Student in a firefighter uniform climbing out of a fire truck

The Portland Community College Fire Protection Technology program offers you a rewarding career serving your community. With a PCC credential you may work in:

  • Emergency medical response
  • Fire investigation, prevention, and suppression
  • Hazardous materials handling
  • Rescue services

Why choose Fire Protection Technology at PCC?


The Oregon Employment Department reports that Portland-area firefighters earn from $31.69 to $54.70 per hour. The average annual salary is $91,814.

Portland Community College’s Fire Protection Technology program offers a unique opportunity to launch a career of public service in a short amount of time.

PCC provides a diverse yet relevant variety of courses. We correlate classroom, laboratory, and field experience in public and private sector fire organizations. We train you to National Fire Protection Association and the National Fire Academy standards.

With a PCC Associate of Applied Science degree, you may apply for specific State of Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards & Training (DPSST) certification. You will also satisfy entry requirements for B.A./B.S. degree programs in fire administration.

Learn more about the certification process, degree and certificate outcomes, and outcomes assessment reports.

What will you learn?

We will develop your mechanical skills with all firefighting equipment. You will build the physical strength, stamina, and flexibility necessary to carry tools like fire hoses, ladders, and equipment that can weigh 50 pounds while wearing 60 pounds of protective gear.

Communication and problem-solving skills are emphasized so you can comprehend emergency instructions as well as assimilate large amounts of information. You will develop strong interpersonal skills to respond with appropriate empathy, diplomacy, and discretion for those facing troublesome situations.

Learn more about the program on our overview page.

What will you do?

Firefighters have a range of responsibilities, including responding to various emergencies as well as providing emergency medical services. This may include advanced life support measures in the pre-hospital setting, assisting in the recovery from natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods and the control of chemical spills, illegal drug labs, and other hazardous material incidents.

Between alarms, firefighters clean and maintain equipment, conduct practice drills, fire inspections, and other related duties. They also prepare written incident reports, which will become legal documents and can be evidence in court. Training is continuous throughout a firefighter’s career.