What Classes to Take to Become a Firefighter?


To become firefighter takes dedication and lots of preparation because firefighting involves special mental, as well as physical, skills. The challenging nature of the work and the sense of satisfaction it brings make firefighting an attractive career--and the competition for firefighting jobs can be intense. You can prepare for a career in firefighting by taking classes that are related to, and compliment, the job itself.

Firefighting Courses

  • Take a course centered on firefighting, like fire science, fire prevention or fire investigation. Give yourself an advantage others don't have. Check out colleges and universities that offer a degree program in firefighting. Ask at the local fire department or a college or university about how to enroll in classes. Visit http://www.universities.com to locate schools that offer a bachelor's degree in fire science.

EMT Courses

  • Train to be an EMT or paramedic. Arm yourself with emergency medical skills firefighters often use on the job. Check area hospitals, colleges or fire or ambulance departments to see if they offer EMT courses. Cite your experience as an EMT when applying for a program in firefighting.


  • Learn CPR, or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, an emergency procedure that involves external cardiac massage and artificial respiration. Contact your local American Red Cross to learn where you can take a class in CPR.


  • Take a comprehensive fitness or martial arts class. Get in shape if you want a career in firefighting. Train on your own or with a partner, but join a class if you want to stick to a conditioning regimen and push yourself. Choose a program that includes both muscular and cardiovascular conditioning. Study the martial arts to learn the discipline and mental, as well as physical, conditioning you'll need in firefighting.

Social Work and Psychology

  • Learn the basics of social work and psychology to deal with situations firefighters face where someone is suicidal or threatens violence. Contact a community college or a practicing psychologist or social worker to find a course that's right for you.


  • Join a firefighters' organization to increase your knowledge and show your dedication. Look into popular organizations like the National Fire Protection Association and the National Association of EMTs.

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  • Photo Credit firefighter and flames 2 image by Tino Hemmann from Fotolia.com
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