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Fire Science

If you crave excitement and adventure wanting to respond to fires or medical emergencies, Western Dakota Tech offers a Fire Science Program for you. Your Associate of Applied Science Degree will make you more marketable in the highly competitive career of working for a professional fire department or wildland agency.
The Pro Board Certification Program is administered by the Fire Science program in coordination with the Corporate Education Center at Western Dakota Tech. Students receive training to meet the standards specified for Pro Board Firefighter certifications. For more information on the Pro Board, visit the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications website.

Degree Description

The Fire Science program will prepare you for a career in a wildland or structural fire service. The Associate of Applied Science Degree provides instruction preparing you for a career in a professional fire service. This is done through a combination of classroom instruction, extensive hands-on training, and in-field experience, allowing you to develop skills required for successful employment in the fire service.

As a WDT Fire Science Student you will train in real-life conditions to prepare you to be a professional firefighter. You will learn the fundamental principles in the causes of fire, organizational structure, fire behavior, emergency tactics and fire suppression, along with the basics of urban, rural, and wildland firefighting.

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Application Process

1. Complete Western Dakota Tech Admissions Application
2. Complete the ACCUPLACER test ($15 fee)
3. Schedule your Admissions Advising Session
4. Submit High School transcript or GED scores (also submit official college transcripts if you have previously attended a post-secondary institution)
5. Submit Immunization Records verifying two doses of MMR vaccinations
6. Once you receive your acceptance letter, schedule a time to register for classes

(The ACCUPLACER test will be waived if you have an ACT sub-score of 18 or better in English, Math, and Reading, or a SAT sub-score of at least 40 in Verbal and Math.  The scores must be within the last five years.)

The ACCUPLACER test is offered Monday - Friday at 8:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m.

Please call 605-718-2565 to make an appointment.

To continue into Fire Science internship, students may have to provide the following:

1. Copy of valid driver’s license*
2. Background check*

*Students are responsible for additional costs.

The program lead instructor will assist students with any clinical or internship site requirements.

Note: If you are or have been convicted, pleaded guilty or no contest to, or received a suspended imposition of sentence for a felony or certain misdemeanors, you are advised that you may not be able to complete all course requirements for your chosen program, you may be prevented from taking required certification/licensure examinations in your chosen program field, and you may be prevented from gaining employment in your program field.

Students that sit out for a spring or fall semester or longer, will return under a new Catalog and may be required to repeat courses or successfully complete new or revised skills or competency assessments. Before readmittance, the program may need to determine if a student is eligible to continue in technical courses. Program sequencing and cohort size may prevent enrollment in technical courses.

Clinicals, practicums, and internships may include, but are not limited to, differential shifts (evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays) to meet industry expectations. This may require travel outside the Rapid City Area.

Download Application Process Checklist

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Career Description

Every year, fires and other emergencies take thousands of lives and destroy property. Firefighters help serve and protect the public against these dangers by being among the first emergency personnel on the scene of a fire, accident, or medical emergency.

Fighting fires is dangerous and complex requiring organization and teamwork from first responders. Professional firefighters must be prepared to respond immediately to any fire or other emergency. This includes a variety of settings, including urban, rural, grasslands, forests, airports, chemical plants, and other industrial sites.

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General Education EMT

After Earning Your Degree

There is always a need for firefighers in our area. Whether they are grassland firefighers or local, structural firefighers, there is always a need. In the United States, there are approximately 308,780 firefighters, and that market is expected to grow 6.6% before 2022. The Fire Science Program at WDT will prepare you to not only fight fires locally, but anywhere in the country, opening up your job opportunities immensely.


$44,708 Firefighter

$54,534  Fire Inspector Investigator

$75,282 Fire Chief

$61,342  Fire-Line Supervisor/Prevention Workers


The salaries for fire science professionals vary by job title. Media salary amounts for the following careers are provided by as of January 2016


8 out of 10 WDT Graduates find jobs right after graduation

Meet Your Faculty

Western Dakota Tech has a low student-to-faculty ratio, meaning more one-on-one learning. Individual attention from your professor can make your college experience more fulfilling.

  • Thomas Smith

Financial Aid

Continuing your education is crucial and Western Dakota Tech wants to make sure that any student who wants to attend school, has the opportunity to do so. For this reason, WDT is dedicated to administering the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IV Financial Assistance Program fair and consistently to anyone who needs it.

Build Dakota Scholarships

The Build Dakota Scholarship at Western Dakota Tech will pay all your tuition and fees and prepare you for a career that is in-demand and growing in South Dakota. Build Dakota Scholarships will be awarded to students entering high-need workforce programs at South Dakota’s technical institutes to fill the state’s technical careers with skilled professionals.

Student Housing

While Western Dakota Tech does not offer on-campus housing, we understand that finding a place to live within town while you go to school can be difficult. We have a few resources to help prospective students find affordable housing.

Child Care

Finding child care during school is a challenge for many students. Western Dakota Tech currently does not offer on-campus child care, but here are some resources that may help you in your search.

Youth & Family Services is an organization dedicated to helping children in Western South Dakota. They offer a variety of services, including child care at multiple locations.

The Y of Rapid City offers child care and other services.

Disclaimer: Western Dakota Tech provides these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation, endorsement or adoption by Western Dakota Tech of any site or any information contained therein. When you leave, you should be aware that our terms and policies no longer govern. Western Dakota Tech makes no claim or representation regarding, and accepts no responsibility for, the quality, content, nature or reliability of third-party websites or vendors.

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