Fire Investigators

Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.

Median Annual Wage: $56,130

Education: Associate's degree (27%); Post-secondary certificate (26%); Some college, no degree (21%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Investigator; Fire Marshal; State Fire Marshal; Fire Chief; Fire Investigator; Arson Investigator; Fire Lieutenant; Chief Arson Division; Fire Captain; Fire and Explosion Investigator

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Fire Investigators.

More Protective Service Careers

  • Photograph damage and evidence related to causes of fires or explosions to document investigation findings.
  • Analyze evidence and other information to determine probable cause of fire or explosion.
  • Package collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers, such as bags, crates, or boxes, to protect them.
  • Testify in court cases involving fires, suspected arson, and false alarms.
  • Prepare and maintain reports of investigation results, and records of convicted arsonists and arson suspects.
  • Subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain information and sworn testimony.
  • Coordinate efforts with other organizations, such as law enforcement agencies.
  • Swear out warrants, and arrest and process suspected arsonists.
  • Test sites and materials to establish facts, such as burn patterns and flash points of materials, using test equipment.
  • Instruct children about the dangers of fire.
  • Dust evidence or portions of fire scenes for latent fingerprints.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Fire Investigators.

  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Fire Investigators.

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