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Forest Fire Studies Professional Job Information

Read on to see what a forest fire studies professional does. Get the details about required education and training. See what the career prospects and earning potential are to determine if this field is right for you.

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Career Definition for Forest Fire Study Professionals

Forest fire studies professionals determine the effects of wildfires and prescribed fires on forest productivity, nutrient status, soil properties, and water quality. In forest fire studies, one learns how to suppress accidental forest fires and how to create and control intentional forest fires to manage land use.

Required Education No education is required, but degree programs are available in fire science or fire engineering
Required Skills Knowledge of fire control, government regulations, and communication and critical thinking
Career Outlook (2014 to 2024)* 13% growth for forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $36,650 for forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists

*Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

There are no formal educational requirements for forest fire studies professionals, but a four-year degree in fire science or fire engineering, or some college courses and equivalent fire-fighting experience, is preferred. A career in forest fire studies requires knowledge of fuel loadings, land use planning, and creation of burn plans. Potential forest fire studies professionals must acquire the education and experience necessary to become experts in fire ecology.

Required Skills

A career in forest fire studies requires knowledge of the control of fire and familiarity with government regulations. Forest fire studies professionals also must have excellent communication and critical-thinking skills.

Career and Economic Outlook

There are few job opportunities for forest fire studies professionals. The employment of forest fire studies professionals may fluctuate, depending on the yearly predictions of seasonal fires. Areas prone to forest fires will require more professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs in this field will increase at a faster-than-average rate of 13% from 2014 to 2024 for forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists. The BLS listed the median annual salary for these professionals as $36,650 in May 2015.

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Alternate Career Options

Other careers in this field include:

Fire Inspector

A fire inspector evaluates fire-related risks and emergency plans. He or she looks at building plans and existing structures to make sure they meet fire safety regulations. Fire inspectors also assess evacuation plans, and test fire suppression systems, sprinklers, alarms, and related fire alarm and safety components. A minimum of a high school diploma and relevant experience is typically required for employment, although some employers may prefer candidates with a related college degree. On-the-job training is also typical. States and employers may require certification for employment. Jobs in this field are expected to grow 6% from 2014 to 2024, per the BLS. Fire inspectors earned median pay of $56,730 in 2015, according to the BLS.

Occupational Health and Safety Technician

Occupational health and safety technicians work with occupational health and safety specialists in gathering and evaluating information about physical, environmental and other kinds of workplace hazards. These workers perform workplace testing, evaluating, education, and training activities with the goal of keeping workers, the environment, and the public free from harm. Education requirements range from a high school diploma to an associate's degree, although on-the-job training is also possible. Professional certification may be required by some employers. These jobs are expected to increase in number by 9% from 2014 to 2024, according to the BLS. The agency also reports that occupational health and safety technicians earned median pay of $48,070 in 2015.

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