Fire inspectors examine buildings to detect fire hazards and ensure that federal, state, and local fire codes are met. Fire investigators determine the origin and cause of fires and explosions. Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists assess fire hazards in both public and residential areas.
Fire inspectors work both in offices and in the field. Inspectors typically work during regular business hours, but investigators often work evenings, weekends, and holidays because they must be ready to respond when fires happen. Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists check on outdoor installations and land to assess fire risk.
Fire inspectors and investigators typically have previous work experience as a firefighter or police officer, where many have completed a postsecondary educational program for emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists typically enter the occupation with a high school diploma or equivalent.
Workers attend training academies and receive on-the-job training in inspection and investigation.
The median annual wage for fire inspectors was $54,790 in May 2015.
Employment of fire inspectors is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Still, jobseekers should expect strong competition for the limited number of available positions.
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Learn more about fire inspectors by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.