Fire Protection Technology
Nature of the Occupation
Fire fighters help protect the public against dangers by responding to fires and a variety of other emergencies. In addition to putting out fires, they are frequently the first emergency personnel at the scene of a traffic accident, hazardous materials incident, or medical emergency and may be called upon to treat injuries or perform other vital functions.
Education and Training
Tyler Junior College offers two one year Certificates of Proficiency in fire protection and a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree which is structured to provide the necessary knowledge and skills required for entry-level positions in a wide range of fire departments.
Fire fighters spend much of their time at fire stations, which are usually similar to dormitories. When an alarm sounds, fire fighters respond, regardless of the weather or hour. Fire fighting involves the risk of death or injury from floors caving in, walls toppling, traffic accidents, and exposure to flames and smoke. Fire fighters also may come into contact with poisonous, flammable, or explosive gases and chemicals and radioactive materials, which may have immediate or long-term effects on their health. For these reasons, they must wear protective gear that can be very heavy and hot.
$28,000 - $60,800 per year - Texas
$23,000 - $75,400 per year - United States
Employment of workers in fire fighting occupations is expected to grow by 9% over the 2010-2020 decade. Continued population growth will increase the number of emergency calls requiring firefighter responses. The majority of situations that firefighters respond to are medical – rather than fire – emergencies and the aging of the population will lead to an increased demand for emergency responders. In addition, jobs will be created as volunteer firefighters are converted to paid positions in areas where population growth creates the need for a full-time workforce. An increase in urban populations, where full-time firefighters are more common, also is expected to increase the demand for firefighters.