How to Become a Fire Inspector

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become a fire inspector depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need at least a high school diploma along with on the job training. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then an r associates or bachelors degree in fire science can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a fire inspector or investigator.

How Much Does a Fire Inspector Make?
$53,990 (national median salary, to see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+800 additional people employed

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Fire Inspector and Investigator page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Fire Investigator or Inspector

The state of New Jersey leads the nation in employment for fire investigators, with 1,040 currently serving statewide, and earning an annual mean wage of $53,930. For inspectors, the state of California has the highest concentration of employment opportunities, presently boasting 28,990 across the state, and earning an average yearly salary of $71,630.

Most fire investigators and inspectors work in government jobs on local, state and federal levels. The following shows the industries that employed the most inspectors and investigators:

  • Local government 73%
  • State government 18%
  • Insurance carriers and related 2%

What States are Hiring Fire Investigators or Inspectors

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Fire Investigation or Protection. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Fire Inspection and Investigation

Why Become a Fire Inspector?

In the past two decades the population of the United States has grown by tens of millions, and as cities and suburban sprawl continue to extend past previous boundaries, the need for fire inspectors and investigators will continue to grow. There is no concern of a potential employment back draft for fire inspectors and investigators as job growth rate is predicted to increase 9% from now until 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A career in fire inspecting and investigating can be lucrative with the top 10% in the field earning more than $85,260. The median annual wage of fire inspectors and investigators was $52,230, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Fire Inspector

  • Fire Science Technology
  • Fundamentals of Fire Protection
  • Fundamentals of Fire Prevention/Fire Inspector I
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Building Codes and Standards
  • Fire Fighting Tactics and Strategy
  • Fire Protection Systems
  • Fire Investigation
  • Building Construction for the Fire Service
  • Hydraulic Technology
  • Organization & Management of Fire Departments
  • Hazardous Materials

Degrees for Fire Inspector Careers

Once considered an art, fire inspecting and investigating today is highly scientific and professionals are trained both in the classroom and the field. There are numerous degrees to pursue in advancing your career.

There are several certificate options in the fire science field including fire suppression and fire administration. These programs are designed for firefighting professionals either looking to advance their careers or for those beginning a career.

Associate’s Degree
An associate in Fire Sciences is designed for inspectors and investigators and covers fire fighting tactics, investigation strategies and fire science technologies.