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.
What they do:
Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
On the job, you would:
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.
Safety and Government
public safety and security
law and government
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
computers and electronics
Arts and Humanities
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
see hidden patterns
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
Office suite software
certificate after high school or associate's degree usually needed