Thread: EMT or Associates degree?
March 30th, 2004, 10:16 AM #1
EMT or Associates degree?
Just wanted to get some feed back on a decision that I have to make in the next day or so.
I currently have 8 credit hours toward my associates degree, but I have the opportunity to take an EMT course at the technical college and get hired as a firefighter.
Here are the facts:
- I am almost topped out at my current job in salery for my position (no more raises)
- The firefighter salery starts off $2000 more per year than what I make now
- I know that I don't want to do the job i do now forever... but change is scary
Should I just hack it out and get the associates, or be a firefighter and get my associates later? The firefighter schedule of 24 hours working followed by 48 hours off is very tempting to me. I could certainly do more than 1 or 2 classes per quarter like I do now.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that I'm 24, married,1 child, living paycheck to paycheck...if any of that matters.
Last edited by jch216; March 30th, 2004 at 10:30 AM.
March 30th, 2004, 02:35 PM #2
In the short term taking the fire fighter job might be a good move if ..... You and your family can handle the work schedule, the percieved element of danger in the job, and the emotional intensity (the first time you bring a dead child out of a building). Some people thrive on that type of life - others just can't handle it. If you do decide to go with firefighting you'll still need to look at more education in the future. Promotion opportunities and specialist positions tend to go to the guys with degrees. Good luck
March 30th, 2004, 02:43 PM #3
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I look at it this way: You can help people, or make money, but not both at the same time. Firefighting is a great job, but has less of a future than the business world. I'd say go for the firefighting, makes for interesting stories, everybody will buy you a drink, and you will develop some nice muscles lugging around those hoses.
March 30th, 2004, 03:23 PM #4
Quick question from the Canadian: What is the difference between a Bachelors degree and an Associates degree?
March 30th, 2004, 04:12 PM #5
Bachelors degree is 4yr, more money
Associates degree is 2 yrResearch is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing
March 31st, 2004, 08:30 AM #6
I was looking at it like this...
I can only take 1 or 2 classes per quarter. I would like to get a bachelors degree some day because associate degrees are in pretty good supply it seems. It would take me quite a long time at 2 classes per quarter to accomplish that task. With the fire fighting schedule I could probably swing at least 3/4 of a full load of classes with no problem.
As for the mental/emotional stresses of the job I believe I would be ok. I don't enjoy seeing pain and suffering, but I don't think it would keep me from doing a job. Although being a father, I would have to agree that pulling a dead child from a burning building or a wreck would effect me to some degree.
Regardless of what I choose I will get the associates degree. I just believe that the "supply and demand" of degrees are leaning toward bachelors and higher. Seems that more poeple are getting college degrees these days.
March 31st, 2004, 10:30 AM #7
In my area of the states the only thing an associate’s degree is good for is wiping your hinny. You’re definitely not considered a “college graduate” with just an associate. Firefighting can be a dangerous job and there can be a certain amount of emotional stress that occurs.
How are you prepared to handle say; arriving at the scene of a house fire, you’re told by an escaped occupant of the house that there are three small children inside. The blaze is mature, the structure nearly fully engulfed, you fight to rescue the children, even hearing their pleas for help but fail. Once the fire is out and cooled, you have to sift through the remains to find the chard bodies of the children. It’s a gruesome scenario but one you potential face everyday that you’re a firefighter on the job.
Firefighting is a noble profession but one that requires a certain disposition to survive the job. If there was anyway you could sacrifice and go the bachelors’ route, that’s the path of greatest financial reward. It’s a tough decision, good luck!
March 31st, 2004, 10:44 AM #8
I'm hoping that the firefighter position is the quickest way to the bachelor degree for me.
This is what I'm contending with...
I work from 7am-3:15pm
drive home 3:20pm-4pm
teach karate 6pm-9pm 3 days a week
college 5:30pm-9:45pm 2 days a week (2 classes with 1 hour break between)
saturday 8am-12:30pm teach karate
That is my schedule right now.... keep in mind that I am married with a child. It doesn't leave much room for them in my schedule.
My schedule if I were a fire fighter would be 24hours on duty-48 hours off duty. My little girl would be in school and the wife would be at work while I would be taking college classes during the day. I could still teach karate but I would have a couple extra evenings per week to spend with the family.
March 31st, 2004, 11:27 AM #9
Then I think firefighting is the way to go. One of my better friend's, growing up, father was a firefighter. He loved his job; his schedule was much like the one you’ve posted. He was always there, volunteering at school, coaching the soccer team, baseball team et cetera.
He also was early on able to work toward a bachelor degree; his was in firefighting technology or something like that from Oklahoma State University. Last I heard he was the captain of his own firehouse.
March 31st, 2004, 11:40 AM #10
The firefighter job would be good for getting your degree. If you are lucky, you will have lull periods while you can use to study.
-RADAR"Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
March 31st, 2004, 12:16 PM #11
True Radar. I didn't think of that angle. I'm sure there are some slow periods involved every now and then. Especially because the area I am thinking about going for is suburb/rural.
March 31st, 2004, 04:05 PM #12
I did it. I am registered in the EMS 120 class (Emergency Medical Technology I - Basic).
Late registration ended yesterday, and the class was full. But I talked with the advisor lady for about 10 minutes and she softened up. She did an override of the system and put me in the class anyway. I told her I would just sit on the floor in the back of the class till someone else dropped out . Plus the hope grant payed for everything.
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