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:
Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
On the job, you would:
Prepare and maintain reports of investigation results, and records of convicted arsonists and arson suspects.
Testify in court cases involving fires, suspected arson, and false alarms.
Package collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers, such as bags, crates, or boxes, to protect them.
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
Safety and Government
public safety and security
law and government
Education and Training
teaching and course design
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
changing what is done based on other people's actions
teaching people how to do something
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
see hidden patterns
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Consolidated Model of Fire and Smoke Transport CFAST
Fire Dynamics Software FDS
Data base user interface and query software
National Fire Incident Reporting System NFIRS
some college or certificate after high school usually needed