Fire Marshal Career Information

In a career as a fire marshal, you will have to investigate and determine the source of fire. You would have to enforce the laws related to the fire safety standards and codes. As a fire marshal, you may have to perform inspections on fire code-related issues. Enforcing the law concerning the flammable materials, violations of safety rules and much more is your responsibility.

Training and Education

As a fire marshal, you have to undergo extensive training and education. Having a good record as a deputy fire marshal is also a must. The basic qualifications required are:

  • A bachelor’s degree in fire science. In some instances, you may require a master’s degree in a related field.
  • Obtain the state fire marshal certificate and International Code Council (ICC) certificate. The certificate would cover the subjects of building inspection and plan review.
  • Serve as a deputy fire marshal. Then apply for a promotion when there is an opening.
  • Study laws regarding issues of new construction and safety equipment.
  • Prepare for evidence and statements in cases of fire.
  • Develop interrogation skills, as it would be a basic part of your career.

Duties and Responsibilities

As a fire marshal, your responsibilities include:

  • Inspection of public and commercial buildings for safety.
  • Performing site plan review for all new construction sites and prepare fire code requirements.
  • Interpreting guidelines to various personnel in the department, citizens and other agencies.
  • Conducting fire investigations and determining the source of fire.
  • Educating the community with fire and safety regulations. Creating awareness about fire prevention and participating in educational programs.
  • Preparing reports on all investigations and system tests performed.
  • Operating fire equipment in case of emergencies. Providing medical services if necessary.
  • Managing staff and work methods and identifying the scope for improvement.
  • Maintaining fire response capabilities of equipment.

Work Hours and Salary 

As a fire marshal, you have to work a standard 40 hours per week. Working additional hours per week makes you eligible for overtime if you are not on salary. Overtime pay does not commiserate with salary employees. You may need to work in shifts in order to maintain the staffing level required. You would be expected to work during any emergency. The average salary as a fire marshal is around $67,000, as of May 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Working Conditions

  • As a fire marshal, you would have to travel a lot.
  • You would be exposed to various hazardous conditions while performing inspections.
  • Exposure to dust, chemicals and stringent weather conditions will be common.
  • You would need to work at heights and around heavy equipment used for construction.
  • Lifting and carrying heavy fire safety equipment is sometimes necessary.
  • You would be operating vehicles and climbing, walking and bending for many work assignments.

Advancement Opportunities

A fire marshal career is challenging and presents an opportunity for public service. Maintaining impeccable physical abilities and health is essential. A mechanical aptitude is a must. If you conquer written examinations and receive solid performance evaluations on the job, you can become eligible for a promotion. By taking and obtaining a certification given by the National Fire Academy, the sky could be your limit in this realm.