A career in the fire protection industry is probably not something that your careers teacher in high school or university may have talked to you about, but we are here to tell you it is a great industry that is very secure (it’s about fire safety after all) and well rewarded for the right people. The industry is very diverse with a huge variety of career options and pathways.
If you are looking for a career in the fire protection industry, then this is a great place to start.
Before we assume anything, we want to give you a VERY BROAD understanding of what fire safety is and its role within the built environment. The phrase "built environment" refers to man-made structures and facilities in which people live, work and gather.
In most parts of the world, there are laws that exist to ensure the safety of people in buildings. Many of these laws pertain to the safety of the occupants of the building, including how people can exit the building safely in the event of an emergency.
To achieve this most modern buildings include active and passive features such as automatic fire sprinkler systems, fire detection & alarm systems, fire hydrant systems, portable fire extinguishers, emergency lights, exit signs, fire resisting elements, fire doors, smoke doors and heat and smoke control features of mechanical ventilation systems to name a few.
Every one of these fire safety features require specialised skills, experience and in some cases tertiary qualifications for their design, installation and maintenance.
There are a very wide variety of career opportunities available, and on this web page, we want to help you navigate a few of the options.
The most common question we get is "How do i get started?" The simple answer to this question is to learn about the industry, develop a knowledge of the building service industry and try and work out if your interested in a trade or tertiary pathway.
There are a few options for people who may not want to pursue a tertiary qualification in fire protection, and thankfully our industry has a lot of options. The National Construction Code ("NCC") sets out the deemed-to-satisfy ("DtS") requirements for fire safety systems and equipment in buildings. These DtS provisions often refer to Australian Standards as one method to satisfy the requirement for compliance with the NCC. This is great news for competent and licensed (or registered) trades people because it provides an option in lieu of an engineered solution for the installation of fire safety systems and equipment in buildings.
The most widely recognised trade is that of a Fire Sprinkler Fitter via an apprenticeship but this is only one of the options available. Other options include specialised electricians who have developed the skills and experience (typically through on the job training) to install fire detection and alarm systems, emergency warning systems, emergency lights and exit signs. Other options include the non-trade option for equipment such as portable fire extinguishers, fire smoke and exit doors.
- Certificate II in Fire Protection Inspection and Testing
- Certificate III in Fire Protection
- Certificate III in Fire Protection Control
- Certificate III in Fire Protection Inspection and Testing
- Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
- Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Systems Electrician
According to wikipedia, fire protection engineering also known as fire safety engineering is the application of science and engineering principles to protect people, property, and their environments from the harmful and destructive effects of fire and smoke. It encompasses engineering which focuses on fire detection, suppression and mitigation and fire safety engineering which focuses on human behavior and maintaining a tenable environment for evacuation from a fire.1
If your looking to become a professional fire safety engineer, you might consider checking out Engineers Australia who have a great web page for students. If you have already worked out that an engineering career in the fire protection industry is of interest to you then check out these courses from some of the best universities in Australia for fire safety;
- Victoria University: Fire Safety Systems Design
- Victoria University: Graduate Certificate in Performance-Based Building & Fire Codes
- University of Western Sydney: Graduate Certificate in Fire Safety Engineering
- The University of Queensland: Fire Safety Engineering
As you can see there are a lot of options available to people wanting to commence a career in the fire protection industry. For more information, fill in the form that accompanies this web page, and when we launch our fire protection industry introduction training course, we will send you an email.