One profession has been left virtually unscathed by the current economic slowdown: fire protection engineering-according to a recent survey by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).
science and technology, fire protection engineers analyze how buildings are
used, how fires start, how fire grows, and how fire and smoke affect people,
buildings and property. They apply their considerable skills with the aim of
protecting people, property, businesses and the environment from the ravaging
effects of fire.
past decade, the demand for fire protection engineers has outpaced the number
of people qualified to fill the positions. Even with an average starting salary
of $55,000 and an industry-wide mean of $98,000, knowledgeable fire protection
engineers are hard to come by.
survey by the Bethesda, MD-based SFPE of the largest employers of fire
protection engineers found that although the current economic downturn has
influenced employer’s decisions to hire additional engineers, the majority of
employers who have tried to hire a qualified fire protection engineer over the
past year have experienced difficulties. The majority of these same employers forecast
continuing recruitment problems in the next 12 months and beyond.
percent of respondents cited that they had difficulty finding candidates
because there were not enough applicants in their geographic area.
engineering jobs are available over a wide range of industries,” said SFPE
Engineering Program Manager Chris Jelenewicz. “These industries include private
consulting firms, large corporations, fire departments, local building code
officials, insurance firms, federal, state and local government agencies and
architectural and design firms.”
difficulties faced by employers who are recruiting fire protection engineers,
the colleges and universities that offer fire protection engineering programs
indicate graduating students are getting many job offers.
of the economic conditions, the market for students graduating with a Bachelor
of Science Degree in fire protection engineering is still extremely favorable,”
said Marino di Marzo Chair of the Fire Protection Engineering Department at the
University of Maryland, College Park, MD. “Some of our graduates this spring
have multiple offers.”
the labor shortage and increase the number of people entering the profession,
SFPE has a strategic goal of increasing the workforce by reaching high school
and college students nationwide.
example, the SFPE has a website (www.careersinfireprotectionengineering.com)
that offers students the chance to explore different career paths within the
fire protection engineering profession, learn about the best way to enter the
field, and discover the benefits of working in an industry where they can make
a real difference.
addition, SFPE offers a free Guide to Careers in Fire Protection
Engineering. A free copy of this guide can be obtained by contacting
our hope we can reach students early and show them that fire protection
engineering can be both a challenging and rewarding career,” says
Jelenewicz. “It’s imperative for the safety of our society to train a new
generation of fire protection engineers. These are the people who are going to
help ensure the safety of our communities and the environment in the years to
June 1, 2009