Fire protection specialists may work in a company or a fire department, conducting investigations and making sure workplaces are safe from fire hazards and are up to fire code. They also advise personnel on what to do in the event of a fire.
Fire protection specialists develop solutions that protect individuals, property, homes, and buildings from fire damage. These professionals often use sophisticated modeling software to analyze the risk of fire at various locations. Fire protection specialists can be fire inspectors or occupational health and safety technicians. This occupation requires at least a high school diploma; training and certification requirements can vary.
|Required Education||High school diploma or equivalent, generally; post-secondary certificate or associate's degree program may be needed for occupational health and safety technicians|
|Other Requirements||Relevant firefighting experience; on-the-job training; voluntary professional certifications|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||5% for fire inspectors and investigators; 9% for occupational health and safety technicians|
|Median Annual Salary (2015)*||$56,730 for fire inspectors and investigators; $48,070 for occupational health and safety technicians|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Through preventative work, a fire protection technician protects human life and property from fire damage. Fire protection technicians may be employed by the government, by firehouses, or by companies in the private sector, such as insurance groups, fire protection equipment manufacturers, or consulting firms. Technicians are sometimes trained in fire prevention techniques within a specific setting. For instance, they could train to work in the oil industry, at a nuclear power plant, or in an aerospace environment. Fire protection technicians may also travel frequently.
Like other safety technicians, successful fire protection technicians usually are responsible, pay strict attention to detail, and communicate well with others. Fire protection technicians often need to read and understand complicated technical documents. Other requirements might include knowledge of fire protection measures against terrorist threats or natural disasters.
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Fire protection technicians analyze existing protection measures and design up-to-date fire protection systems. These professionals might also consult with architects or other industry experts to design safe buildings or transportation vehicles. Work can involve researching new issues in fire prevention and developing solutions, sometimes with the use of advanced computer modeling systems, to predict the occurrence and spread of fire. A fire protection technician might test the ability of particular chemicals to suppress fire or perform research on existing fire prevention techniques. Risk analysis might also be a component of fire protection technician work.
Salary and Job Outlook Information
Salary information specific to fire protection technicians is not readily available. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that occupational health and safety technicians earned between $30,610 and $77,780 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also noted that fire inspectors and investigators earned between $34,260 and $92,120 in the same reporting period. Job growth for occupational health and safety technicians was predicted to increase by 9% from 2014-2024. Over the same period, employment of fire inspectors and investigators was expected to grow by 5%.
A fire protection specialist assesses a building's level of fire safety, taking the necessary action to see that it meets regulations. Additionally, they may instruct employees on fire safety and run drills. Fire investigators and inspectors earn a median salary of $56,730 a year, while occupational health and safety techs make $48,070.