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Fire Protection Engineers develop and implement solutions for protecting properties from fire damage and mitigate risks around fire hazards. The focus of the role is often around areas such as construction, design, testing, and inspection.

Fire Protection professionals generally pursue a career as occupational health and safety technicians or as dedicated fire inspectors and, with this in mind, there’s usually a requirement for a graduate degree in a relevant field as well as adequate training, with certification requirements varying based on experience. 
Fire Protection Engineers consult with both industry experts and architects to ensure adherence to fire safety regulations and to make sure that properties meet a satisfactory level of fire protection. Work within this field can involve developing fire prevention solutions, researching potential issues affecting fire safety, and deploying sophisticated modeling systems for anticipating the most likely risks of fires both starting and spreading throughout a building.

Fire Protection Engineer Employment Outlook and Salary  
Average salaries for Fire Protection Engineers in the United States are currently set at around $74,882 per year with a range of $41,835 - $117,677. In the United Kingdom, Fire Protection Engineers earn an average salary of £27,818 per year with a wide range of salary potentials between £19,007 - £65,998. In all instances, salary and package varies between candidates based on relevant skill set, expertise, and industry knowledge.     
Between 2014 and 2024, job demand in this sector is set to increase by 6%. As the working population continues to grow, the requirement for more effective fire protection standards continues to increase with both the construction and manufacturing industries showing steady growth within this field.

Job Description
A Fire Protection Engineer is responsible for assessing the level of fire safety within a building and ensuring that it meets current regulations. In addition to this primary role, other responsibilities may include instructing staff on fire safety procedures, performing or supervising research, and aiding in the development and investigation of fire protection operations. 

Whether working within the private or public-sector, Fire Protection Engineers are responsible for conducting the necessary investigations to ensure that buildings comply with fire codes, reduce the risk of fires, and to make sure that structures are built with improved safety against fire hazards. The remit of this role can also extend to guiding people on what to do in the event of a fire within the building.

Some essential functions of a Fire Protection Engineer are:

  • Evaluating compliance to regulations and laws relating to fire safety and prevention
  • Responsible for the administration of fire protection activities within an organization
  • Writing and preparing reports detailing fire protection and prevention issues
  • Providing regular technical assistance to contractors, architects and other private industry personnel in complying with and interpretation of fire standards and codes
  • Developing training materials and conducting training sessions
  • Conducting research on fire safety devices and materials
  • Coordinating with architects, construction professionals and facilities managers on fire prevention techniques and equipment, as well as fire standards and code interpretation and compliance issues
  • Reviewing existing building plans and construction site plans to ensure compliance 
  • Consulting with top management to recommend changes and improvements where required and to discuss safety regulations
  • Risk assessment and management, determining the likely causes of fire and ways to improve prevention
  • Responsibility for the purchase, installation, modification, operation, and maintenance of fire protection equipment and systems within an organization

Key Skills & Qualifications 

While not essential, Fire Protection Engineers ideally have relevant previous experience within the field and should hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject. Additionally, any other safety based qualifications and experience are also beneficial to candidates considering a career in this field. 

Key skills and competencies of Fire Protection Engineers often include:

  • An ability to understand and develop new and existing approaches to help provide engineering or other necessary solutions at the design stage for new building or construction plans
  • Excellent practical skills, particularly working with equipment or devices designed for fire detection, fire control and fire suppression
  • Ideally possessing or interested in pursuing fire protection or investigation certification
  • Demonstrable knowledge of existing regulations and relevant codes 
  • Effective problem solving and analytical skills