According to a survey conducted by the Bethesda, MD – based Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), the median income for an entry-level fire protection engineer (up to six years of experience) with a bachelor’s degree is $68,700 per year. That figure jumps to $78,000 when a person with that level of experience has a master’s degree.
The median income for a mid-level fire protection engineer (six-10 years of experience) is $82,000 per year, but it reaches $100,000 per year if he or she has a master’s degree.
Fire protection engineers with work experience upwards of 15 years earn the greatest salaries in the field. It is common for senior-level fire protection engineers to make over $120,000 per year.
“Across a broad cross section of industries, from large corporations and private consulting to the fire service and all levels of government, fire protection engineers design ways to protect people and property from fire,” says Chris Jelenewicz, engineering program manager with SFPE. “There are so many opportunities for fire protection engineers to make a rewarding and lucrative living.”
The 2010 SFPE Compensation Survey results indicate approximately 4.2 percent annual compounded growth rate in total compensation over the past three years. This rate is above U.S. national averages reported by The Total Rewards Association—WorldatWork for years: 2008 at 3.9 percent, 2009 at 2.2 percent and an estimated 2010 at 2.8 percent (based on the association’s annual salary budget survey for responses for exempt positions).
The survey polled 658 professionals practicing in the profession of fire protection engineering worldwide. Income data is based on earnings (salary plus bonuses) in 2009. The full report for this survey can be found at www.sfpe.org.
What is a Fire Protection Engineer?
According to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, a fire protection engineer applies science and engineering principles to protect people, homes, workplaces, the economy and the environment from the devastating effects of fires. Fire protection engineers analyze how buildings are used, how fires start and grow, and how fires affect people and property. They use the latest technologies to design systems to control fires, alert people to danger, and provide means for escape. Fire protection engineers also work closely with other professionals, including engineers of other disciplines, architects, state and local building officials, and local fire departments to build fire safe communities. Fire protection engineers are in high demand. The number of available jobs far exceeds the supply.
About Society of Fire Protection Engineers
Organized in 1950, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) is the professional organization that represents engineers engaged in fire protection worldwide. Through its membership of over 5,000 professionals and 65 international chapters, SFPE advances the science and practice of fire protection engineering while maintaining a high ethical standard. SFPE and its members serve to make the world a safer place by reducing the burden of unwanted fire through the application of science and technology.