Fire Inspector Career

fire-inspector-500Fire inspectors serve valuable roles in the communities in which they live. While there may be minor differences in the job descriptions of individual fire inspectors, most fire inspectors spend their time inspecting buildings and other structures for any possible fire hazards as well as code violations that may negatively impact public and private safety.

Possible dangers that fire inspectors often look for include electrical wiring issues, structural safety issues, and issues with dangerous combustible materials. Fire inspectors also survey scenes of fires after the fact in an effort to discover the causes of such unfortunate events.

Fire Inspector Career Snapshot

Depending on specific duties, fire inspectors often perform their duties in a wide array of places and conditions. Prospective fire inspectors will likely need to spend some time in office conditions, but the nature of the work will usually require them to spend time in the field. Working hours can be similarly variable, with many inspectors being required to work odd hours while on the job.

Further details on a career as a fire inspector are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for fire inspectors.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have some college, but no degree while 23% have a post-secondary certificate.

Fire Inspector Education

Fire inspectors often come from a variety of educational backgrounds. That said, there are certain competencies and educational requirements that fire inspectors will be expected to have. Most fire inspectors are expected to have basic credentials such as a high school diploma or GED. In addition, many contemporary fire inspector positions will require candidates to have some level of post-secondary education that can include college credits, vocational school certificates, and on the job training.

Fire Inspector Job Duties

In addition to their basic duties, most fire inspectors are expected to test fire protection systems, work with developers to review building schematics, provide fire safety instruction when necessary, and maintain detailed records of their activities.

Fire Inspector Salaries

Like people in other fields, those working in the fire inspection field often command a wide range of salaries. Entry level fire investigators or inspectors with less time and experience may earn anywhere between $30,000-$50,000 per year, while those at the top of the salary range often earn in the $100,000 per year range ( statistics).

Those working as forest fire prevention and inspections specialists often earn somewhat less, with entry level individuals earning in the $24,000 per year range and more experienced personnel earning in the $75,000 per year range.

Fire Inspector Job Outlook

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, there were approximately 30,000 people working in the U.S. as fire inspectors or investigators. The field is expected to grow by up to 6 percent over the next decade, leaving plenty of room for people who wish to enter this line of work.

Fire Inspector Skills & Traits

Fire Inspector Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Fire Inspectors:Typical Work Activities:
• Quality Control Analysis
• Active Listening
• Critical Thinking
• Judgment and Decision Making
• Inductive Reasoning
• Problem Sensitivity
• Perceptual Speed
• Deductive Reasoning
• Fire suppression system
• Flashlight
• Smoke detectors
• Two way radios
• Getting Information
• Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
• Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
• Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards

Related Careers

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High School Diploma or Equivalent

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