Certificate programs in fire inspection prepare students to inspect and evaluate commercial and residential buildings to make sure that fire codes and regulations are met. Most states require fire inspectors to be certified through formal training and by passing an inspection test.
Courses and programs in fire inspection are offered at technical schools or community colleges and are usually available online. Prospective students must have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. Once enrolled, students need one or two semesters of training. They spend time both in the classroom and laboratory settings.
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Fire Inspector Certificate Program
Students in a fire inspection certificate program discover how to analyze and determine the sources and materials associated with fires. Some courses may meet the curriculum requirements set forth by the state's commission on fire protection for certification. Other courses offered may include the following:
- Hazardous materials
- Blueprint reading
- Fire protection systems
- Building codes and inspections
Employment Outlook and Career Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), employment of fire inspectors is expected to increase 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As the population increases and more commercial and residential buildings are established, the demand for fire inspectors rises. Job prospects are best for those with formal fire inspection training. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the annual median salary for fire inspectors and investigators was $56,730.
In addition to a certificate or other mode of formal fire inspection training, students must become certified by their state before becoming fire inspectors. Before taking the exam, students are required to have a combination of in-class training and fire inspection experience, though exact requirements vary by state. Some local and state government agencies provide continuing education courses for fire inspectors.
In addition to these certifications, the National Fire Protection Association offers certifications (www.nfpa.org). Applicants can earn either a Certified Fire Inspector I or II designation. These certifications aren't mandatory, while state-regulated certifications are.
Fire inspection certificate programs typically take one to two semesters and are designed to prepare graduates to seek state certification upon completing the program.