Fire Investigators

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About the Job

Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.

It is also Called

  • Arson and Bomb Investigator
  • Arson Investigator
  • Bomb Squad Commander
  • Bomb Technician
  • Captain
  • Chief Arson Division
  • Detective
  • Fire and Explosion Investigator
  • Fire Captain
  • Fire Chief
View All

What They Do

  • Examine fire sites and collect evidence such as glass, metal fragments, charred wood, and accelerant residue for use in determining the cause of a fire.
  • Photograph damage and evidence related to causes of fires or explosions to document investigation findings.
  • Analyze evidence and other information to determine probable cause of fire or explosion.
  • Package collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers, such as bags, crates, or boxes, to protect them.
  • Testify in court cases involving fires, suspected arson, and false alarms.
  • Prepare and maintain reports of investigation results, and records of convicted arsonists and arson suspects.
  • Subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain information and sworn testimony.
  • Coordinate efforts with other organizations, such as law enforcement agencies.
  • Swear out warrants, and arrest and process suspected arsonists.
  • Test sites and materials to establish facts, such as burn patterns and flash points of materials, using test equipment.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RIC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Support and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Kansas City, MO-KS was $66,910 with most people making between $47,070 and $81,040

Outlook

0.00%
avg. annual growth

During 2012, this occupation employed approximately 26 people in Kansas City, MO-KS. It is projected that there will be 27 employed in 2022.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 1 replacement openings for approximately 1 total annual openings.



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