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Fire Technology

Training Coordinator:   Michael Keefe
Phone:   916-570-5009





Steve Segura




 AA Degree and Certificate Courses and Schedule

California State Fire Training Courses


Program Description

This program was established under the direction of the California Fire Technology Directors Association and the Sacramento Regional Fire Technology Advisory Board. The program offers both an intensive training course culminating in a Certificate of Achievement and an additional general education program leading to the Associate in Arts degree. Instructors in this program are experienced members of the fire service.


Certificate of Achievement

A Certificate of Achievement can be obtained upon completion of the 29-unit major with a grade of "C" or better in each course.


Associate of Arts Degree

The Associate of Arts degree can be obtained upon completion of a total of 60 units, including the major and general education units with a grade of "C" or better in each course.

Complete Program Information

Refer to American River College catalog at:


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do I need to be a Firefighter?

To be a firefighter in Sacramento County, you will need to have graduated from high school, have both eyes corrected to 20/30 normal color vision, be at least 18 years of age, do not have any felony convictions, and completed your Emergency Medical Technician 1 (EMT-1) certificate. In addition, some of these fire departments desire that the candidate to have taken several college units prior to applying for the firefighter's exam.

2. What are some career options/opportunities available to me after I earn the certificate and/or degree?

Most major fire agencies in the Sacramento area provide an incentive salary increase to firefighters with a Certificate and/or a degree in Fire Technology. In addition, naturally an individual with a certificate and/or degree would be looked upon more favorable for employment than someone without such documents.

3. What is the average cost of the certificate program?

American River College is a public community college. Enrollment fees are $46 per unit for California residents. Out-of-state and international students will pay higher fees. The minimum number of units required for a certificate is 29 units. Books, transportation, parking, food, and materials fees are an additional cost.

4. What is the average cost of the degree program?

The minimum number of units required for a degree is 60 units. This may be accomplished by adding the certificate's 29 units, plus 31 general education units. so at least $2,760 at the moment not counting additional fees listed above and a possible rise in tuition.

5. What employment opportunities exist in the fire service?

A variety of career opportunities are open to students who successfully complete specific portions of this program of study. Employment opportunities may be found in areas such as fire investigation, fire prevention, sprinkler designer and installer, fire extinguisher manufacturing, hazardous materials, public education, building construction, firefighter-paramedic, and firefighter. The California fire service has a great retirement plan where upon many firefighters retire at an early age creating a vacuum, which must be filled by new personnel. So, future employment opportunities look very good.

6. What courses do I need to take?

First, it would be advisable to meet with a counselor at ARC (916-484-8572), to be certain that you're on the correct path for what you want to achieve and then to receive a plan of what courses you'll need to complete for that program. Complete course program information can be found in the ARC catalog at:

7. What is the first step I need to take to enroll in the program?

You may apply online at American River College's Home Website:

8. Where is the Fire Technology AA degree and certificate program class schedule located?

9. Where is the Firefighter 1 Academy information located?

10. Where is the California State Fire Training Courses and Schedule located?

California State Fire Training Courses

11. Where is ARC's Fire Technology AA degree presented and where is the California State Fire Training delivered?

The AA degree courses are presented only at ARC's Public Safety Center and registration information is located at

The California State Fire Training courses are provided at both the Public Safety Center and the California Fire and Rescue Center. Registration is located at for the Public Safety Center's presentation of State Fire Training classes and at the courses delivered at the California Fire & rescue Training Authority.

12. What are the starting salaries of Firefighters?

The starting salaries for Firefighters in the Sacramento area range from $53, 534 - $65,071. Firefighters/Paramedic begins at $58,888 and goes to $71,579 annually, in base pay.