How to Become A Fire Investigator

Fire investigators are responsible for figuring out the reasons behind fires and explosions. They educate the public on fire safety and implement laws regarding arson. These professionals collect and analyze proof, document evidence, interview witnesses and record different findings for later use. Fire investigators are expected to wear their protective gear as this occupation involves high risk of illnesses and injuries.

Should I Become a Fire investigator?

Education Required

High-school diploma or equivalent

Major Requirement

Fire science or any other related field





Key Skills

Communication Skills, Critical Thinking, Detail Oriented, Physical Strength

Annual Mean Salary (2019)

$64,730 (Fire inspectors and investigators)

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

8%  (Fire Inspectors)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, fire inspectors are expected see job opportunities grow by 8% from 2018-2028. These professionals work during business hours; however, they may be required to work at nights or on weekends to complete investigations in time. Some professionals also opt for a voluntary certificate.

Fire investigators are required to have strong communication skills so they can effectively interview the witnesses. They are required to be detail-oriented so they do not miss out any important evidences during the process of investigation. To become a fire investigator, one should have a high school diploma. Some employers prefer candidates with an undergraduate or associate’s degree in fire science or any other related field.  These professionals should also have integrity and critical-thinking skills. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of fire investigators and fire inspectors was $64,730 in 2019.

Steps to Become a Fire Investigator

Step 1: Becoming a Fire Fighter

Different community colleges and fire departments organize firefighting training programs for candidates who want to pursue their career in this field. These programs require candidates to take a written exam along with physical and medical stamina tests. Along with local training programs, fire fighters have to take sessions offered by the National Fire Academy (NFA). Disaster preparedness, public safety, arson prevention and hazardous materials management are some of the topics covered during these sessions. These programs also help aspiring fire investigators gain field experience.

Step 2: Completing Fire Investigator Training

Aspiring fire fighters need further training to advance their career as fire investigators. Numerous states collaborate with NFA to organize training courses which last for 6-10 weeks. These courses cover topics like interview techniques, fire origin investigation and courtroom testimony, etc.

Step 3: Meeting Certification Requirements

fire investigators are required to pass a certification exam which tests their knowledge abou safety codes and standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). They are required to stay-up-to-date on fire trends and technologies to retain their credentials.

Step 4: Considering Career Advancement

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator is a certification offered by the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). To obtain it, candidates have to pass an exam. Since this is not an entry level certification, applicant’s qualifications are also reviewed. Having this certificate determines the candidate’s ability and expertise in the field. NAFI also offers special certifications like, Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator (CVFI).

Firefighter in Other Cities And States

The San Antonio Fire Academy Training Duration

If you want to become a firefighter in San Antonio, then you will have to clear the hiring process and join the San Antonio Fire Academy for training. The hiring process is quite tough and is divided into four phases, Applicant Phase, Applicant to Candidate Phase, Cadet Phase, and Probationary Phase. Training is part of the third stage, which is the Cadet Phase. You will have to join the San Antonio fire academy where you will be taught everything there is to know about firefighting.

How Much Do Firefighters Make in Jacksonville Florida

Are you looking for information about firefighters, like how much do firefighters make in Jacksonville, Florida? Here are all the details you need. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida was third on the list of states with the highest employment level for this occupation. These brave men and women made an annual mean salary of $51,300 in 2019. On the other hand, their annual median income was $48,390.

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