Career and Education Opportunities for Fire Code Inspectors in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for fire code inspectors. Currently, 140 people work as fire code inspectors in Oregon. This is expected to grow by 12% to about 160 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for fire code inspectors are expected to grow by about 9.3%. Fire code inspectors generally inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
The income of a fire code inspector is about $34 per hour or $72,550 yearly on average in Oregon. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $25 hourly or $53,030 per year on average. Fire code inspectors earn more than people working in the category of Fire Control generally in Oregon and more than people in the Fire Control category nationally. Jobs in this field include: fire captain, deputy fire marshal, and fire extinguisher sprinkler inspector.
There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the Portland area, including three within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree to start your career as a fire code inspector. The most common level of education for fire code inspectors is some college courses. You can expect to spend a short time studying to be a fire code inspector if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fire Code Inspector
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 Portland 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.
- 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
Portland Community College - Portland, OR
Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has an associate's degree program in Fire Protection and Safety Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.
Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR
Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Fire Science/Firefighting which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.
Chemeketa Community College - Salem, OR
Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305. Chemeketa Community College is a large college located in Salem, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,000 students. Chemeketa Community College has 2 areas of study related to Fire Code Inspector. They are:
- Fire Protection and Safety Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
- Fire Science/Firefighting, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and forty-five students respectively in 2008.
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, Oregon
Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.
Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.