a dark blue TraitLab logo
Sign up

Have an account? Sign in

Career profile Fire Inspector

Also known as Arson Investigator, Fire and Explosion Investigator, Fire Code Inspector, Fire Inspector, Fire Investigator, Fire Official, Fire Prevention Inspector, Fire Prevention Specialist, Fire Protection Specialist, Fire Safety Inspector

Fire Inspector

Also known as Arson Investigator, Fire and Explosion Investigator, Fire Code Inspector

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$39,860 - $100,780 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Building and Construction
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • 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.
Is Fire Inspector the right career path for you?

Would Fire Inspector be a good fit for you?

Explore how your personality fits with Fire Inspector and hundreds of other career paths.

Create your free account

What does a Fire Inspector do?

Fire Inspectors inspect buildings to detect fire hazards and enforce local ordinances and state laws, or investigate and gather facts to determine cause of fires and explosions.

What kind of tasks does a Fire Inspector perform regularly?

Fire Inspectors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • 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.
  • Conduct inspections and acceptance testing of newly installed fire protection systems.
  • Analyze evidence and other information to determine probable cause of fire or explosion.
  • Photograph damage and evidence related to causes of fires or explosions to document investigation findings.
  • Examine fire sites and collect evidence such as glass, metal fragments, charred wood, and accelerant residue for use in determining the cause of a fire.
  • 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.
  • Instruct children about the dangers of fire.
  • Conduct fire code compliance follow-ups to ensure that corrective actions have been taken in cases where violations were found.
  • Inspect properties that store, handle, and use hazardous materials to ensure compliance with laws, codes, and regulations, and issue hazardous materials permits to facilities found in compliance.
  • Write detailed reports of fire inspections performed, fire code violations observed, and corrective recommendations offered.
  • Identify corrective actions necessary to bring properties into compliance with applicable fire codes, laws, regulations, and standards, and explain these measures to property owners or their representatives.
  • Inspect and test fire protection or fire detection systems to verify that such systems are installed in accordance with appropriate laws, codes, ordinances, regulations, and standards.
  • Develop or review fire exit plans.
  • Coordinate efforts with other organizations, such as law enforcement agencies.
  • Attend training classes to maintain current knowledge of fire prevention, safety, and firefighting procedures.
  • Review blueprints and plans for new or remodeled buildings to ensure the structures meet fire safety codes.
  • Teach fire investigation techniques to other firefighter personnel.
  • Conduct fire exit drills to monitor and evaluate evacuation procedures.
  • Teach public education programs on fire safety and prevention.
  • Recommend changes to fire prevention, inspection, and fire code endorsement procedures.

The above responsibilities are specific to Fire Inspectors. More generally, Fire Inspectors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

What is a Fire Inspector salary?

The median salary for a Fire Inspector is $64,610, and the average salary is $67,680. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Fire Inspector salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Fire Inspectors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Fire Inspectors earn less than $39,860 per year, 25% earn less than $50,230, 75% earn less than $81,800, and 90% earn less than $100,780.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Fire Inspectors is expected to change by 8.8%, and there should be roughly 1,700 open positions for Fire Inspectors every year.

Median annual salary
$64,610
Typical salary range
$39,860 - $100,780
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
8.8%

What personality traits are common among Fire Inspectors?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Fire Inspector are usually higher in their Realistic, Conventional, and Investigative interests.

Fire Inspectors typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Fire Inspectors typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Lastly, Fire Inspectors typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Fire Inspector tend to value Independence, Support, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Fire Inspectors strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Fire Inspectors strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Fire Inspectors strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Fire Inspectors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, cooperation, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Fire Inspectors, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Fire Inspectors need?

Fire Inspectors often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Fire Inspectors usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Fire Inspectors

  • 4.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 20.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 30.1% completed some college coursework
  • 16.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 22.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 5.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Fire Inspectors

Fire Inspectors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as public safety and security, building and construction, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Fire Inspectors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Fire Inspectors

Fire Inspectors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Fire Inspectors need abilities such as problem sensitivity, oral expression, and inductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Fire Inspectors, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Flexibility of Closure
The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Fire Inspectors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Fire Inspectors frequently use skills like active listening, critical thinking, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Fire Inspectors, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.