Fire inspectors are responsible for visiting buildings and other structures to ensure these places comply with local fire codes and regulations. Fire inspectors are also responsible for inspecting, recharging and certifying fire extinguishers as part of their inspection duties. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes both fire inspectors and fire investigators in the same category, so inspectors salary may be slightly different than those represented here.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there were about 12,180 fire investigators and inspectors employed in 2009. These workers made a national average wage of $27.07 an hour or $56,310 per year. The middle 50 percent of fire investigators and inspectors earned about $25.83 an hour or $53,720 a year. Those in the top 10th percentile of earners made about $41.06 an hour or $85,400 per year.
Most Common Sectors
The "local government" sector of the industry was far and away the leading employer for fire investigators and inspectors in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The estimated 10,030 workers in the sector made an average hourly wage of $27.50 or about $57,210 per year. The second most common employer for fire investigators and inspectors in 2009 was the "big government" sector of the economy, where the estimated 1,210 workers earned an average of $23.03 per hour or about $47,900 a year.
Highest Paying Sectors
Fire inspectors and investigators employed in the "insurance carriers" sector of the economy had the highest average wages out of all sectors in 2009 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These workers made about $34.33 an hour or $71,400 per year. Investigators and inspectors employed in the "management, scientific and technical consulting services" sector of the industry earn about $32.52 per hour or $67,650 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the five states with the highest average wages for fire investigators and inspectors in 2009 were California, Washington, Nevada, the District of Columbia and Oregon. Workers in California had the highest overall average wages, making about $40.30 an hour or $83,990 per year. Those in Oregon, the fifth highest paying state, earned about $34.24 per hour or about $71,220 per year.