Fire Science Degree, AAS

Get the education and hands-on training you need for a career in firefighting. At San Juan College, you'll work directly with firefighters to gain experience and train in our new fire training tower. Be ready for a career saving lives and property in less than two years with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Fire Science.

Why Complete an Associate Degree in Fire Science?

A fire science degree is a great way to prepare for a career fighting fires. Learn about fire suppression, building construction, and emergency medical skills. You'll also use fire simulations to practice fighting blazes. With this degree, you'll be ready to enter the fire service at entry-level positions. If you are already in the fire service, you'll find great career development opportunities with our program.

Fire science programs can offer a certificate or associate degree. The Fire Science AAS will give you both firefighting training and more well-rounded education. For example, you'll learn about fire prevention and rope rescue. The associate degree also includes an emergency medical responder course where you practice lifesaving skills such as CPR. You'll also take general education courses to help you build communication and critical thinking skills. With an associate degree, you'll be a better candidate for work and find a job more quickly.

Firefighting is a physically demanding profession. You can build your strength through an AAS program as you complete training. You'll learn proper techniques for lifting people and heavy objects. 

Why Earn a Fire Science AAS at San Juan College?

Quality Education

Our Fire Science program train approximately 80 new students annually and serve 30 to 40 firefighters in career development. That means you'll be in courses with fellow firefighters who already have experience. You'll help one another improve, building the teamwork essential to the field.

You'll learn in small class sizes with dedicated instructors who will support you every step of the way. As part of your hands-on experience, you'll practice fighting fires with working firefighters. With their coaching, you'll be prepared for real-world situations in emergency operations and as a fire service member.

State-of-the-Art Equipment 

Practice firefighting techniques on SJC's new fire training tower. This four-story structure is outfitted with cutting-edge technology to help you prepare for real-world scenarios. It uses liquified petroleum gas (LPG) or proane  and smoke generators to simulate fire in different building areas. Next to the tower is a car fire simulator that will help you practice putting out fires in vehicles. Safety is key, which is why all our simulators are National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) compliant. Instructors can control every aspect of the fires to ensure your safety.

We also have a new breathing air compressor that you will use to fill Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) bottles. You will use these containers for breathing in burning buildings. We also have added bed and sofa fire simulators to help you train for these scenarios and keep safety in mind.

Affordable Option

The Fire Science AAS is an excellent investment for you. Our low tuition rate mean you'll be able to afford the program. You may also qualify to get your degree tuition-free through the NM Opportunity and Lottery Scholarships

What You'll Learn in the Fire Science Program

Study firefighting techniques both in the classroom and through hands-on experiences. You must meet performance standards and timed evolutions to pass your courses. Your safety and the safety of your classmates will be paramount in your courses as you will operate in smoke- and fire-filled environments.

In your fire science core courses, you will learn:

  • Basic emergency medical service skills, such as CPR and patient assessment
  • Fire behavior, fire safety and survival, and fire control
  • Building construction
  • Firefighting strategies and tactics, such as hose handling, ventilation, and forcible entry
  • Rescue skills, such as extraction from vehicles and search and rescue
  • Hazardous materials awareness
  • Wildland firefighting skills, such as size-up, tool handling, fire line safety, and beginning aerial operations
  • Fire prevention and fire prevention systems

Through your classes, you will be eligible to earn the "red card" wildland firefighter certification you need to work on wildland fires or prescribed burns.

You can also choose from the electives that will teach you:

  • Additional emergency medical service skills
  • Physical fitness for firefighters
  • Advanced firefighting skills
  • Rope rescue and techniques
  • Safety and survival skills
  • How to be a driver/operator for fire equipment

We also offer leadership and management skills from experienced fire instructors. You can learn about becoming a:

  • Fire instructor
  • Fire officer
  • Incident safety officer
  • Fire investigator

Fire Science AAS Curriculum

Transfer Options

If you would like to use your associate degree to earn a bachelor's degree, you may consider the following two programs:

Please note some or all of your courses may not transfer. Contact your SJC academic advisor and the university's program advisor to plan your academic journey. 

Careers and Outcomes

The job market in the fire service is strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of firefighters to grow by 4% from 2021 to 2031. With more firefighters retiring, this demand may get stronger locally, regionally, and nationally.

By graduating with an associate degree in fire science, you'll be prepared to work as a:

  • Firefighter
  • Fire truck driver/operator
  • Company officer
  • Fire investigator
  • Fire inspector

Our graduates work in fire departments in Farmington, in the state, or across the country. All recent new hires for the Farmington Fire Department are graduates from San Juan College's Fire Science program. 

Program Approval

Because of the program's rigorous requirements, you must receive approval to enroll in the Fire Science AAS courses. Discuss entrance requirements with our Fire Science coordinator at (505) 566-3634 or

Next Steps

You must receive prior approval to enroll in the Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science. Be sure to contact the Fire Science coordinator at (505) 566-3634 or

To enroll in the Fire Science AAS, you must first apply to San Juan College. It's easy, and you can apply online at any time!

Apply Now

If you are already a student at San Juan College, talk to your advisor about our associate degree in fire science.

Find Your Advisor

Phone: (505) 566-3320

West Classroom Complex,
Room 1911

M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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