Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
- Arson and Bomb Investigator
- Arson Investigator
- Bomb Squad Commander
- Bomb Technician
- Chief Arson Division
- Fire and Explosion Investigator
- Fire Captain
- Fire Chief
- 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.
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.
People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Support and Independence in their jobs.
- 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.
- 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.
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
In 2012, the average annual wage in California was $66,330.00 with most people making between $44,260.00 and $108,740.00
During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 1,800 people in California. It is projected that there will be 1,900 employed in 2020.
This occupation will have about 10 openings due to growth and about 50 replacement openings for approximately 60 total annual openings.
Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation
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majorCriminal Justice/Police Science
collegeCalifornia State University-Los Angeles
collegeUniversity of Southern California
majorFire Prevention and Safety Technology/Technician
onetCriminal Investigators and Special Agents
majorCriminalistics and Criminal Science
collegeAmerican River College
collegeRiverside City College