How to Become A Fire Marshall

Fire Marshals walk a fine line between police work and firefighting. Usually employed by the local or state fire departments, they are responsible for enforcing the fire code and investigating the causes of a fire. While all fire marshals are trained firefighters, their training and career development is focused more on the law enforcement part of the job.

The role of fire marshals may also vary depending upon the state or region that employs them. In many places, fire marshals may work for the state police force, fire investigation office, finance department, fire education division, building and planning department, etc.    

If you are passionate about doing this and believe that you have what it takes to become a fire marshal in America, then you need to read this guide. It will provide you a step-by-step roadmap to follow your career goals.  

Should I Become a Fire Marshal?

The routine job of a Fire Marshal involves assisting and supervising firefighting teams, carrying out arson investigations, running fire safety drills and evaluating buildings for any potential fire-related dangers, etc. Within the records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, fire marshals are categorized as “Fire Investigators” because many states give them the same authority as that enjoyed by law enforcement officers. 

As a fire marshal, you need to have supreme physical fitness. You must also be willing to undertake both day and night shifts. The following table provides important information about becoming a fire marshal. Details about salary, required education and career outlook have been obtained from the latest data reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.


High School Diploma or GED Certificate; an Associate or Bachelor’s degree may be required by some employers.

Major Requirement

Post-Secondary Education and Training in Fire Science


License / Certification

A license may or may not be required by the state. Different certifications are available for trained professionals.




Key Skills

Critical Thinking, Active Listening, Speaking, Quality Control Analysis, Judgment and Decision-Making, Problem Sensitivity, Inductive and Deductive Reasoning, Near Vision, Electronic Mail Software, Presentation and Spreadsheet Software, Office Suite Software, Database User Interface and Query Software.                           

Annual Mean Wage (2019)

$64,730 (Fire Inspectors and Investigators)

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

8% (Fire Inspectors)


     Sources: O*Net Online and US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for Fire Marshals

Jobs for Fire Inspectors and Investigators are expected to grow by 8% from 2018 to 2028. So, if you aspire to become a fire marshal in the US, this is a good time to follow that dream. Compensation and available opportunities will be dependent on location. Some states will have more vacancies and better salary packages than others.

For instance, Florida had the highest number of employed Fire Inspectors and Investigators (2,290) in 2019. It was followed by Texas (1,680) and New Jersey (1,590). Moreover, California was the best paymaster for Fire Inspectors and Investigators in 2019. It had an annual mean wage of $107,270. The second and third-highest compensation was provided by Washington ($94,410) and Oregon ($93,080).

Steps to Become a Fire Marshal

Follow the procedure mentioned below to become a Fire Marshal in the United States.

Step 1: Acquire the Needed Education

Education requirements for Fire Marshals tend to vary in different places. Some states/employers may let you undergo training with a High School Diploma or GED (General Educational Development) Certificate. Others may require an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Fire Science. In any case, getting a higher level of postsecondary education in the field will ultimately benefit you in your career.

Step 2: Undergo Training

After you have completed your required education, you can apply for a role with your local or state fire department. Other than that, you may also pursue a fire inspector role with an insurance company.

In both instances, you will need to go through on-the-job firefighter training. Most trained Fire Marshals tend to start out as firefighters. To work for your local or state fire department, you will have to undergo training at the fire academy which usually lasts for a few months. You can also look for volunteer firefighting opportunities as a student to gain some experience before seeking employment.

Step 3: Earn a Certification

After completing training, you may go for a professional certification to enhance your skills. Requirements may vary from state to state. Common certifications are listed below.

  • Certified Fire Investigator (CFI)

*Offered by the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)

  • Certified Fire Inspector I (CF-I)
  • Certified Fire Inspector II (CF-II)
  • Certified Fire Plan Examiner (CFPE)

*Offered by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Firefighter Salries

Phoenix Firefighters Salary Figures

Are you looking for information on Phoenix firefighters salary? Here is how much they earn in the state of Arizona and the salary comparison with the rest of the US.

Firefighters employed in the state of Arizona earned $46,870 as annual mean income in the year 2019, while their median annual salary was $46,030. Both figures are less than their respective national figures. The national mean annual income for firefighters in 2019 was $54,650 and their annual median salary was $50,850. These figures have been obtained from the latest published data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How Much Can I Make as a Firefighter in San Jose?

If you are looking for information and details about firefighter’s salary in San Jose, then you have come to the right place. The state of California is an excellent place to work for firefighters as per the data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state of California had the highest mean wage among all US states for firefighters in 2019. Firefighters in California earned an annual mean income of $84,370. Not only that, 33,780 firefighters were also working in the state in 2019, the highest number across all US states.

What Are the Requirements and Salary to Become a Firefighter in Jacksonville?

Below are the requirements to become a firefighter in Jacksonville and the Jacksonville firefighter salary information.


All aspiring Jacksonville firefighters will have to meet the following requirements.

  • Should be at least 18 years old.
  • Should have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Should have a Certificate of Compliance for Firefighter issued by Florida.
  • Should possess a Florida EMT or a Paramedic Certificate.
  • Should have a driver’s license that is valid.
  • Should not use any tobacco products.

Salary Details

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters in the state of Florida made $51,300 as mean annual income in the year 2019.

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