Fire Investigators
SOC: 33-2021.02

Description:

Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
12,400 employed

Projected (2024):
13,100 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Arson and Bomb Investigator
  • Arson Investigator
  • Bomb Squad Commander
  • Bomb Technician
  • Captain
  • Chief Arson Division
  • Detective
  • Fire and Explosion Investigator
  • Fire Captain
  • Fire Chief
  • Fire Inspector
  • Fire Investigation Lieutenant
  • Fire Investigation Manager
  • Fire Investigator
  • Fire Lieutenant
  • Fire Marshal
  • Firefighter
  • Investigation Lieutenant
  • Investigator
  • State Fire Marshal


  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

    Education:

    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Package collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers, such as bags, crates, or boxes, to protect them.
  • Examine fire sites and collect evidence such as glass, metal fragments, charred wood, and accelerant residue for use in determining the cause of a fire.
  • Instruct children about the dangers of fire.
  • Analyze evidence and other information to determine probable cause of fire or explosion.
  • Photograph damage and evidence related to causes of fires or explosions to document investigation findings.
  • Subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain information and sworn testimony.
  • Swear out warrants, and arrest and process suspected arsonists.
  • 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.
  • Test sites and materials to establish facts, such as burn patterns and flash points of materials, using test equipment.
  • Conduct internal investigation to determine negligence and violation of laws and regulations by fire department employees.
  • Dust evidence or portions of fire scenes for latent fingerprints.
  • Coordinate efforts with other organizations, such as law enforcement agencies.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 35 millimeter cameras
  • Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Adjustable pipe wrenches
  • Ball peen hammers
  • Ballistic vests
  • Bar levels
  • Bit drivers
  • Bolt cutters
  • Box end wrenches
  • Camera flash attachments
  • Camera lenses
  • Camera positioning tripods
  • Carpet cutters
  • Catalytic combustion detectors CCD
  • Circuit continuity testers
  • Claw hammers
  • Cordless drills
  • Crosscut saws
  • Crowbars
  • Digital anemometers
  • Digital audio recorders
  • Digital barometers
  • Digital video cameras
  • Dry bulb thermometers
  • Dust masks
  • Emergency first aid kits
  • Evidence collection forceps
  • Evidence tweezers
  • Eye droppers
  • Filter mask respirators
  • Fingerprint kits
  • Fire axes
  • Fire helmets
  • Fire rakes
  • Firefighters' coats
  • Firefighters' pants
  • Firefighting hoods
  • Flat cold chisels
  • Flathead shovels
  • Flood lighting
  • Fuse pulling tools
  • Gas chromatographs
  • Gasoline powered generators
  • Ground fault testers
  • Hacksaws
  • High powered flashlights
  • Hoes
  • Hydrant wrenches
  • Hydrocarbon detectors
  • Keyhole saws
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser facsimile machines
  • Laser plumb bobs
  • Laser rangefinders
  • Law enforcement handguns
  • Linesman's pliers
  • Magnetic compasses
  • Magnifiers
  • Masonry trowels
  • Metal handcuffs
  • Mobile radios
  • Multigas detectors
  • Multipurpose knives
  • Pen knives
  • Pencil magnets
  • Personal computers
  • Phillips screwdrivers
  • Photographic meters
  • Photographic rulers
  • Photoionization detectors
  • Pinch bars
  • Pocket knives
  • Portable computers
  • Portable fire extinguishers
  • Portable spectroscopes
  • Portable sump pumps
  • Precision rulers
  • Protective ear muffs
  • Protective eyewear
  • Putty knives
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Side-cutting pliers
  • Single gas detectors
  • Sledgehammers
  • Slip-lock pliers
  • Smart phones
  • Steel tape measures
  • Steel-tine garden rakes
  • Stepladders
  • Straight blade screwdrivers
  • Tablet computers
  • Tin snips
  • Torpedo levels
  • Ultraviolet UV lights
  • Universal pipe cutters
  • Vise grip pliers
  • Voltage indicators
  • Wet bulb thermometers
  • Wire cutting tools
  • Wire gauges
  • Wire strippers
  • Wood chisels
  • X ray inspection equipment
  • Consolidated Model of Fire and Smoke Transport CFAST
  • Email software
  • Fire Dynamics Software FDS
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • National Fire Incident Reporting System NFIRS
  • Web browser software
  • Xerox Government systems FIREHOUSE Software


  • protective service


    industry stats

    SOC: 33-0000

    Total Employed: 3,351,620

    Average Annual Salary: $44,610