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Career and Education Opportunities for Fire Inspectors in Portland, Maine

For those living in the Portland, Maine area, there are many career and education opportunities for fire inspectors. The national trend for fire inspectors sees this job pool growing by about 9.3% over the next eight years. In general, fire inspectors conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.

Fire inspectors earn approximately $18 per hour or $37,820 annually on average in Maine. Nationally they average about $25 per hour or $53,030 annually. Fire inspectors earn less than people working in the category of Fire Control generally in Maine and more than people in the Fire Control category nationally. People working as fire inspectors can fill a number of jobs, such as: arson and bomb investigator, arson investigator, and fire chief.

There are twenty-three schools of higher education in the Portland area, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career as a fire inspector. Given that the most common education level for fire inspectors is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a fire inspector if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fire Inspector

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

In general, fire inspectors conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.

Fire inspectors analyze evidence and other data to establish probable causes of fires or explosions. They also photograph damage and evidence pertaining to causes of fires or explosions to document investigation findings. Equally important, fire inspectors have to examine fire sites and collect evidence such as glass and accelerant residue for use in determining the cause of a fire. They are often called upon to package collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers such as bags or boxes, to safeguard them. They are expected to ready and maintain reports of investigation results, and records of convicted arsonists and arson suspects. Finally, fire inspectors subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain data and sworn testimony.

Every day, fire inspectors are expected to be able to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. They need to think through problems and come up with general rules. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for fire inspectors to swear out warrants, and arrest and process suspected arsonists. They are often called upon to test sites and materials to determine facts. They also testify in court cases involving fires and false alarms. They are sometimes expected to dust evidence or portions of fire scenes for latent fingerprints. Somewhat less frequently, fire inspectors are also expected to dust evidence or portions of fire scenes for latent fingerprints.

And finally, they sometimes have to test sites and materials to determine facts.

Like many other jobs, fire inspectors must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland include:

  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Fighter. Control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
  • 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.
  • Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.
  • 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 Inspector Training

Southern Maine Community College - South Portland, ME

Southern Maine Community College, 2 Fort Road, South Portland, ME 04106-1698. Southern Maine Community College is a medium sized college located in South Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 5,654 students and an admission rate of 68%. Southern Maine Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated one and thirty-nine 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: Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine photo by Pauk

Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.