Fire Warden

Implement and enforce fire safety laws.
picture of Fire Warden

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$21,000 – $68,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Fire Wardens do?

A man trims his trees and begins to burn the branches. A group of campers huddle around a roaring bonfire. A motorist throws a smoldering cigarette out of his car.

These scenarios keep Fire Wardens awake at night. That’s because it’s the job of Fire Wardens to develop programs that keep forests, parks, and green spaces safe from fire.

When you’re a Fire Warden, people must visit you and obtain a permit before they can start a fire outdoors. The weather plays a role here, and you watch the weather reports carefully to determine whether it’s safe to light a fire. During the hot, dry days of summer, you may determine that fires could quickly sweep across long distances, and you issue a ban on burning.

However, a ban only works if people follow it, so you drive around your community and look for plumes of smoke. When you find a fire, you issue a ticket. Park Rangers can also issue fire tickets in parks, and you alert them when a fire ban is in effect.

Logging companies and other industrial projects can start fires, especially if dangerous materials aren’t stored properly. Periodically, you inspect these companies and write a report detailing all the problems you find. Fines may encourage the companies to get in line.

A crew of Forest Firefighters spring into action if a fire breaks out, but they must have the proper equipment to do the job. You inspect their equipment periodically, and make sure each Firefighter knows how to use it. In some communities, you’re allowed to buy new equipment for the crews, but in others, you’re not responsible for this task.

Should I be a Fire Warden?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Fire Observer, Fire Patrol, Fire Ranger, Fire Tower Keeper, Fire Watcher

    How to become a Fire Warden

    Most Fire Wardens have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:ccc9aa&chl=no+college+%283%25%29|certificate+%283%25%29|associate%27s+%284%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2889%25%29||doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,3,89
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