Fire Science Degree Programs in Wyoming | Firefighter Training
Written by FireScience.org Staff Writer Last Updated: Feb 11, 2020
Home to major cities such as Cheyenne and natural treasures such as Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming requires the protection of firefighters and other brave first responders. Wyoming fire science professionals play an important role in preventing and mitigating fire damage caused by climate-related disaster, human carelessness, and arson. If you have excellent health and fitness, perform well in crisis, and have a passion for public safety, the page below can help you determine whether to become a firefighter in Wyoming.
The guide below features an overview of firefighter prerequisites, testing, and training requirements. If you meet the prerequisites, read on to learn more about training, education, career prospects, and professional resources. The resources below can help get you on the path toward a lucrative and growing firefighting career.
Since firefighter requirements in Wyoming vary across the state, aspiring firefighters in Wyoming should consult the specific requirements outlined by the department, city, or area where they hope to work. For consideration as a candidate, applicants must usually be citizens of at least 18 of age, hold a valid driver's license and a high school diploma or GED certificate, and possess a decent driving record. Firefighter candidates in Laramie need to be at least 19 years old.
Firefighter candidates also undergo extensive testing in order to be put on the eligibility list. Laramie's fire department, for example, requires candidates to pass a written test, interview evaluation, physical test, and medical examination. Applicants also submit to a drug test, background check, and psychological evaluation in some cases.
After passing all preliminary testing, Wyoming firefighter candidates usually undertake training with a fire academy. Volunteer firefighter training typically proves less rigorous, and basic firefighter I certification can be completed online in some cases. However, professional firefighters usually complete at least 600-800 hours of hands-on, onsite training at a fire academy such as the Wyoming Fire Academy's state-of-the-art facility in Cheyenne.
Within their initial employment period, many firefighters in places like Laramie must obtain emergency medical technician (EMT) certification.
Becoming a Firefighter in Wyoming: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the specific training for Wyoming?
Wyoming training standards vary based on the specialization sought. Many fire academies prepare their graduates for firefighter I & II, hazardous materials, rescue awareness, and other certifications.
Is EMT/paramedic/other training or certification required?
Some departments, such as Laramie County Fire District Two, require their professional firefighters to work toward EMT certification and/or an associate degree in fire science.
What is the test like for firefighters in Wyoming?
Firefighter candidates need to pass a timed physical ability test which evaluates their muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and cardiopulmonary endurance.
What kind of shape should I be in to be a firefighter?
Firefighters need the physical capacity to carry victims, climb flights of stairs, use heavy equipment, break down doors, and perform other rigorous activities under tight time constraints and in hostile environments.
What if I only want to fight wildfires in Wyoming?
How long does it take to become a firefighter in Wyoming?
Firefighter testing and training can often be completed within a few months. Fire academy training itself often entails 500-600 hours completed during a 4-6 month intensive.
Firefighter Courses and Programs in Wyoming
Whether their interests lie in fire investigation, inspection, protection, or engineering, aspiring fire service professionals have several firefighter training and education options to choose from. Firefighters hoping to begin their careers as first responders often train directly with the Wyoming Fire Academy or the local fire academy at the fire department for which they wish to work.
Aspiring or current firefighters interested in career advancement sometimes pursue specialization and advanced training through certificate or degree programs offered by local or online colleges. See below for descriptions of some firefighting programs offered at Wyoming colleges.
Designed for aspiring or current firefighters, Casper's 30-credit fire science certification program covers fire prevention, fighting, and investigation topics. Courses include firefighting strategy and tactics, rescue practices, fire investigation, and emergency care.
This 60-credit associate program offers excellent preparation for career advancement and/or a bachelor's degree in fire science management. In addition to general education and elective requirements, this associate program involves at least 30 major-related credits in foundational firefighting topics.
LCCC's 66-credit program prepares students for Wyoming's firefighter II certification exam through a combination of classroom learning, lab work, independent study, and fire academy training. Current firefighters may receive credit for prior relevant training and certifications.
Fire Science Colleges in Wyoming
Firefighter Salaries and Job Growth in Wyoming
A low-population state, Wyoming employed only 540 firefighters as of May 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the BLS projects a 5% growth rate in firefighting jobs nationally between 2018 and 2028. Volunteers provide about 70% (similar to the national average) of Wyoming's firefighting needs, but as climate issues escalate, Wyoming may need to employ more firefighters to protect Yellowstone National Park and other natural resources.
At $43,810 as of May 2018, the mean annual salary for Wyoming firefighters compared unfavorably to the national median firefighter salary of $49,620. However, keep in mind that Wyoming firefighting salaries vary by location, industry of employment, credentials, and specialization. For example, Laramie firefighters made $48,310-66,596 as of May 2019.
Pursuing continuing education, accruing work experience, or relocating to a high-need area can increase a firefighter's employability. Given that the majority of emergency calls require medical intervention, candidates with EMS certification may find work more easily.
Wyoming firefighters can benefit from looking beyond their local fire departments to connect with organizations that provide advocacy, education, job opportunities, and networking for firefighters.
These resources include professional organizations, such as the Federated Fire Fighters of Wyoming or the Wyoming Fire Chiefs' association; governmental organizations, such as the Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety or the Bureau of Land Management; and networking sites such as the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network. See below for links and descriptions of these valuable firefighter resources.