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.
Sample of reported job titles: Fire Management Officer, Fire Operations Forester, Fire Prevention Officer, Fire Prevention Technician, Fire Technician, Forest Officer, Forest Patrolman, Forestry Patrolman, Wildfire Mitigation Specialist, Wildfire Prevention Specialist
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
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- Application server software — Microsoft Windows Server
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint
- Cloud-based management software — Amazon Web Services AWS CloudFormation
- Configuration management software — Puppet
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Salesforce software
- Data base management system software — Microsoft SQL Server
- Data base user interface and query software — Amazon Web Services AWS software ; Fire incident reporting systems; Relational database software
- Development environment software — Microsoft PowerShell
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software
- Expert system software — Ansible software
- File versioning software — Git
- Map creation software — Mapping software
- Metadata management software — Perforce software
- Object or component oriented development software — Object oriented development environment software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Linux ; Microsoft Windows
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web page creation and editing software — Facebook
- Web platform development software — Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- 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.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
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- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Relay information about incidents or emergencies to personnel using phones or two-way radios.
- Assess characteristics of fires.
- Train employees in proper work procedures.
- Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
- Train personnel to enhance job skills.
- Direct fire fighting or prevention activities.
- Locate fires or fire danger areas.
- Operate firefighting equipment.
- Monitor environmental conditions to detect hazards.
- Patrol natural areas to ensure safety or enforce regulations.
- Record information about environmental conditions.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Inspect equipment to ensure safety or proper functioning.
- Educate the public about fire safety or prevention.
- Provide educational information to the public.
- Provide safety training.
- Maintain operational records.
- Block physical access to restricted areas.
- Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with security or safety regulations.
- Inspect facilities to ensure compliance with fire regulations.
- Recommend improvements to increase safety or reduce risks.
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- Face-to-Face Discussions — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 93% responded “Very important results.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 90% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 79% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Telephone — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 75% responded “Every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 61% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 77% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 51% responded “Very important.”
- Level of Competition — 50% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 59% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 44% responded “Some freedom.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 38% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 40% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 48% responded “Very important.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 68% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 55% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Time Pressure — 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 26% responded “Important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 41% responded “About half the time.”
- Letters and Memos — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 53% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 52% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 51% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 54% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover — 24% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Public Speaking — 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 45% responded “About half the time.”
- Physical Proximity — 34% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|32||High school diploma or equivalent
|18||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: RCE Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
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- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$20.26 hourly, $42,150 annual|
|Employment (2020)||3,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Much faster than average (15% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||400|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- International Association of Arson Investigators
- National Association of Fire Investigators
- National Fire Protection Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Fire inspectors
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