Fire Protection Engineers
Fire protection engineers are employed by consulting engineering firms, fire departments, fire equipment and systems manufacturers, research and testing laboratories, colleges and universities, the entertainment industry, safety science companies (such as UL), government agencies (such as the U.S. Fire Administration; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and the Departments of Energy and Defense), hospitals and health care facilities, the insurance industry, and forensic investigation firms. Others work independently as consultants.
Many FPEs enter the field after participating in internships and cooperative educational experiences while in college. These activities help students learn more about different types of employers, build their networks, and potentially impress intern managers so much that they will be considered for full-time employment.
Engineering associations can also provide tips on landing a job. For example, the National Society of Professional Engineers provides webinars for its student members. Recent webinars included How to Get Your First Job and Engineering Your Career with a High Quality Social Network.
Other popular job-search strategies include utilizing the resources of your college’s career services office, becoming active on social media (including creating a LinkedIn profile and joining fire protection engineering groups), working with recruiters, and applying to companies and government agencies directly.
Some people enter the career as fire protection engineering technicians after completing associate degrees in the field. With experience and additional education, they can be promoted to the position of fire protection engineer.
Experienced and highly-skilled fire protection engineers can become engineering managers. Some leave their employers to launch their own consulting firms, while others teach at colleges and universities.
Tips for Entry
Read Fire Protection Engineering (https://www.sfpe.org/page/Magazine) and Fire Technology (https://www.sfpe.org/page/Journal) to learn more about careers in the field.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Become certified by the National Fire Protection Association in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards established by your industry.