Firefighters are responsible for performing rescue activities, emergency medical services, fire suppression, and prevention. If you are passionate about making a career in this field, then make sure you give this article a thorough read. It will help you understand how to become a firefighter in South Dakota.

Should I Become a Firefighter in South Dakota?

Are you someone who has sound judgment and good problem-solving skills? If yes, then you might be cut out for a career as a firefighter.
Since the firefighting profession is extremely competitive, demanding, and challenging, therefore prospective firefighters are expected to meet a long list of requirements. These are explained in the table below.

  • Education Required
  • Training
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Key Skills/Qualities
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National
  • Job Outlook (2018-28)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019) – South Dakota
  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • On-the-job training
  • EMT Certification is required
  • Physical Stamina, Compassion, Good Communication Skills, and Decision making Skills.
  • $54,650
  • 5%
  • $45,820

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Career Outlook

The job outlook data reported by BLS shows that firefighters in the U.S. are likely to experience decent growth opportunities. Estimates show that the demand for these professionals will shoot up by 5% from 2018 to 2028.

Steps to Become a Firefighter in South Dakota

If you want to know how to become a firefighter in South Dakota, then keep reading the article.

Obtain the Required Credentials

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighters must obtain a high school diploma or a GED. After graduating from high school, you can also pursue an Associate of Science or a Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline, such as Fire Science.

Start the Application Process

Once you have your educational degrees, you can start looking for work. It is advised that you visit the local fire department and enquire about the eligibility requirements. If you meet the minimum requirements, you should then submit your application to the relevant department.

Clear a Long List of Tests

If you are shortlisted for the position, you will be asked to appear for a written exam, physical fitness exam, and an oral interview. If you pass these stages, you will have to undergo a background check which usually involves a reference check, driving record check, and criminal history background. Last but not the least, you will also have to undergo a medical check.

Complete the Training Program

Once you clear your medical and background check, you will be ready to start your recruit training at the fire academy. Do keep in mind that you will have to spend several months at the training academy. During this time, you will get to learn lots of interesting topics such as Firefighting Techniques, Fire Hazards, and Fire Safety. After completing the necessary coursework and practical training components, you will be ready to start your firefighting career.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Firefighter in South Dakota?

The time it takes to become a firefighter in South Dakota depends upon your educational pathway. If you decide to obtain an Associate’s degree after completing high school, then you will have to invest an additional 2 years. And if you decide to obtain a Bachelor’s degree, then you will have to invest around 4 additional years.
Once you meet the educational requirements, you will have to submit a job application. The hiring department will then ask you to take a battery of tests. These typically include a written and a physical exam, followed by an interview. Later, you will also have to pass additional pre-employment screenings. The last stage of the process includes attending a Fire Academy.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Firefighter in South Dakota?

If you want to establish a firefighting career in the ‘Mount Rushmore State,’ then you will have to meet the requirements outlined below.
You will be required to:

  • Graduate from high school.
  • Obtain a valid driver’s license.
  • Be in excellent mental and physical state.

The age requirements and certification criteria might vary from one department to another. Therefore, you should first check the eligibility criteria for the position and then apply.

How Much Does a Firefighter Earn in South Dakota?

Wage data reported by BLS indicates that the annual mean salary of firefighters employed in South Dakota was $45,820 in 2019.