convenient for working professionals in Utah looking to change fields or advance their careers but lack the availability to attend regularly scheduled class sessions.