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Summary Report for:
33-2021.01 - Fire Inspectors

Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.

Sample of reported job titles: Deputy Fire Marshal, Fire Chief, Fire Inspector, Fire Marshal, Fire Official, Fire Prevention Inspector, Fire Prevention Specialist, Fire Protection Specialist, Fire Safety Inspector, State Fire Marshal

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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

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Present and explain fire code requirements and fire prevention information to architects, contractors, attorneys, engineers, developers, fire service personnel, and the general public.
  • 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.
  • Attend training classes to maintain current knowledge of fire prevention, safety, and firefighting procedures.
  • Conduct fire code compliance follow-ups to ensure that corrective actions have been taken in cases where violations were found.
  • Write detailed reports of fire inspections performed, fire code violations observed, and corrective recommendations offered.
  • 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.
  • Develop or review fire exit plans.
  • 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.
  • Conduct inspections and acceptance testing of newly installed fire protection systems.
  • Review blueprints and plans for new or remodeled buildings to ensure the structures meet fire safety codes.
  • Inspect liquefied petroleum installations, storage containers, and transportation and delivery systems for compliance with fire laws.
  • Develop and coordinate fire prevention programs, such as false alarm billing, fire inspection reporting, and hazardous materials management.
  • Conduct fire exit drills to monitor and evaluate evacuation procedures.
  • Teach public education programs on fire safety and prevention.
  • Testify in court regarding fire code and fire safety issues.
  • Recommend changes to fire prevention, inspection, and fire code endorsement procedures.
  • Arrange for the replacement of defective fire fighting equipment and for repair of fire alarm and sprinkler systems, making minor repairs such as servicing fire extinguishers when feasible.
  • Investigate causes of fires, collecting and preparing evidence and presenting it in court when necessary.
  • Issue permits for public assemblies.
  • Search for clues as to the cause of a fire, once the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Supervise staff, training them, planning their work, and evaluating their performance.
  • Serve court appearance summonses or condemnation notices on parties responsible for violations of fire codes, laws, and ordinances.
  • Collect fees for permits and licenses.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Air velocity and temperature monitors — Magnehelic differential pressure gauges
  • Automobiles or cars — Passenger vehicles
  • Battery testers — Battery analyzers
  • Digital cameras — Digital still cameras
  • Electrical frequency meters — Digital electrical frequency meters
  • Emergency light unit — Emergency lights
  • Fire alarm systems — Fire detection systems
  • Fire extinguishers — Multipurpose fire extinguishers
  • Fire hoses or nozzles — High pressure fire hoses
  • Fire suppression system — Fire suppression sprinkler systems; Foam-water sprinkler systems; Water mist systems
  • Flashlight — High powered flashlights
  • Flowmeters — Pitot tubes
  • Gas detectors — Multigas detectors
  • Ladders — Stepladders
  • Levels — Digital levels
  • Lightmeters — Digital light meters
  • Measuring wheels for distance — Distance measuring wheels
  • Mobile phones — Smart phones
  • Multimeters — Digital multimeters
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Pocket calculator — Handheld calculators
  • Rangefinders — Laser rangefinders
  • Smoke detectors — Battery powered smoke detectors; Hard-wired smoke detectors
  • Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter — Decibel meters
  • Specialty wrenches — Hydrant wrenches
  • Tablet computers — Handheld computers
  • Tape measures — Measuring tapes
  • Two way radios — Mobile radios
  • Voltage or current meters — Voltage testers
  • Water storage tanks — Water reservoirs

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Code database software
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Knowledge

  • 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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Skills

  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Abilities

  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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 there is a problem.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

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Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside 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.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with fire regulations.
  • Educate the public about fire safety or prevention.
  • Inform others about laws or regulations.
  • Identify actions needed to bring properties or facilities into compliance with regulations.
  • Attend training to learn new skills or update knowledge.
  • Develop fire safety or prevention programs or plans.
  • Issue permits or other legal documents.
  • Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with security or safety regulations.
  • Write operational reports.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure safety or proper functioning.
  • Examine debris to obtain information about causes of fires.
  • Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
  • Maintain fire fighting tools or equipment.
  • Review documents or materials for compliance with policies or regulations.
  • Direct fire fighting or prevention activities.
  • Provide safety training.
  • Evaluate employee performance.
  • Train employees in proper work procedures.
  • Serve court ordered documents.
  • Recommend improvements to increase safety or reduce risks.

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Work Context

  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 99% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 88% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 86% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 87% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Telephone — 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail — 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 68% responded “Very important results.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 63% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 42% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 41% responded “Very important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 52% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 44% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 49% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 33% responded “Very important.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 57% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 51% responded “40 hours.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 44% responded “Very important.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 49% responded “About half the time.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 54% responded “About half the time.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “Moderate responsibility.”

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Job Zone

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, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
33   Some college, no degree
23   Post-secondary certificate Help
21   High school diploma or equivalent Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: CR

  • Conventional — 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.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • 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.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

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Related Occupations

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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 (2015) $27.27 hourly, $56,730 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 12,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Average (5% to 8%) Average (5% to 8%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 4,300
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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 external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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