Vehicle Fire Investigator

Investigate the cause of vehicle fires.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$34,000 – $85,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Vehicle Fire Investigators do?

In your mind, you see a car driving down the road. A sudden collision occurs, and just after the owner escapes the vehicle and makes it to safety, a gas leak starts a fire. In front of you, you see the actual remains of the vehicle as you photograph the debris and collect evidence to take back to the lab. As a Vehicle Fire Investigator, you examine vehicular fires to determine their cause — be it faulty car wiring or a criminal act.

Mentally recreating the scene of the accident helps you figure out how the fire likely started. As a Vehicle Fire Investigator, you’re part Detective and part Scientist. A bad car crash that caused a fire when a gas tank ruptured is simple enough to determine, but what if the car shows no signs of an accident and yet it suddenly went up in flames? Is this cause for a massive vehicle recall, or is someone trying to destroy evidence?

You combine factual evidence with your critical thinking skills to find the fire’s origin. Your initial investigation might turn up a leaking gas tank or a piece of fabric soaked in liquid. After sending the fabric to the lab for the Lab Technicians to analyze, you learn it’s covered in a highly flammable substance that isn’t from the vehicle. This accident may be no accident at all.

Thanks to your skills as a Vehicle Fire Investigator, you uncover evidence to put criminals behind bars for good.


Should I be a Vehicle Fire Investigator?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Car Fire Investigator, Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator, Vehicle Fire Inspector

    How to Become a
    Vehicle Fire Investigator

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Vehicle Fire Investigator-related education!
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