Become a Firefighter in South Dakota

South DakotaEven though South Dakota does not require that you have degrees through accredited colleges and schools to become a firefighter, it might be a good idea to have one anyway. Choose a school that can offer a fire science degree, and it can give you an advantage over the competition.

How to Become a Firefighter in South Dakota

As with most states, the qualifications for becoming a firefighter are going to be slightly different based on the department to which you are applying. This means that you must always find out the requirements of each individual department when you are considering putting in an application. However, you will find that many of the departments have similarities in their requirements.

For example, departments are going to require that you have a high school diploma or a GED, and that you have to be at least 21 years old when you take the written exam. They may require that you are a nonsmoker, as the physical rigors of being a firefighter are not something that most smokers are going to be able to handle. You will need to have or be able to obtain a valid driver’s license, and you are going to need to get National Registry of South Dakota Emergency Medical Technician certification. They may also require that you have vision correctable to 20/30 in each eye. You will need to take a written exam and be able to pass a physical agility test as well.

Once you pass the physical test, you have to take the Behavioral Personnel Assessment Device test. You have to pass a medical exam, psychological test, and an oral interview as well. It takes some time to be able to get through the application process. When you have a job offer, you will still need to complete recruit training at the eight-week fire academy.

Employment Trends for Firefighters

It takes time to get into the fire department, but they have all of the testing there to weed out those who couldn’t hack the responsibility of being a firefighter. To improve your chance of getting one of these precious jobs, take programs for your EMT certification, and give consideration to fire science courses.

Salary and Employment Facts

The average salary for a firefighter in the state is $47,000 per year. This is a bit lower than the rest of the nation’s average, but the cost of living is lower in South Dakota.

Firefighter Activity in the News

The South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division takes care of the wildfires that can ravage the state. In the summer, they increase their numbers to better handle and fire outbreaks.

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