Entry Level Firefighter

The Entry Level Firefighter Degree offered through San Diego Miramar College offers several options to earn the required certifications necessary to become a professional Firefighter.  Miramar Fire Technology is an Accredited Regional Training Program (ARTP) through State Fire Training. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 1001) Standards for Professional Firefighter requirements are directly embedded into the Fire Technology Degree and Certificate of Achievement.

Entry Level Firefighter has been closely coordinated between our agency stakeholders, including San Diego Fire Rescue Department, Cal Fire San Diego, San Diego County Fire Authority and Heartland Fire Training.  

Nearly ALL Fire Departments require the Firefighter 1 Certification typically earned by attending a Fire Academy.  National Requirements and Certifications now require even stricter testing through written and skills exams to ensure today’s students are ready and equipped to handle tomorrow’s emergencies.

The quickest and most direct way to earn your FF1 is to attend the traditional Miramar College Regional Fire Academy offered through Heartland in El Cajon. (FIPT 381F &381G) The 486 hour academy meets Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays January through May annually.  Fire Recruits are either sponsored by local departments or may attend as an open enrollee at the student’s expense.  Scholarships are available. However, enrollment is limited.

Miramar College students who successfully pass the San Diego Fire Rescue entrance exam requirements may be eligible for the Open Enrollee (self-sponsored) position in the Fire Recruit Academy.  (FIPT 381S) 15% of enrollment is open to MIramar Fire Technology students who are chosen through a lottery system from the top candidates of the exam process. San Diego Fire Rescue has a strong tradition of hiring Open Enrollees who successful pass the San Diego Fire Rescue Academy offered through MIramar College.

Miramar Fire Technology offers a flexible, fully funded alternative Fire Academy model. The On campus model removes barriers for students who might not be able to attend a traditional academy by providing ALL of the FF 1 certification training in a flexible format. Ten (10) Modules (or courses) make up the same rigorous requirements for FF1 Certification. These courses are scheduled during, morning, afternoon, evening and weekends to offer a variety of course offerings to fit students demanding schedules. A full time student can complete all requirements within two instructional terms, with careful planning.  A part-time student can finish in three or four instructional terms. Skill review and study groups are organized outside of class hours for mastering skills necessary for Firefighter 1 Examination.

In this format, students can fully access financial aid options, veteran and active duty military students can utilize their Post 9/11 & Forever GI Bill and all students can apply for a variety of scholarships.  Student costs are minimal in comparison to the traditional academy, reducing financial barriers toward earning the Firefighter I certification required for entry level employment.

Half-way through the alternative academy model students are eligible to become reserve/volunteer firefighter with San Diego County Fire Authority, Heartland Fire & Rescue, San Miguel Fire Protection and other Departments with reserve programs,  Students interested in becoming seasonal firefighters with Cal Fire can meet the Cal Fire Basic Academy requirements by completing only a few more courses.  The remaining courses complete the educational requirements for the Firefighter I certification. After completing the Firefighter I educational requirements, students are eligible to apply for the State Firefighter I Certification with an option for National Certification through International Fire Services Accredited Congress. (IFSAC).

The new Entry Level Firefighter Degree and Certification Program provides ALL Fire Technology students an equal opportunity to meet the entry level requirements. Courses are open year round, including Spring, Summer, Fall and Intersession and maybe started at any time. The two week final course “ Skills Review and Certification Exam” is offered in January and June each year. To get started, enroll today at

Fire Liaison Counselor

Isabella Feldman


Fire Technology Catalog Information

Fire Technology  Course Sequence