Fire Engineer Mataaro Ārai Ahi

Fire engineers plan and design safety features that detect, control or reduce fire and smoke in buildings and structures. They also analyse how fire behaves and how safety features perform in fire.

Fire engineers who complete a Master of Engineering in fire engineering and have three to five years' work experience can apply to Engineering New Zealand to gain registration as a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng).

Fire engineers may do some or all of the following:

  • design features in buildings and structures to detect, control or reduce fire and smoke damage
  • design or review safety feature modifications in renovated buildings
  • discuss designs with colleagues, architects, electrical engineers, or builders
  • create detailed drawings for fire safety features
  • produce technical instructions for, and assessments of, safety features, and do design calculations
  • create computer models to predict how fire will behave in buildings or structures
  • analyse how fire safety features performed after a fire.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for fire engineers includes:

  • any voluntary or paid firefighting work
  • general engineering work
  • any work in the building industry
  • any experience in the armed forces.

Personal Qualities

Fire engineers need to be:

  • analytical and good at problem solving
  • adaptable and creative
  • accurate, practical and good at planning
  • able to work well under pressure and in a team
  • strong communicators, and able to explain complicated ideas in simple language.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for fire engineers includes:

  • any voluntary or paid firefighting work
  • general engineering work
  • any work in the building industry
  • any experience in the armed forces.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include English, maths, physics, and construction and mechanical technologies.

Fire Engineers can earn around $70K-$90K per year per year.

After completing a Master of Engineering in fire engineering and then three to five years of work experience, fire engineers may progress to become Chartered Professional Engineers (CPEng) or Chartered Engineers (CEng), and work as team leaders or oversee projects.

Fire engineers may specialise in designing safety features for:

  • railways
  • tunnels and mines
  • confined spaces in buildings or structures
  • space technology such as rockets
  • ships.

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