Life As a Fire Investigator
Career Description Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
A Day in the Life of a Fire Investigator
- Swear out warrants, and arrest and process suspected arsonists.
- Subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain information and sworn testimony.
- Testify in court cases involving fires, suspected arson, and false alarms.
- Coordinate efforts with other organizations, such as law enforcement agencies.
- Prepare and maintain reports of investigation results, and records of convicted arsonists and arson suspects.
- Dust evidence or portions of fire scenes for latent fingerprints.
What a Fire Investigator Should Know
Below is a list of the skills most Fire Investigators say are important on the job.
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.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Related Job Titles
- Fire Investigation Manager
- Fire Investigator
- Arson Division Chief
- Arson and Bomb Investigator
- State Fire Marshal
Fire Investigator Employment Estimates
In the United States, there were 12,300 jobs for Fire Investigator in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 900 new jobs for Fire Investigator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,400 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Fire Investigator are Idaho, Vermont, and Arkansas. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Rhode Island, or North Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Average Fire Investigators Salary
The average yearly salary of a Fire Investigator ranges between $36,400 and $95,330.
Fire Investigators who work in California, Oregon, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.
How much do Fire Investigators make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$75,800|
What Tools do Fire Investigators Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Fire Investigators:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
Becoming a Fire Investigator
What education or degrees do I need to become a Fire Investigator?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where do Fire Investigators Work?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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