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Career and Education Opportunities for Fire Code Inspectors in San Jose, California

There are many career and education opportunities for fire code inspectors in the San Jose, California area. The national trend for fire code inspectors sees this job pool growing by about 9.3% over the next eight years. In general, fire code inspectors inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.

Income for fire code inspectors is about $39 hourly or $81,370 yearly on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $25 per hour or $53,030 yearly. Fire code inspectors earn more than people working in the category of Fire Control generally in California and more than people in the Fire Control category nationally. Fire code inspectors work in a variety of jobs, including: fire prevention specialist, compliance analyst, and fire prevention training officer.

The San Jose area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can get a degree as a fire code inspector. Given that the most common education level for fire code inspectors is some college courses, you can expect to spend a short time training to become a fire code inspector if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fire Code Inspector

Fire Code Inspector video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, fire code inspectors inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.

Fire code inspectors examine buildings to identify hazardous conditions and fire code violations such as accumulations of combustible material, electrical wiring problems, and inadequate or non-functional fire exits. They also present and explain fire code requirements and fire prevention data to architects, contractors, and the general public. Equally important, fire code inspectors have to perform fire code compliance follow-ups to insure that corrective actions have been taken in cases where violations were found. They are often called upon to attend training classes to maintain current knowledge of fire prevention and firefighting procedures. They are expected to write detailed reports of fire inspections performed, fire code violations observed, and corrective recommendations offered. Finally, fire code inspectors inspect blueprints and plans for new or remodeled buildings to insure the structures meet fire safety codes.

Every day, fire code inspectors are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to solve different sorts of problems in different ways depending upon circumstances. It is also important that they piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation.

It is important for fire code inspectors to examine properties that store and use hazardous materials to insure adherence to laws and rules, and issue hazardous materials permits to facilities found in compliance. They are often called upon to design and direct fire prevention programs such as false alarm billing, fire inspection reporting, and hazardous materials management. They also examine liquefied petroleum installations and transportation and delivery systems for adherence to fire laws. They are sometimes expected to testify in court regarding fire code and fire safety issues. Somewhat less frequently, fire code inspectors are also expected to supervise staff, training them, planning their work, and evaluating their performance.

Fire code inspectors sometimes are asked to teach public education programs on fire safety and prevention. They also have to be able to search for clues as to the cause of a fire, once the fire is completely extinguished and serve court appearance summonses or condemnation notices on parties responsible for violations of fire codes and ordinances. And finally, they sometimes have to manage the replacement of faulty fire fighting equipment and for maintenance of fire alarm and sprinkler systems, making minor repairs such as servicing fire extinguishers when feasible.

Like many other jobs, fire code inspectors must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Jose include:

  • Correctional Officer. Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
  • Fire Fighter. Control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
  • Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
  • Forest Fire Lookout. Enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards. Report forest fires and weather conditions.
  • Forest Firefighter. Control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.
  • Police Officer. Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.
  • Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.
  • Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fire Code Inspector Training

Las Positas College - Livermore, CA

Las Positas College, 3033 Collier Cyn Rd, Livermore, CA 94551-7650. Las Positas College is a medium sized college located in Livermore, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,098 students. Las Positas College has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated two, fourteen, eight, and zero students respectively in 2008.

College of San Mateo - San Mateo, CA

College of San Mateo, 1700 W Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402-3784. College of San Mateo is a large college located in San Mateo, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,215 students. College of San Mateo has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated five, sixteen, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Cogswell Polytechnical College - Sunnyvale, CA

Cogswell Polytechnical College, 1175 Bordeaux Drive, Sunnyvale, CA 94089. Cogswell Polytechnical College is a small college located in Sunnyvale, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 224 students and an admission rate of 50%. Cogswell Polytechnical College has a bachelor's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Chabot College - Hayward, CA

Chabot College, 25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545. Chabot College is a large college located in Hayward, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,299 students. Chabot College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated three, sixteen, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Mission College - Santa Clara, CA

Mission College, 3000 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054-1897. Mission College is a large college located in Santa Clara, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,154 students. Mission College has an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

Cabrillo College - Aptos, CA

Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003. Cabrillo College is a large college located in Aptos, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,822 students. Cabrillo College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated zero and twenty-five students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Incident Safety Officer - Fire Suppression Certification: A fire department incident safety officer's mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community.

For more information, see the Fire Department Safety Officers Association website.

Fire Plans Examiner: Content Outline: Administration, Occupancies, Hazardous Materials, Fire Protection, and Egress and Safety.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Standard Low-voltage Electrician: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an independent testing program designed to provide licensing agencies with information regarding.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator: Recognize Qualified Fire and Explosion Investigators.

For more information, see the National Association of Fire Investigators website.

Fire Inspector I Certification: The NFPA Fire Inspector I and II (CFI-I and CFI-II) and Fire Plan Examiner (CFPE) certification programs are a result of requests by fire inspectors, plan reviewers, state agencies, and national organizations to develop certifications founded on the NFPA Professional Qualification Standards and other applicable NFPA codes and standards.

For more information, see the National Fire Protection Association website.

Special Hazards Suppression Systems: This certification program is designed for engineering technicians engaged in the detailing and layout and/or installation and maintenance related to special hazards suppression systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Jose, California

San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.