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Fire Inspectors
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Description: what do they do?
Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
Also known as:
Fire Marshal, Fire Official, Fire Prevention Inspector, Fire Prevention Specialist, Fire Protection Specialist, Fire Safety Inspector, Fire Inspector, Inspector, Fire Code Inspector, Deputy Fire Marshal

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
00:00
00:00

    Transcript: Smokey Bear may be the most recognized fire prevention figure in the country, but there are a variety of workers involved in preventing and investigating fires in the forest and elsewhere. Fire inspectors search buildings for fire hazards and ensure that government fire codes are met. They inspect buildings— from apartment and office complexes to stadiums and schools. They also test fire alarms and extinguishers, review evacuation plans, and conduct fire safety education programs. Fire investigators attempt to reconstruct how fires occur… they collect evidence and interview witnesses to determine the origin and cause of building fires. They may be exposed to poor ventilation, smoke, fumes, and other hazardous agents. Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists look out for conditions that pose a wildfire risk, recommend ways to reduce fire hazards, and conduct patrols to enforce regulations and report on conditions. They spend much of their time outdoors in forests and fields. Most fire inspectors, investigators, and forest fire specialists have work experience as firefighters along with specialized classroom and on-the-job training. While some employers prefer candidates with a degree in fire science, engineering, or chemistry for fire inspector and investigator positions, forest fire specialists typically need a high school education. Additional requirements vary by state.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
WYOMING
N/A
2016 Employment
N/A
2026 Employment
N/A
Percent change
N/A
Annual projected job openings
United States
13,000
2018 Employment
13,700
2028 Employment
6%
Percent change
1,300
Annual projected job openings
You’re seeing projected employment information for Fire inspectors and investigators because we don’t have information for Fire Inspectors.
N/A: We do not have employment projections in this state for this occupation.

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Fire Inspectors and Investigators* in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
* You’re seeing wages for Fire Inspectors and Investigators because we don’t have information for Fire Inspectors.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationWYOMINGUnited States
10%N/A$36,400
25%N/A$46,440
MedianN/A$62,510
75%N/A$77,480
90%N/A$95,330


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Postsecondary certificate
  • 5 years or more work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:
You’re seeing education information for Fire inspectors and investigators because we don’t have information for Fire Inspectors. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained
You’re seeing education information for Fire inspectors and investigators because we don’t have information for Fire Inspectors. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Inspect equipment to ensure safety or proper functioning.
  • Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with fire regulations.
  • Examine debris to obtain information about causes of fires.
  • Issue permits or other legal documents.
  • Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with security or safety regulations.
  • Write operational reports.
  • Inform others about laws or regulations.
  • Identify actions needed to bring properties or facilities into compliance with regulations.
  • Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
  • Develop fire safety or prevention programs or plans.
  • Attend training to learn new skills or update knowledge.
  • Review documents or materials for compliance with policies or regulations.
  • Educate the public about fire safety or prevention.
  • Maintain fire fighting tools or equipment.
  • Provide safety training.
  • Evaluate employee performance.
  • Direct fire fighting or prevention activities.
  • Train employees in proper work procedures.
  • Recommend improvements to increase safety or reduce risks.
  • Serve court ordered documents.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Testing how well a product or service works.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Flexibility of Closure - Seeing hidden patterns.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Category Flexibility - Grouping things in different ways.
  • Perceptual Speed - Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
  • Far Vision - Seeing details that are far away.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Conduct inspections and acceptance testing of newly installed fire protection systems.
  • Inspect buildings to locate hazardous conditions and fire code violations, such as accumulations of combustible material, electrical wiring problems, and inadequate or non-functional fire exits.
  • Conduct fire code compliance follow-ups to ensure that corrective actions have been taken in cases where violations were found.
  • Search for clues as to the cause of a fire, once the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Inspect properties that store, handle, and use hazardous materials to ensure compliance with laws, codes, and regulations, and issue hazardous materials permits to facilities found in compliance.
  • Write detailed reports of fire inspections performed, fire code violations observed, and corrective recommendations offered.
  • Identify corrective actions necessary to bring properties into compliance with applicable fire codes, laws, regulations, and standards, and explain these measures to property owners or their representatives.
  • Investigate causes of fires, collecting and preparing evidence and presenting it in court when necessary.
  • Develop or review fire exit plans.
  • Inspect and test fire protection or fire detection systems to verify that such systems are installed in accordance with appropriate laws, codes, ordinances, regulations, and standards.
  • Attend training classes to maintain current knowledge of fire prevention, safety, and firefighting procedures.
  • Inspect liquefied petroleum installations, storage containers, and transportation and delivery systems for compliance with fire laws.
  • Review blueprints and plans for new or remodeled buildings to ensure the structures meet fire safety codes.
  • Present and explain fire code requirements and fire prevention information to architects, contractors, attorneys, engineers, developers, fire service personnel, and the general public.
  • Arrange for the replacement of defective fire fighting equipment and for repair of fire alarm and sprinkler systems, making minor repairs such as servicing fire extinguishers when feasible.
  • Conduct fire exit drills to monitor and evaluate evacuation procedures.
  • Issue permits for public assemblies.
  • Supervise staff, training them, planning their work, and evaluating their performance.
  • Testify in court regarding fire code and fire safety issues.
  • Teach public education programs on fire safety and prevention.
  • Develop and coordinate fire prevention programs, such as false alarm billing, fire inspection reporting, and hazardous materials management.
  • Recommend changes to fire prevention, inspection, and fire code endorsement procedures.
  • Serve court appearance summonses or condemnation notices on parties responsible for violations of fire codes, laws, and ordinances.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.