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Career and Education Opportunities for Fire Code Inspectors in Columbia, Maryland

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for fire code inspectors in the Columbia, Maryland area. The national trend for fire code inspectors sees this job pool growing by about 9.3% over the next eight years. Fire code inspectors generally inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.

Income for fire code inspectors is about $27 hourly or $57,820 annually on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $25 hourly or $53,030 annually. Earnings for fire code inspectors are better than earnings in the general category of Fire Control in Maryland and better than general Fire Control category earnings nationally. People working as fire code inspectors can fill a number of jobs, such as: fire chief, smoke inspector, and fire official.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a fire code inspector, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Given that the most common education level for fire code inspectors is some college courses, it will take a short time to learn to be 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 Columbia 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.
  • Lifeguard. Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.
  • 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

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Fire Protection and Safety Technology/Technician which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has a two to four year program in Fire Protection and Safety Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has an associate's degree program in Fire Protection and Safety Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year program in Fire Protection and Safety Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated four and three students respectively in 2008.

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Fire Protection and Safety Technology/Technician which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated five students 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.