How to Become A Fire Protection Engineer

Fire Protection Engineers evaluate buildings of all types (residential, commercial, etc.) to identify potential fire hazards and develop solutions to mitigate such risks. They are employed by different organizations including government entities, insurance companies and private research firms, etc.

Other than working outdoors to examine different sites, Fire Protection Engineers may also spend a significant amount of time working at their desks. This is because using different IT tools and software to come up with fire-proof building models is a major part of the job. Additional duties include studying the causes of a fire and suggesting improvements in the architectural structure for future safety.

If you are interested in becoming a Fire Protection Engineer in America, then read this guide to understand what you need to do. 

Should I Become a Fire Protection Engineer?

As a Fire Protection Engineer, you must have expert knowledge of fire suppression and safety mechanisms. You will also need good problem-solving, analytical and communication skills along with the ability to multitask. Command on AutoCAD, MS Office, MicroStation and Revit will also be required.    

The following table will tell you about the education and skill requirements for becoming a Fire Protection Engineer. Compensation details and career outlook have also been included.


Bachelor’s degree in Fire Protection Engineering or a related branch of engineering

Major Requirement

Post-secondary education in fire science; on-the-job training.


Professional Engineer (PE) license mandatory in many states. Certifications are optional.




Key Skills

Complex Problem Solving, Active Learning and Listening, Critical Thinking, Reading Comprehension, Inductive and Deductive Reasoning, Near Vision, Problem Sensitivity, CAD (Computer-Aided Design) Software, Photo Imaging and Graphics Software, Spreadsheet Software, Office Suite Software, Scientific and Analytical Software.                                        

Annual Mean Wage (2019)

$94,810 (Health and Safety Engineers)

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

5% (Health and Safety Engineers)


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

Career Outlook for Fire Protection Engineers

The records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that employment opportunities for Health and Safety Engineers will increase by 5% between 2018 and 2028. Some states will have more jobs with better salaries compared to others.

For example, 2019 saw Texas (3,700) top the list of states with the most employed Health and Safety Engineers in America. California (2,190) and New York (1,760) had the second and third-highest number of jobs in the field respectively. On the other hand, the best compensation was provided by the District of Columbia which had an annual mean wage of $122,170. New Mexico ($117,310) and California ($113,380) offered the next two most attractive pay packages.

Steps to Become a Fire Protection Engineer

To become a Fire Protection Engineer in the US, you must follow the process outlined below.

Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

The journey to becoming a Fire Protection Engineer will begin with enrollment in an undergraduate engineering degree program. You should preferably go for one that offers a specialization in fire science. Also, make sure that the program you select has been accredited by the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

Step 2: Qualify the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam

After completing your Bachelor’s degree, you will have to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam conducted by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). It is also known as the “Engineer-In-Training (EIT) Examination.” By qualifying this test, you will earn the title “Engineering Intern” or “Engineer-In-Training.”

Step 3: Gain Experience

Once you have passed the FE Exam, you can start working under the supervision of a licensed Professional Engineer to gain experience. To be eligible for the Professional Engineering (PE) license exam, you will need at least four years of supervised work experience.

Aspiring fire protection engineers often join their local firefighting academy to obtain hands-on experience in the field. During this time, they also familiarize themselves with local fire codes as well as NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standards.  

Step 4: Get Your License

After you have acquired the needed work experience, you can take the exam to earn your Professional Engineer (PE) license. Getting a PE license is not always mandatory to find a job as a fire protection engineer. But, you can work independently as a licensed engineer without supervision.

Steps to Become a Philadelphia Firefighter

Do you want information on the Philadelphia Fire Department hiring process? Here are the steps all aspiring firefighters have to follow.

  1. Fill out the job interest form available on the department’s website. Jobs open up after around every two years.
  2. Complete a civil services examination. If you have high scores, you will be asked to move to the next step.
  3. You will have to clear department interviews, medical examination, background investigation, and a criminal investigation.
  4. You will also have to complete a training program spanning over 24 weeks at the Philadelphia Fire Academy before you can be sworn in as a firefighter in Philadelphia.

Firefighter Salary

How Much Can I Earn as a Firefighter In San Antonio?

If you are looking for information about San Antonio fire department requirements and the salary of the firefighters in San Antonio, we have the details you want. As per the latest estimates provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, $54,760 was the annual mean salary of firefighters in the state of Texas in the year 2019. Their median annual income was $53,440. There were 25,670 firefighters working in the state in 2019.

San Jose Fire Department Hiring

The San Jose fire department hiring process contains different steps. If you want to become a firefighter in San Jose, then there are certain requirements you will have to fulfill. You should be at least 18 years old at the time of the test and should have a GED or a high school diploma. On top of that, you should have a valid California driver’s license, an EMT certification, and a CPAT certificate.

Aspiring firefighters will have to submit an application and clear an NTN written exam. After that, you will have to fill out a personal history questionnaire. Candidates that pass the NTN and complete the PHQ will be eligible to move on to the recruitment process.

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