How to Become a Fire Inspector

Written by

Ray Grant Walden


August 14, 2014


Fire inspection is a vital process that involves checking a location’s risk of a fire, the ability to evacuate occupants and the ability to fight the fire. Fire inspectors are trained professionals who examine new and existing structures to ensure they are abiding by all fire codes.

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% through 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 this year, the middle 50% of fire inspectors earn annual salaries between $46,731 and $61,022. The top 10% earn more than $69,666 (2).

For anyone considering whether or how to become a fire inspector, this may be a great career choice for people interested in inspecting structures to ensure they are  safe and meet 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.

Becoming a Fire Inspector Requires Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Fire Inspector? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the College Mouse Degree Search tool to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Ray Grant Walden

Ray Grant Walden attended American University College and now lives in Houston. He has enjoyed a very exciting career and has experience in a wide variety of professions, including college counseling.

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