Details Report for:
33-2021.02 - Fire Investigators
Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
Sample of reported job titles: Arson Investigator, Chief Arson Division, Fire and Explosion Investigator, Fire Captain, Fire Chief, Fire Investigator, Fire Lieutenant, Fire Marshal, Investigator, State Fire Marshal
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable wrenches — Adjustable hand wrenches
- Anemometers — Digital anemometers
- Ball peen hammer — Ball peen hammers
- Barometers — Digital barometers
- Bolt cutters
- Box end wrenches
- Bullet proof vests — Ballistic vests
- Camera flashes or lighting — Camera flash attachments
- Camera lens — Camera lenses
- Camera tripods — Camera positioning tripods
- Circuit tester — Circuit continuity testers
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Cold chisels — Flat cold chisels
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Digital voice recorders — Digital audio recorders
- Direction finding compasses — Magnetic compasses
- Dosing droppers — Eye droppers
- Ear muffs — Protective ear muffs
- Emergency medical services first aid kits — Emergency first aid kits
- End cut pliers — Side-cutting pliers
- Fingerprint equipment — Fingerprint kits
- Fire extinguishers — Portable fire extinguishers
- Fire suppression hand tools — Fire rakes
- Flashlight — High powered flashlights
- Flood light — Flood lighting
- Forestry saws — Crosscut saws
- Fuse pullers — Fuse pulling tools
- Gas chromatographs
- Gas detectors — Multigas detectors; Photoionization detectors
- Gas generators — Gasoline powered generators
- GFI circuit testers — Ground fault testers
- Hacksaw — Hacksaws
- Handcuffs — Metal handcuffs
- Handguns — Law enforcement handguns
- Handheld thermometer — Dry bulb thermometers
- Hatchets — Fire axes
- Hydrocarbons analyzers or detectors — Catalytic combustion detectors CCD; Hydrocarbon detectors
- Laboratory forceps — Evidence collection forceps
- Ladders — Stepladders
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Levels — Bar levels; Torpedo levels
- Lightmeters — Photographic meters
- Linemans pliers — Linesman's pliers
- Locking pliers — Vise grip pliers
- Magnetic tools — Pencil magnets
- Magnifying glass — Magnifiers
- Masks or accessories — Dust masks
- Mobile phones — Smart phones
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Pad or keyhole saw — Keyhole saws
- Personal computers
- Pipe or tube cutter — Universal pipe cutters
- Pipe wrenches — Adjustable pipe wrenches
- Plumb bobs — Laser plumb bobs
- Pocket knives
- Power drills — Cordless drills
- Protective coats — Firefighters' coats
- Protective pants — Firefighters' pants
- Pry bars — Crowbars; Pinch bars
- Psychrometers — Wet bulb thermometers
- Putty knives
- Rakes — Steel-tine garden rakes
- Rangefinders — Laser rangefinders
- Razor knives — Pen knives
- Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories — Self-contained breathing apparatus
- Respirators — Filter mask respirators
- Rulers — Photographic rulers; Precision rulers
- Safety glasses — Protective eyewear
- Safety helmets — Fire helmets
- Safety hoods — Firefighting hoods
- Screwdrivers — Bit drivers; Phillips screwdrivers; Straight blade screwdrivers
- Shears — Carpet cutters
- Shovels — Flathead shovels
- Single gas monitors — Single gas detectors
- Sledge hammer — Sledgehammers
- Slip or groove joint pliers — Slip-lock pliers
- Specialty wrenches — Hydrant wrenches
- Spectrophotometers — Portable spectroscopes
- Still cameras — 35 millimeter cameras
- Sump pumps — Portable sump pumps
- Tablet computers — Portable computers
- Tape measures — Steel tape measures
- Tinners snips — Tin snips
- Trowels — Masonry trowels
- Tweezers — Evidence tweezers
- Two way radios — Mobile radios
- Ultraviolet UV lamps — Ultraviolet UV lights
- Utility knives — Multipurpose knives
- Voltage or current meters — Voltage indicators
- Wire cutters — Wire cutting tools
- Wire gauge — Wire gauges
- Wire-stripping pliers — Wire strippers
- Wood chisels
- X ray radiography examination equipment — X ray inspection equipment
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Consolidated Model of Fire and Smoke Transport CFAST; Fire Dynamics Software FDS *
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access; National Fire Incident Reporting System NFIRS *
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Human resources software — Xerox Government systems FIREHOUSE Software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- Prepare investigation or incident reports.
- Examine debris to obtain information about causes of fires.
- Process forensic or legal evidence in accordance with procedures.
- Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
- Analyze crime scene evidence.
- Examine crime scenes to obtain evidence.
- Record crime or accident scene evidence with video or still cameras.
- Investigate crimes committed within organizations.
- Apprehend criminal suspects.
- Record information about suspects or criminals.
- Interview people to gather information about criminal activities.
- Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to respond to incidents.
- Educate the public about fire safety or prevention.
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations 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 these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|21||Some college, no degree|
Realistic — 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.
|29-2041.00||Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Bright Outlook|
|29-9012.00||Occupational Health and Safety Technicians Green|
|33-1021.01||Municipal Fire Fighting and Prevention Supervisors|
|33-3021.02||Police Identification and Records Officers|
|33-3021.03||Criminal Investigators and Special Agents|
|33-3051.01||Police Patrol Officers|
|33-3051.03||Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs|
|47-4011.00||Construction and Building Inspectors|
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Fire Inspectors and Investigators.
Employment data collected from Fire Inspectors and Investigators.
Industry data collected from Fire Inspectors and Investigators.
|Median wages (2014)||$26.99 hourly, $56,130 annual|
|Employment (2012)||12,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||4,400|
|Top industries (2012)||
Government (92% employed in this sector)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Fire Inspectors and Investigators . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.