How to Get a Job in Fire Services Administration

Written by James Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

A degree in fire services administration prepares students to become administrators or supervisors in fire departments, forest fire services, and private corporations. With experience and a degree, one can teach fire protection at the community college level.

A fire services administrator has responsibilities such as managing other fire department staff, scheduling staff, preparing budgets, and coordinating emergency responses. Administrators must ensure that their staff is adhering to fire safety standards.

Administrators can expect to work in larger metropolitan areas as rural fire departments are often staffed by volunteers.

One function is to design and carry out department objectives and goals. Another is to analyze population growth patterns and plan department expansions accordingly. Administrators will work with city officials to coordinate emergency response plans. Administrators are in charge of creating departmental training.

Salary

As of April, 2013, the average salary for a fire services administrator was $55,000. Not surprisingly, working in larger cities earns a higher salary. For example, as of April, 2013, this position earned an average of $65,000 in New York City.

Education

In order to be considered for a fire services administrator position, one must have several years’ experience in firefighting and a bachelor's degree.

Topics covered include legal issues in fire protection, management principles of fire protection, fiscal management of the department, and delivery of emergency services. Students in the program will also learn about labor management relations and organizational psychology. Other classes will teach students about human behavior related to fires and how to manage hazardous materials.

It is advantageous to take an independent study course where students complete research projects on issues they will oversee as a fire services administrator. Examples include budgeting or program development and implementation. It would be ideal if students can prepare a research project that specifically relate to their employer and will benefit their employer. Since fire services administrators will make presentations to city officials, fire departments, and town hall meetings, it will benefit the student to verbally present this project to class mates, college staff, or their employer.

Check with the fire department of your choice to see if they require any additional certifications or credentials.

Schools For Fire Services Administration

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