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

What They Do

  • Conduct internal investigation to determine negligence and violation of laws and regulations by fire department employees.
  • Dust evidence or portions of fire scenes for latent fingerprints.
  • Instruct children about the dangers of fire.
  • Test sites and materials to establish facts, such as burn patterns and flash points of materials, using test equipment.
  • Swear out warrants, and arrest and process suspected arsonists.
  • Coordinate efforts with other organizations such as law enforcement agencies.
  • Subpoena and interview witnesses, property owners, and building occupants to obtain information and sworn testimony.
  • Prepare and maintain reports of investigation results, and records of convicted arsonists and arson suspects.
  • Testify in court cases involving fires, suspected arson, and false alarms.
  • Package collected pieces of evidence in securely closed containers such as bags, crates, or boxes, to protect them.

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.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2012, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $55,350 with most people making between $30,510 and $84,470

Outlook

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 1,200 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 1,200 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have approximately 30 job openings annually.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation