Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Fire Investigator

Find Schools Near

All About Fire Investigators

Job Description & Duties Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.

List of Fire Investigator Job Duties

  • Photograph damage and evidence related to causes of fires or explosions to document investigation findings.
  • Package collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers, such as bags, crates, or boxes, to protect them.
  • Coordinate efforts with other organizations, such as law enforcement agencies.
  • Swear out warrants, and arrest and process suspected arsonists.
  • Conduct internal investigation to determine negligence and violation of laws and regulations by fire department employees.
  • Subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain information and sworn testimony.

Fire Investigator Skills

These are the skills Fire Investigators say are the most useful in their careers:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Other Fire Investigator Job Titles

  • Arson Investigator
  • Arson Division Chief
  • State Fire Marshal
  • Fire Investigation Manager
  • Investigator

What Kind of Fire Investigator Job Opportunities Are There?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 12,300 jobs in the United States for Fire Investigator. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 900 new jobs for Fire Investigator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,400 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Fire Investigators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Fire Investigator are Idaho, Vermont, and Arkansas. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Rhode Island, or North Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Fire Investigator

Fire Investigators make between $36,400 and $95,330 a year.

Salary Ranges for Fire Investigators

Fire Investigators who work in California, Oregon, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Fire Investigators in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $68,630
Arizona $64,190
Arkansas $44,310
California $103,830
Colorado $74,790
Connecticut $74,280
Delaware $58,820
District of Columbia $75,800
Florida $63,040
Georgia $52,010
Illinois $64,760
Indiana $53,670
Iowa $64,680
Kansas $53,210
Kentucky $43,640
Louisiana $50,990
Maine $54,600
Maryland $64,490
Massachusetts $66,710
Michigan $59,740
Minnesota $68,210
Missouri $44,930
New Hampshire $62,700
New Jersey $55,890
New Mexico $52,010
New York $66,580
North Carolina $52,760
North Dakota $61,850
Ohio $66,650
Oklahoma $68,080
Oregon $89,860
Pennsylvania $56,890
Rhode Island $56,130
South Carolina $53,680
Tennessee $62,660
Texas $63,540
Utah $58,000
Vermont $58,790
Virginia $55,540
Washington $81,430
West Virginia $47,190
Wisconsin $57,460

What Tools do Fire Investigators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Fire Investigators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software

How do I Become a Fire Investigator?

Education needed to be a Fire Investigator:

Fire Investigator Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Fire Investigator Work Experience

Fire Investigators Sector

Fire Investigator Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Fire Investigator Industries


Image Credit: Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Emergency and Fire Management Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.