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FIRE PROTECTION TECHNICIAN

You have probably noticed the sprinklers and fire extinguishers at school. If a little fire breaks out, you would reach for an extinguisher. If a big fire breaks out, the sprinklers would activate automatically. Right? Having that safety equipment will not help if the equipment is faulty, or if it does not work at all.

That is where Registered Fire Protection Technicians (RFPT) become involved. They are responsible for inspecting and testing fire protection equipment in buildings as required by the Fire Code.

Some of the duties you would perform as a fire protection technician are inspecting and testing the following:

  • Emergency Generator Systems
  • Unit Emergency Lighting Systems
  • Fire Alarm Systems
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Smoke Control Systems
  • Special Fire Suppression Systems
  • Water-Based Fire Protection Systems

    The technician, depending on his or her field of expertise, must be familiar with all inspection and testing procedures and requirements, and be able to complete the appropriate reports.

Where Will You Work?

As a Registered Fire Protection Technician you will work for a fire protection service company. Such companies are in the business of providing inspection and testing of fire protection equipment.

You will likely work a regular 40-hour work week, but may be expected to work some overtime. Work can take place both indoors and outdoors.

What Will You Need?

To pursue this career you should be in good physical condition and have the ability to work unsupervised. You will need a minimum of Grade 11/12 and a driver's licence. You should have strong mechanical and technical skills as well as good oral and written communication skills.

How Much Will You Earn?

Average annual salary: $46,000

How Does the Future Look?

The future labour market will be strong. People with these skills are expected to be in great demand.

How Can You Get Started?

This occupation is semi-professional. For example, in the City of Vancouver and other municipalities you must be certified by the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) as a Registered Fire Protection Technician before you can work in the field of inspecting and testing fire protection equipment.

You would enter the field first as a trainee and you must find a company willing to employ you as a trainee. The training period, depending on the discipline, can vary from three months to two years with appropriate education. There is always the opportunity to advance to a supervisory position.

For More Information

  • Check out the ASTTBC web site: http://fireprotection.asttbc.org/
  • Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other sources of information applicable to education options for this technology.
  • Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline. These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities and location of employment.
  • The TechWORKS! web site is an important online resource and provides links to career information that will be of interest to students pursuing a career in technology.

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