Wildland Firefighting


If you prefer the outdoors to an office, enjoy a change of scenery, don’t mind getting dirty, remain cool under pressure, want variety in your work and find it rewarding to serve others and the environment, wildland firefighting might be your professional calling.

Northern’s certificate program takes you well beyond a basic introduction to this exciting occupation. It combines advanced, hands-on instruction from qualified instructors with high-caliber field experiences. You will emerge from our program with instruction and training at the Squad Boss level and 13 national certificates.

This “total package” of practical skills and knowledge is appealing to prospective employers. It can lead to limited or long-term seasonal employment in wildland firefighting. It might also be the first step toward a career with an agency involved in natural resource management.

There is a great need for properly trained personnel who can…

  • Suppress, manage and monitor wildfires
  • Remove brush and trim trees for firebreaks
  • Mitigate wildfire risks to structures and communities
  • Participate in fire prevention activities
  • Conduct safety briefings and drills
  • Engage in fire ecology and vegetation management
  • Operate/maintain firefighting tools and equipment
  • Help with other natural disasters

Special Opportunities

  • Fire crew course: To learn more about prescribed burning and gain hands-on fire management experience, NMU students earn three credits over spring break training with the Florida Park Service and other fire agencies.Learn more about the 3-credit Fire Crew course
  • ​Internships: Northern’s program includes a field experience of at least three months outside of the program. This typically takes the form of a paid summer field experience or employment with an agency or organization.
  • Community Service: Help landowners clear some timber from their property as part of the wildfire chain saws class.


Contact Us

School of Health and Human Performance
201 PEIF

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at nmu.edu/institutionalresearch/disclosure.