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  • Civil Engineering

    Good day to all,

    I am looking to go back to school while I pursue a career in firefighting. One of the degree choices I am contemplating is a degree in civil engineering (structural). Assuming I attain this degree can an experienced fireman reply as to whether this degree will help on the fire ground?

  • #2
    OK are you in the USA??? If you are looking at a CE degree,,, I think you may want to reevaluate.

    So getting into firefighting, depending on where you are looking will take you about as many years as a CE degree.

    So when will you have the time to study for both??

    Yes get the CE, to use as a side job.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

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    • #3
      I am a licensed PE in 5 states. Yes, civil engineering classes help a lot in the fire service. Part of the base civil engineering curriculum is hydraulic engineering. When you think about moving water, that is hydraulic engineering. Obviously structural engineering classes help with determining extent of damage and, with much experience, will allow you to gauge the safety of a structure during and after a fire (and in some cases before).

      The bigger question is which do you want to be, a licensed structural engineer or a full time paid firefighter? You cannot do both. While some paid departments have schedules that allow for significant flexibility and time in second jobs, you will not be able to get the requisite work experience under other PE's if you are not with a company full time. If you are willing to be a part time paid firefighter, you may be able to get there, but it will be a difficult road, especially if you have / want a family.

      I am a volunteer firefighter with 23 years in now, and there are many times that the engineering background has helped. If you are at all interested in teaching or leading training, it will be an enormous help. When you fully understand the full formulas and equations that generic "rule of thumb" numbers come from, it is easier to explain that to others when they have questions.

      If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

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      • #4
        I am actually in a similar boat.
        Got my Civil engineering degree (structural and hydraulics) and am trying to get hired with Los Angles city.
        Currently in backgrounds!
        Super beneficial in every sense for the job tho!

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