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A Guide to Beginning a Trade Career in the Fire Protection Industry

Want to know a secret? The truth is that some people don’t need a college degree to land a well-paying and fulfilling job. Sitting in a classroom may be better spent gaining experience in your chosen field. 

46% of U.S. college graduates are in jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Also, for some people, college is a poor investment. 

College tuition rates in the U.S. have risen more than 1130% over the past three decades. It’s harder than ever to see a return on your college investment.

What is Trade School?

Trade schools (also known as vocational schools) are post-secondary institutions designed to train students in specific careers. Students may enroll in trade school immediately after high school graduation or after receiving some work experience.

One of the biggest differences between trade schools and colleges is the hands-on programs that prepare students for trade jobs, including fire protection, automotive fabrication, and HVAC.

There’s a wide variety of trade schools specializing in different industries, but if you’re interested in fire protection specific training, look for schools that offer Fire Education and Training programs.

These schools provide training and courses for all the possible fire protection career opportunities, including sprinkler technicians, protection system inspectors, and system installers.

How Many Trade Schools are in Illinois?

There are currently 115 vocational schools across Illinois. Not all schools offer classes for fire protection, so double-check their offerings before signing up.

Is Trade School a Good Alternative to College?

In a trade career, you gain experience immediately and don’t incur substantial debt. 

There is currently a high demand for tradespeople, and historically, trade careers tend to be recession-proof. 

In particular, trade careers in the fire protection industry are booming, well-paid, and always in need. Between now and 2024, job demand in the fire protection industry will continue to increase by 6%. 

Further, jobs span both in the private fire industry sector and with the government and universities. 

How Do You Get into a Trade School?

Most trade schools require a high school diploma, GED, or proof of homeschool graduation. That said, some schools allow direct transfer from high school to trade school, and others waive the requirement based on work experience or other qualifications. Speaking directly with the trade school to identify their requirements is best.

Note: Some trade schools require students to take standardized tests or an entrance exam before acceptance. Check with your program or trade school for more information.

Benefits of Working in the Fire Protection Industry

Some exciting jobs in the Fire Protection Industry pay, on average, upwards of $43,000 – $53,000.

  • NICET Certified Sprinkler Technicians inspect, test, and maintain fire sprinkler systems.
  • Fire Alarm Installers install, modify, maintain, program, and repair fire alarms.
  • Certified Fire Extinguisher Technicians perform routine inspections and maintenance on portable extinguishers.
  • Fire Alarm Service and Inspection Technicians test the functionality of equipment, connections, and alarm signals and correct any issues with equipment. 

Working in the fire protection industry comes with many benefits. These positions offer a variety of customer contact opportunities and new job sites or locations every day. 

Additionally, positions in the fire protection industry generally come with generous benefits packages, which include health and dental insurance, a 401 K retirement plan, and paid time off. And, who can forget the bonus of protecting lives.

Start Your Trade Career at Allegiant Fire Protection 

Want to find out more about if the fire protection industry is right for you? Companies like Allegiant Fire Protection serve large sectors by building a tight-knit team.

Allegiant believes that employee appreciation is the key to success. We are proud of our company culture and how it positively impacts our work. 

Check out our current job openings to see if beginning a trade career with Allegiant is right for you.

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