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:
Enforce fire regulations, inspect forest for fire hazards, and recommend forest fire prevention or control measures. May report forest fires and weather conditions.
On the job, you would:
Relay messages about emergencies, accidents, locations of crew and personnel, and fire hazard conditions.
Conduct wildland firefighting training.
Estimate sizes and characteristics of fires, and report findings to base camps by radio or telephone.
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Safety and Government
public safety and security
law and government
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
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
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
see hidden patterns
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Word processing software
Data base user interface and query software
Fire incident reporting systems
Map creation software
high school diploma/GED or bachelor's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.