Fire Inspector Certification and Certificate Program Information
Fire inspectors ensure that fire codes and regulations are met as well as determine the cause of fires. In addition to obtaining a certificate, graduates must seek outside state-regulated certification before becoming fire inspectors.
Certificate of Completion - Fire Inspection
Certificate programs in fire inspection prepare students on how to inspect and evaluate commercial and residential buildings to make sure that fire codes and regulations are met. Students spend time in classroom settings and laboratory settings. Most programs take one or two semesters to complete and are typically offered at technical schools and community colleges. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Courses offered within fire inspector certificate programs cover the causes and effects of fires. Students learn how to conduct effective fire inspections to prevent fires and determine the causes after a fire. They also 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 was expected to increase nine percent from 2008-2018 (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 2010, the BLS reported that the annual median salary for fire inspectors was $52,230.
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 as compared to the state-regulated ones.
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