Fire protection engineers are in high demand and short supply, according to a survey just released by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SPFE). The survey reinforces the expanding workforce trend known as the Perfect Labor Storm, where semi-skilled and skilled jobs are going unfilled due to a lack of qualified workers.
According to the SPFE survey, the demand for life-saving fire protection engineers is rising, and now exceeds the supply of qualified personnel. An overwhelming majority SPFE members currently have difficulty recruiting enough qualified engineers. Surveys indicate that this imbalance in demand will continue for at least five more years.
What is a fire protection engineer? According to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, a fire protection engineer uses 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 work in a wide range of industries and organizations, including private consulting firms, large corporations, fire departments, local building code officials, insurance firms, federal, state and local government agencies and architectural and design firms. Frequently, fire protection engineers assist architects, builders and fire departments in the design and construction of new facilities.