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Career Profile: Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists

Enforce fire regulations, inspect forest for fire hazards, and recommend forest fire prevention or control measures. May report forest fires and weather conditions.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 3,000 people employed as forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists in the United States. The median annual salary is $42,200. Entry level employees earn approximately $29,660 per year and senior employees earn approximately $86,270 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Relay messages about emergencies, accidents, locations of crew and personnel, and fire hazard conditions.
  • Conduct wildland firefighting training.
  • Estimate sizes and characteristics of fires, and report findings to base camps by radio or telephone.
  • Direct crews working on firelines during forest fires.
  • Locate forest fires on area maps, using azimuth sighters and known landmarks.
  • Extinguish smaller fires with portable extinguishers, shovels, and axes.
  • Patrol assigned areas, looking for forest fires, hazardous conditions, and weather phenomena.
  • Compile and report meteorological data, such as temperature, relative humidity, wind direction and velocity, and types of cloud formations.
  • Examine and inventory firefighting equipment, such as axes, fire hoses, shovels, pumps, buckets, and fire extinguishers, to determine amount and condition.
  • Educate the public about fire safety and prevention.
  • Direct maintenance and repair of firefighting equipment, or requisition new equipment.
  • Maintain records and logbooks.
  • Administer regulations regarding sanitation, fire prevention, violation corrections, and related forest regulations.
  • Restrict public access and recreational use of forest lands during critical fire seasons.
  • Inspect camp sites to ensure that campers are in compliance with forest use regulations.
  • Inspect forest tracts and logging areas for fire hazards such as accumulated wastes or mishandling of combustibles, and recommend appropriate fire prevention measures.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
3,000
Annual Openings:
400
Increase in Openings by 2030:
24%
Annual Salary Range:
$29,660 - $86,270
Education Requirements:
High school diploma