Arson investigators wear many hats to solve cases. Calling on your knowledge of science, engineering skills and detective abilities can accelerate your career growth in this niche. Before you dive into this niche or decide to move forward on your new career path consider reading How to Become an Arson Investigator and use these 4 tips.
Strengthen Your Powers of Observation
Exploring the causes of a fire can be a difficult endeavor for arson investigators. Improve your powers of observation by studying your environment. Spot details in your surroundings. Look around now. Pinpoint small aspects of your room. Note details you previously ignored.
Train your mind to spot different aspects of your environment. Arson investigators much train themselves to see what most people miss. Determining and recording the core cause of a fire requires intensive training. Condition yourself to slow down, calm down and tune into critical details regarding any situation to better spot the root causes of a fire.
Beef Up Your Resume
Become active in many professional organizations to strengthen your resume and accelerate your career growth. The state police, Fire Marshall’s Office and International Association of Arson Investigators offer career training to improve your fire investigation skills. Seek out advice from professionals to cut down your learning curve quickly. Build up your resume and credentials by increasing your store of knowledge. Joining professional organizations and attending live events also multiplies your networking opportunities. Being certified by a state organization helps you to outshine your competition.
Improve Your Interviewing Skills
Much of what you discern from a possible case of arson will be supplied by witnesses. Learn how to effectively interview people who either witnessed the fire or were present before the fire. Ask pertinent, specific questions. Avoid confusing witnesses with long-winded, complex interview sessions. Most people have poor memories. Combine this with the fact that strong emotions experienced during the fire tends to cloud the witness’ memories and you have a recipe for inaccurate, unhelpful testimony. Keep interview sessions short and sweet. Learn how to probe witnesses without needling individuals for information.
Go Back to School
In addition to professional training consider going to night school or attending classes on a full time basis to accelerate your career growth. Having an engineering background can help you learn how to reconstruct a scene after the setting has been affected by fire damage. Taking classes in chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering or mechanical engineering can improve your critical thinking skills. Consider taking classes to improve your knowledge of building construction and materials. Learning how fire affects these materials gives you greater insight into how a structure became enflamed.
Prepare Yourself for a Challenging Career
Being an arson investigator is a fulfilling career but it’s important to be realistic in your expectations. You will be challenged throughout your daily duties. Dealing with stressful cases, loss of life and property and piecing together critical elements to solve can take its toll on your physical and mental health. Prepare yourself for an interesting but demanding career to avoid burnout.