Fire Protection Engineering

Fire protection engineering may not be a well-known area of engineering, but it is an important one. It is a profession that uses advances in technology to help prevent fires and protect people and property when they do happen. Fire protection engineering involves analyzing buildings and other structures to determine what they are used for and how a fire might start and grow. Engineers use their findings to help control fires, find ways to alert people, prevent fires and research consumer products. When a fire does occur, fire protection engineers will investigate it to determine how and why it spread and what can be improved to keep a fire from happening in the future.

Fire protection engineering involves communicating with engineers, architects, building officials and fire departments to make the local community safer. Fire protection engineers offer recommendations for solutions to fires. They make sure that if a building does catch fire, the occupants and property are protected using the latest technology.

Fire protection engineering has actually been around for centuries. It wasn't until the early 20th century, however, that fire protection engineering became a program of study at the college level. Later on, improved building codes made buildings safer and less likely to catch fire. In 1950, the Society of Fire Prevention Engineers was begun, officially making fire protection engineering its own profession.

Fire protection engineering is a smart career choice for those who want to make a positive difference in their community. You will be working with others to ensure that we work and live in safe buildings. You will also have many options for a promising career. You won't have to move to a large city in order to make a living. Fire protection engineering is needed everywhere, in areas ranging from metropolitan to suburbs to rural and even remote areas. This is because fires can happen anywhere, at any time. No area is invincible from the damage a fire can create. You can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, fire departments, government agencies, consulting firms, insurance companies, laboratories, forensics and classrooms.

Not only does fire protection engineering offer personal satisfaction from helping others, but also high pay. Those starting out in the field can make around $69,000 a year. If you have a master's degree, that pay jumps to $78,000. The average income overall is $110,500. Those with 15 years of experience or more can enjoy an annual salary of more than $120,000. This does not include benefits, such as medical/dental, tuition reimbursement, retirement plans and bonuses.

If you work in the fire protection engineering field as a consultant, you will be required to obtain a license. This is done by passing two tests: first, the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and then the Professional Engineer exam. Even if you are not required to have a license, it is in your best interest to do so. Although voluntary, it shows employers that you are dedicated to your profession and that you meet the highest standards in your field. This is a huge personal accomplishment and is highly regarded by employers. A license can lead to many great opportunities in the fire protection engineering field, including bonuses, raises and advancement.

Fire protection engineering has a bright future. Fires are a huge problem all over the world. Unfortunately, they injure and kill thousands of people each year. Fires also cause an astonishing $10 billion a year in property damage. That is why talented fire protection engineers are needed to keep people and their property safe. They are also needed to create new and innovative technology in order to prevent and control fires.

Last Updated: 06/08/2014

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