What does a fire inspector do?
Fire inspectors inspect buildings to make sure all of the federal, state, and local fire codes are being met. They also work with builders and developers on designs and plans for new structures to ensure the compliance of the codes. They address emergency exits, fire suppression systems, alarms, sprinklers, and safety precautions. Fire inspectors also determine the maximum amount of people who can occupy a structure. They identify violations and schedule follow-up examinations to make sure the violations have been resolved. They periodically inspect facilities where flammable and explosive materials are present, such as oil refineries and gas stations. Fire inspectors assist in the development of evacuation and fire safety plans and fire and arson investigations.
What kind of training does a fire inspector need?
Fire inspectors must have at least a high school diploma. Most employers prefer candidates with previous work experience and formal training. Some have associate or bachelor degrees in fire science. Many fire inspectors complete a certification program that includes classroom instruction and practical learning experiences. Students complete courses on many different topics such as inspection practices, codes and standards, fire prevention and safety, fundamentals of building construction, recognizing fire hazards, and investigating arson. Fire inspectors usually have to pass a comprehensive examination after completion of the certificate program. They must stay up to date on the current advancements and often complete continuing education throughout their careers.
What are the prospects for a career as a fire inspector?
Employment of fire inspectors is expected to grow as fast as average, increasing 10% from 2006 to 2016 (1). A growing population and increase in construction will drive job growth.
Job prospects are projected to be good with strong competition. Fire inspectors with advanced education and extensive experience will have the best prospects. Job openings will also stem from the need to replace fire inspectors who retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do fire inspectors make?
As of November 2009, the middle 50% of fire inspectors earn annual salaries between $46,731 and $61,022. The top 10% earn more than $69,666 (2).
A career as a fire inspector is a great choice for people interested in inspecting structures to ensure they are meeting fire codes. Fire inspectors must have a thorough knowledge of fire safety and prevention procedures. They must be confident and have good judgment. They must have excellent communication and be able to present violations and reports in a respectful yet stern manner. Fire inspectors must also be able to effectively work as part of a team.