First of all, you should be familiar with what such a job entails and decide whether you can imagine yourself doing it. Next, you should check out the requirements in terms of education, qualifications and skills. Finally, you need to look at the demand for such professionals and the financial compensation you might expect.

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So, here’s a step-by-step analysis and a roadmap towards achieving the ultimate goal of becoming an expert in fire protection.

What does a fire protection expert do?

A fire protection expert is in charge of examining commercial buildings, houses and public places and checking if all applicable safety requirements have been met. They also need to inspect construction sites to make sure that all procedures are in compliance with local, state and federal codes.

This professional may also be required to install and repair different types of equipment, such as FireSafe ANZ emergency warning system, fire hydrants and sprinklers. Finally, they’re also called to visit locations where a fire has occurred to assess the state of the site.

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Qualifications

In order to become a fire protection expert, you first need to finish high school or, even better, to have a degree in postsecondary training, after which you can continue your studies in the field of fire science or technology, chemistry or related field.

Depending on where you live, you many need to obtain an additional certificate in order to become an inspector, which has to be accompanied by between one and three years of work in a related field. When it comes to skills, the most important ones are communication, orientation to details and analytical skills, while a good fire protection professional needs to be knowledgeable when it comes to all the relevant rules and regulations.

Career steps

To begin with, you need at least a high school diploma, although having a postsecondary training in fire technology will significantly increase your chances of landing a job. Once you get your first job, you need to make sure you make the most of it and gain valuable experience, which you will use to earn a certificate in fire science technology.

A certificate program syllabus contains fire equipment, prevention and investigation, which is quite similar to what an associate's degree program in fire science includes, but the latter also features general education classes. Some degree programs offer a fire inspector specialization, which includes instruction on fire codes and interpretation of building plans.

Further qualifications

These depend on where you live and work. You can take some certification program offered by a nationally recognized professional association. Make sure you inquire about the requirements and choose a reputable institution to receive the best possible education and in doing so check both local and state requirements.

Work experience

The importance of gaining work experience can’t be stressed enough. If you have any wish to climb up the career ladder, you’ll need to get as much relevant experience as possible. For example, fire safety inspectors might need to have previously worked as building inspectors or fire safety directors. Needless to say, it’s very difficult to get any kind of promotion unless you have decent communication skills.

Seek employment

If you wish to become a fire protection inspector, you should turn to a government agency or business for employment. A job with such institutions is an excellent stepping stone, since you’ll learn to review blueprints and plans, research various codes accurately and deal with various fire safety violations. Of course, you’ll have to undergo a background check and drug test, with a clean driving licence being a must.

Next step

Once you’ve had enough relevant experience, you have an opportunity to get a supervisory role within fire departments or law enforcement agencies. This will be a chance for you to get a better salary and get involved in training younger colleagues.

Conclusion

A career in fire safety is specific and rewarding in so many ways. Once you receive necessary training and get your first job, you’ll need to work hard and use every opportunity to receive additional training. When the range of your skills is wide enough, you can look for a job higher up the career ladder and such a job should come with an appropriate financial package, as well as various perks. By that time, you’ll have already gained enough experience for everyone to consider you a true expert in the field.