Fire Protection Engineering Degrees

What degrees can I earn in fire protection engineering?

Top fire protection engineering degrees can be earned from associates, bachelors, masters and PhD programs around the country. While there are plenty of job opportunities available to graduates of traditional or online engineering degree associates and bachelors programs, students completing fire protection engineering graduate programs may earn higher salaries and have a competitive edge in the job market.

Fire protection engineering certificate

Fire protection engineering certificate programs can offer engineers greater proficiency in areas such as fire protection policy and industrial fire prevention. Graduate and bachelors certificate programs require graduation from an accredited bachelors program in fire protection design. The average length of time for an engineering certificate program is 15 credit hours, which will take most students 12 to 18 months to complete.

Fire protection engineering associates degree

Campus-based and online engineering associates degree programs offer students knowledge of basic fire prevention strategies along with mathematics and physics courses, laying a foundation for students who may be interested in progressing in their careers. Most associates programs are 2 years in length and require 50 to 70 completed credit hours.

Fire protection engineering bachelors degree

Colleges and universities offer the undergraduate fire protection engineering degree as a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Engineering with a fire protection engineering concentration. Prerequisites for admission into an onsite or online engineering bachelors degree program will likely include a foundation in calculus, chemistry and physics. An undergraduate fire protection program will range in credit hours from 120 to 140 hours, and typically takes 4 years to complete.

Fire protection engineering masters degree

Students interested in earning a fire protection engineering masters will earn a Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering or a Master of Engineering with a fire protection engineering concentration. Graduate degree programs take approximately 2 years to complete 30 to 40 post-baccalaureate credit hours. A minimum GRE score set by the engineering department may be required for admission into a campus-based or online engineering masters degree program.

Fire protection engineering PhD

A PhD in engineering and ScD, or Doctor of Science, are the highest degree options in fire protection engineering, with requirements for completion varying by institution. Most programs involve a high level of scientific research related to fire protection engineering, and can last as little as 2 years and as long as 8 years. A fire protection engineering PhD program typically requires completion of a dissertation, and will require earned credit hours ranging from 50 to 120 hours.

Are there any fire protection engineering degree programs online?

Fire protection engineering degree programs online are available at many colleges and universities across the U.S. While most are partial or hybrid associates, bachelors, masters and PhD programs, there are a number of programs that are available fully online.

Online degrees in fire protection engineering

A fire protection engineering associates degree online can open doors to job opportunities in the field. However, it may be useful for you to know that some accredited fire protection engineering online colleges offer a seamless transition from the associates to the bachelors degree program. If you are considering moving forward with your education upon completion of your associates, consider choosing a program that will allow you to do so without switching institutions.

There are many benefits to pursuing a fire protection engineering bachelors degree online. One of the challenges, however, may be the lack of networking opportunities you will encounter in comparison to a brick-and-mortar university. This barrier is best overcome by taking advantage of local chapters of professional organizations like the National Fire Protection Association in order to make connections with other students and professionals in the field.

A graduate degree is an opportunity to engage in a focused exploration of your area of interest, and will require completion of long-term research and writing projects. It is essential for you to assess your time management and self-direction skills before applying to a fire protection engineering online masters degree to ensure your success in completing the degree program.

Earning a PhD from fire protection engineering schools online allows candidates a great deal of flexibility in how they approach their dissertations. However, it is important to make sure that you will be actively connected to an advisor and to receive the proper amount of support and mentorship in order to earn your doctorate. The best fire protection engineering online program will accommodate this need and will work to provide the guidance necessary for you to succeed.

What kinds of fire protection engineering classes will I take in my program?

On-campus or online engineering courses during the first years of a bachelors degree program will likely focus on general education and core requirements, such as calculus, physics and introductory engineering courses. As you progress in your program, you will begin taking classes such as fire hazard analysis, thermodynamics and courses on heat and mass transfer.

Graduate students in a fire protection engineering program will have completed general education courses and will be taking fire protection engineering online courses or campus-based courses in risk analysis, fire protection design and fire management and recovery.

As a PhD candidate in fire protection engineering, your work will focus upon independent research on a topic related to your area of interest. While you will likely take advanced courses in fire dynamics, the majority of your earned credit hours will focus on completion of a qualifying examination in fire protection engineering, as well as your dissertation defense.

What fire protection engineering careers can I choose from?

Fire protection engineering is a subset of the broader health and safety engineering category, which develops systems and processes to reduce injury and damage to people and property.

A fire safety engineer designs and oversees systems of fire prevention and safety to reduce the incidence and impact of destructive fires. They work with architects or civil engineers during the design, building or renovation phases of a construction project to assess potential fire hazards and to offer solutions to minimize those hazards.

Engineering jobs in this field require a Professional Engineering License in order to be eligible for employment, and although career opportunities exist for engineers with an associates degree, a bachelors or higher is often preferred for the best careers in fire protection engineering.

Many engineers seeking fire protection engineering jobs are hired as consultants who examine building plans or employee safety programs to offer expertise on fire safety code and industry best practices. The average fire protection engineering salary for someone in this field ranges from $39,000 to $101,000.

Is there anything else I should know about getting a degree in fire protection engineering?

While not all engineering disciplines require engineering certification, fire protection engineering jobs require applicants to have a Professional Engineering license by completing a fire protection engineering certification program.

Jobs that do not require licensure may pay higher wages to engineers who are licensed. The first step toward this licensure is to take the Fundamentals in Engineering exam in order to be considered an engineer in training, which will allow you to gain professional experience and fire protection engineering training until you are ready to sit for your licensure exam.

In addition, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers has partnered with the National Fire Protection Association to offer an online Certified Fire Protection Specialist course and examination to document professional competency in the field of fire protection, prevention and safety.