Career Paths: Fire Protection Project Manager
Are you looking for a career in the fire protection industry? The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) is on a mission to promote the industry and train the next generation of leaders in fire protection. In this edition of career paths, we’re focusing on the role of fire protection project managers, including common job responsibilities, skills a project manager should have, and more!
What Does a Fire Protection Project Manager Do?
A project manager in the fire protection field has several responsibilities from planning upcoming projects, closing out completed projects, and everything in between.
Project planning includes creating a comprehensive listing that outlines the scope, budget, and allocation of resources for a fire protection project.
Managing an existing project may include making sure everything is kept OSHA compliant, safe, and on schedule, as well as making any necessary changes and keeping all parties informed.
The project manager’s job does not end once the project is finished, however. A fire protection project manager will keep an ongoing relationship with the client for future projects and make sure that the fire sprinkler system installed is routinely serviced per NFPA 25.
How to Become a Fire Protection Project Manager?
Fire protection project managers typically pull from a strong knowledge of fire sprinkler systems coupled with strong communication and coordination skills. Oftentimes fire protection project managers start out as fire sprinkler designers or estimators and move into a new role. However, it’s not uncommon for those with a background in business or project management in another industry to make the move over to fire protection. Oftentimes employers look for an associate or bachelor’s degree, but this is not always the case.
Whatever your background or skillset, having a strong drive to succeed and a willingness to learn the fire protection industry will always stand out to potential employers.
Common Qualifications Listed on Fire Protection Project Manager Job Postings
The below bullet points come from job descriptions NFSA members have posted for fire protection project managers.
- Project management experience in the fire sprinkler industry or related field, or sales experience in the fire sprinkler industry or related field
- Associates/bachelor’s degree
- Must have a vehicle and maintain a clean driving record
- Proficiency in Microsoft Windows, Office (Excel and Word), and Project
- Strong organizational, planning, and scheduling abilities
- Superior communication and relationship-building skills
- Time management skills, ability to multitask, and comfortable working in a team-focused environment
- Strong personal drive to succeed
- Able to commute daily to the office and job sites as required
- Ability to manage job scheduling and progress efficiently and cost-effectively with a strong focus on quality
- Proficient in issue resolution
- Excellent organizational, decision-making, and communication skills
- Strong working knowledge of the fire sprinkler industry
- Knowledge of OSHA safety standards
- Two to five years of experience with commercial fire sprinkler systems and project management in the fire sprinkler industry
- Strong, positive team-building skills with leadership ability
- Working knowledge of wet, dry, and pre-action systems, as well as backflows and fire pumps
- Proficient in NFPA 13, 14, 20, 24, and 72 code requirements
How Can the National Fire Sprinkler Association Help Me Become a Fire Protection Project Manager?
Looking to learn more about the fire sprinkler industry to start your career as a fire protection project manager? The National Fire Sprinkler Association offers online training to help you learn the industry.
Whether you’re a potential candidate looking to learn more, or an employer looking to on board new hires, the National Fire Sprinkler Association can help you meet your goals. Our state-of-the-art training is available both in-person and online and was developed by fire protection professionals with decades of experience in the field. For more information, visit our training page.
Additionally, the National Fire Sprinkler Association offers a free class called Introduction to the Fire Protection Industry. This class lays out the basics of the fire sprinkler systems and is a must for those who are curious about the industry. Enrolling is simple. Click here to begin!