Fire engineer: job description – TARGETjobs

A fire engineer ensures that buildings are designed in a way that minimises the risk of fire or the fire spreading.
What does a fire engineer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills
Fire engineers design and provide advice on both new buildings and buildings undergoing refurbishment in respect to fire safety measures. Their role is to help protect life, property and the wider environment from risk of fire and to help ensure that projects meet industry codes and legislative requirements.
The role is closely related to those of fire assessors (also known as fire safety consultants), who conduct fire risk assessments legally required on non-private dwelling places, and fire investigators, who determine the cause of a fire. Some fire engineers may take on some aspects of these jobs, depending on the nature of their employer and its remit.
However, a fire engineer’s duties typically include:
Fire engineers typically work in multidisciplinary teams on projects, working particularly closely with fire risk assessors, building services engineers and architects.
It is possible for fire engineers to specialise in a type of building (such as commercial, residential or mixed use, or even more narrowly in retail or high-rise, for example) as they progress in their careers.
Fire engineers typically work office hours, but may work longer if they are working on, or travelling to and from, a project site.
Find out more about working as a fire engineer in our interview with a graduate from Mott MacDonald.
Most fire engineers work for engineering design consultancies within the construction industry; there may also be some vacancies with house builders, property developers, housing associations and architectural practices (although these organisations may contract out the work to specialist consultancies instead of completing the work in house). Local authorities and fire and rescue services may also offer a few jobs.
Insurance companies may employ in-house fire engineers to ascertain the risk of fires or to help investigate incidences of fire.
Jobs can be found on targetjobs, through careers services and through recruitment agencies. The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) also advertises ad hoc positions on its site.
As with other engineering roles, there are routes in for both school leavers and graduates. The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) confers technician, incorporated and chartered engineering status, depending on your level of academic qualifications.
At graduate level, employers typically require a degree in a related discipline, which includes fire engineering, fire safety, building services engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, structural engineering and chemical engineering. Some employers accept physics and maths degrees. An MEng or MSc is often preferred, so that you are eligible to train for chartered status immediately; doctoral study may be advantageous, but is rarely an essential requirement.
The IFE provides a range of additional professional fire safety qualifications (such as a certificate in fire science, operations and safety or in passive fire protection) that are often required for experienced hire positions. Many employers also seek a certificate in fire safety and risk management from the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) when making experienced hires.
As fire engineers often have to travel and work on site, a driving licence is often a requirement of the role.
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