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Fire Inspector

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Post-secondary training +

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What They Do

Fire Inspectors and Investigators Career Video

About This Career

Inspects buildings to detect fire hazards and enforce local ordinances and state laws, or investigates and gathers facts to determine cause of fires and explosions.

This career is part of the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster Emergency and Fire Management Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Prepares and maintains reports of investigation results, and records of convicted arsonists and arson suspects.
  • Testifies in court cases involving fires, suspected arson, and false alarms.
  • Packages collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers, such as bags, crates, or boxes, to protect them.
  • Conducts inspections and acceptance testing of newly installed fire protection systems.
  • Analyzes evidence and other information to determine probable cause of fire or explosion.
  • Photographs damage and evidence related to causes of fires or explosions to document investigation findings.
  • Examines fire sites and collects evidence such as glass, metal fragments, charred wood, and accelerant residue for use in determining the cause of a fire.
  • Inspects buildings to locate hazardous conditions and fire code violations, such as accumulations of combustible material, electrical wiring problems, and inadequate or non-functional fire exits.
  • Instructs children about the dangers of fire.
  • Conducts fire code compliance follow-ups to ensure that corrective actions have been taken in cases where violations were found.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Fire Safety Specialist
  • Fire Code Inspector
  • Fire Official
  • Fire Prevention Inspector
  • Fire Prevention Specialist
  • Fire Protection Specialist
  • Fire Safety Inspector
  • Fire Investigator
  • Arson Investigator — Examines intentionally set fires in order to determine why they were set; for example some are set purposely in order to recover money from an insurance claim or cover up another crime.


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733