Fire Marshal Salary and Wage

Fire Marshals are high ranking fire safety professionals whose prime job is, but not limited to, investigating fires and explosions to find their origin. On top of that, these professionals are required to enforce the fire safety regulations and make sure that new and previously existing buildings are both following them so that no ordeal takes place. Fire Marshals can be members of a government, a building department and can even have their departments as well. One of the chief requirements for a person to become a Fire Marshal is experience as a firefighter.

Now, if you are thinking of a career in one of the most dangerous and spiritually rewarding professions on the planet, then you might be wondering how much does a Fire Marshal make and how can you become one? Well, we are here to answer these, and all the other questions of the same persuasion for you. But before we get on with that, let us go over various duties a Fire Marshal has to perform.

  1. Conducting regular building inspections and see if any of the fire codes are being violated by new or old buildings. Any oversight can lead to a severe and possibly fatal repercussion.
  2. Carrying out investigations of fires and explosions to find out the reason behind them, and to determine if they were merely the by-products of negligence and ignorance of the fire safety codes or there was some criminal intent behind them. Fire Marshals are required to submit extensive reports of their investigations.
  3. A Fire Marshal is required to work in a close liaison with the local fire department, police department, and other such institutions.

Fire Marshal Salaries in Different States

A Brief National Overview

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2017, the hourly wage of a Fire Marshal in the United States is $29.90. And after multiplying this hourly wage with the year-round full-time hour figure of 2,080 hours, we get the mean annual wage of $62,260. The percentile wage estimate has been given below:

Hourly Wage$16.73$21.34$28.49$37.12$46.14
Annual Wage$34,800$44,390$59,260$77,210$95,960

Key Findings

From the above data, it is clear that 10% of all Fire Marshals are paid an annual salary of less than $34,800 and hourly wages of less than $16.73. While the rest of the 90% get paid yearly and hourly wages equal to or more than $34,800 and $16.73 respectively. In the same manner, 25% of the total professionals are paid wages less than $44,390 and $21.34 annually and hourly, while rest of the 75% are paid salary equal to or more than that.

Also, 50% of Fire Marshals take home annual and hourly wages less than $59,260 and $28.49 respectively while the remaining 50% are paid wages equal to or north of the stated figure. 75% of the professionals take home an annual salary of less than $77,210 and an hourly wage south of $37.12 while the remaining 25% earn wages equal to or more than that amount.

Lastly, 90% of Fire Marshals take home an annual salary of less than $95,960 and an hourly wage of $46.14 while the rest of them take home an amount equal to or north of that.

Fire Marshal Salary by States

Given below is the data mentioning the mean hourly and annual wages that are reeled in by Fire Marshals in different states and areas of the United States.

Area/State NameHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
New Hampshire$28.41$59,100
New Jersey$26.19$54,480
New Mexico$22.78$47,380
New York$30.46$63,350
North Carolina$25.40$52,830
Rhode Island$27.54$57,280
South Carolina$23.35$48,560
Utah-(data unavailable)-(data unavailable)
West Virginia$22.75$47,310

Source: BLS (as of May 2017)

Key Findings

Out of all states, California remains the state that pays the highest hourly and annual wages. A State Fire Marshal there makes $94,790 annually and is paid $45.57 hourly.

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas

Mentioned below is the data regarding the most lucrative metropolitan areas for Fire Marshals in America:


Metropolitan AreaMean Wage
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division$59.12$122,980
Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA Metropolitan Division$53.90$112,110
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division$49.21$102,350
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division$43.97$91,450
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division$43.16$89,770

Source: BLS (as of May 2017)

Top Paying Non-metropolitan Areas

Mentioned below is the data regarding the non-metropolitan areas that pay the highest wages to Fire Marshals:


Non-metropolitan AreaMean Wage
Southwest Maine$22.88$47,590
Southeast Coastal North Carolina$22.71$47,230
North Northeastern Ohio (non-contiguous)$21.93$45,620
Piedmont North Carolina$21.63$44,990
Southwest Mississippi$19.50$40,560

Source: BLS (as of May 2017)

Fire Marshal Salary by Level of Experience

Other than the state they are serving in, the experience level of a Fire Marshal is also a crucial factor in determining his/her salary. Below is the data about the average total compensation which is reeled in by the professionals on various levels of experience in this line of work.

Note: An average total compensation is the sum of the annual wage, tips, bonuses and overtime pay.

Experience LevelAverage Total Compensation
Entry-Level (0-5yrs)$52,000
Mid-Career (5-10yrs)$51,000
Experienced (10-20yrs)$56,000
Late-Career (>20yrs)$65,000

The above data was put together by Payscale using the information that was provided to them by anonymous users.

Key Findings

Based on 29 salaries provided by users, a Fire Marshal with an experience of 5 years or less can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000. Similarly, based on 31 salaries which were provided to the Payscale, a Fire Marshall with an experience of somewhere between 5-10 years can expect to reel in a sum of $51,000 as average total compensation. Fire Marshals with 10-20 years of experience, earn average total payment of $56,000. And finally, a person with a knowledge of over 25 years can easily reel in $65,000 of average total compensation, as suggested by 33 salaries.

Fire Marshal Jobs

As we have already mentioned earlier in this article, Fire Marshals work for different institutions and are not bound to any one industry exclusively. Each sector that hires them has a diverse employment concentration based on their needs. Below is the list of industries with the highest employment level along with the number of professionals they have worked under them, as of May 2017, and how well they are paid by these institutions.

IndustryEmploymentPercent of industry employmentMean Wage
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)9,3600.17$30.41$63,260
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)1,0500.05$28.68$59,650
Investigation and Security Services2000.02$28.23$58,720
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools1900.01$26.14$54,380
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services1300.01$28.52$59,330

Key Findings

Local governments remain the top hirers of Fire Marshals in the United States, by employing 9,360 Fire Marshals and paying them an annual wage of $63,260 and an hourly salary of $30.41. The close second in the list are the state governments with 1,050 Fire Marshals falling in their bracket who are paid the annual mean salary of $59,650 and the mean hourly wage of $28.68.

Career Prospects

As long as there are fires to put out, there will be a need for Fire Marshals and other professionals who work in the fire safety/investigation departments. But the problem is that the number of seats for the post of a Fire Marshal is quite less. So, the competition is fierce, and you’ve got a difficult task at hand if you are aiming for this job.

People who make it through the selection process do so by being in possession of excellent leadership skills, character, courage, and ability to keep calm in tight spots, along with years of experience as a firefighter. As per a report, the expected job growth for Fire Marshals is just 6% from the year 2014-2024 while the number of Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists will see an increase of 13%.

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