What Do Fire Protection Engineers Do?

Filed in Fire Protection, FPE by on February 9, 2016 3 Comments

If you’ve researched the topic of fire protection engineering, you probably have a general understanding that fire protection engineers use a variety of sciences and disciplines to protect people and property from fires. What does that mean, though? What does a fire protection engineer actually do? Quite a lot, as it turns out. We’re so glad you asked.fire-protection-program-students

Fire protection engineers’ job descriptions will vary depending on the industry they’re supporting, but these are a few of the tasks they are trained to tackle with their expertise:

  • Study how fires originate and spread
  • Design and test systems that detect, control, and suppress fires
  • Conduct post-fire investigation and analysis
  • Develop new technologies to analyze and test materials and fire protection systems
  • Research the flammability of various materials and structures to predict how they will behave during a fire
  • Design systems that alert people to danger and provide means for escape
  • Work with engineers, architects, and fire departments to build fire-safe buildings, communities, and even special projects like stadiums, hospitals, trains, and ships



In terms of income potential and job demand, fire protection engineering is a lucrative field. To work in it, however, you need to have a background in mechanical, structural, chemical, or electrical engineering. If you’re considering pursuing a career in fire protection engineering, explore WPI’s degree and certificate programs to determine the best path to reach your goal. Worcester Polytechnic Institute is home to one of only three fire protection engineering programs in the country, and our Fire Protection Engineering Department has driven more research, developed more real-world solutions, and graduated more in-demand experts in the last 30 years than any other university.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Randy Chorvack says:

    I think it would be a fun job to test the flammability of various materials. When I was a teenager, my favorite thing to when I was camping was throwing stuff into the fire. I had no idea I could do that for a living! (Among other things, of course.)

  2. kegorton says:

    Who doesn’t love fire? 🙂 If you’d like to learn more about becoming a fire protection engineer, visit us here: wpi.edu/+fpe

  3. Steve says:

    In addition to understanding what fire protection engineers do, it is equally as important to understand which industries use fire protection engineering consultants the most. In some cases, it is going to be incredibly important to have a deep understanding of the industry that you will serve because the fire hazards are so powerful and potentially dangerous. An LNG fire protection engineer has different expertise from other fire protection engineering experts.

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