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Guide to Online Courses for Fire Protection, Engineering Jobs

written by: sdoy79•edited by: Sylvia Cochran•updated: 5/31/2009

Over the last 30 years, fire protection/engineering jobs have been evolving and advancing. There are new modeling techniques, fire control methods, and constant ongoing research to improve fire protection. Cutting edge online engineering programs give you exposure to a variety of disciplines.

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    Which Online Courses to Anticipate for Fire Protection, Engineering Jobs

    As an online student preparing for fire protection, engineering jobs, you will be taking a variety of classes. Some of these classes are:

    • Fire Dynamics
    • Fire Suppression
    • Fire Safety Engineering
    • Explosion Protection
    • Failure Analysis
    • Building Fire Safety
    • Fire Alarm System Design
    • Operations Risk Management
    • Industrial Fire Protection
    • Fire Science Laboratory
    • Business Practice

    These courses will delve into thermodynamics, chemistry, the make-up of fire, how to make sites where fire behavior can be analyzed, how explosions can occur, how to engineer safer fire prevention systems, the design of sprinkler systems, and the skills needed for being able to write a technical report.

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    Fire Protection, Engineering Jobs Growth and Salary Averages

    According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the fire fighting field in general is expected to grow by 12% through the year 2016. The growth of fire protection engineering jobs is expected to be around 2%. In 2006, there were 1,800 reported fire protection engineers. Thus, expect the competition to be fierce.

    There are many qualified individuals for these positions, so make yourself stand out where you can. Professional references always help; practicing your interviewing techniques before you go out for that interview to get the chance and land the big job will help you tremendously. The average pay for a fire protection engineer starts out at around $42,232 and can go up to around $56,045.

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    What Types of Fire Protection Engineering Jobs Can You Expect?

    You will -- most likely -- be working for the city as a fire protection engineer in the fire department. The nice thing about working for the city is of course that there is plenty of overtime, lots of paid holidays, and a lot of job security. There are also fire protection engineering jobs opportunities in the private sector as well; these include installing fire alarms, servicing or designing automatic sprinkler systems, and specializing fire suppression systems.

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    Can I get My Education for Fire Protection Engineering Jobs Completely Online?

    Yes, and no; you can take all of your courses online at one of the colleges listed below, or only a selected few, such as they are noted at the other college. Most students looking for online classes are doing so for time constraints and flexibility of schedule. For example, the class "Industrial Fire Protection" at a "brick and mortar" college may only be offered at 2pm on M-W-F. How can you participate in this course if you are working full time? Compare this to a online course, where a professor gives you an assignment to complete via email and the class is held as a 24/7 discussion board! With online universities, you are offered much more flexibility with your time, which may help you to save money, especially if you are working while attending school.

    Good luck with your new career in Fire Protection Engineering!

    Here are a couple of online colleges you can check out:

    WPI : WPI offers all of it's courses online. They offer either a certificate or a Master in Science. Review the curriculum and see which better suits what you are looking to do with YOUR career. Always speak with a school counselor before signing up to help you find out which type of degree or certification best fits in with your goals. It is $150 per course, not including any other tech or admissions fees.

    NWTC: NWTC costs $112.20 per credit hour, not including any other tech or admissions fees. NWTC offers online courses only in “Fire Alarm System Design." These credits will go towards an associate’s degree in fire engineering. NWTC might offer a hybrid program where you can take classes at your local "brick and mortar" community college that will be equal to other required classes for the associate's program. I recommend that you speak with a counselor first before signing up first to see if this is a possibility in your area.

    There are also many other factors to consider while comparing costs of an online college to a "brick and mortar" college. Weigh your options carefully!