How to Become a Firefighter in South Dakota

South Dakota is a beautiful mix of mountains, glacial lakes, and fertile farmlands. Though serene, it is prone to various calamities and natural disasters such as wildfires. But there is no need to worry because the firefighters are there to defend the residents. If you are passionate about serving the community, then you might want to consider reading this guide that will help you understand how to become a firefighter in South Dakota.

Requirements to Become a Firefighter in South Dakota

There are a total of 294 fire departments in South Dakota that are always ready to face any type of calamity or disaster. If you want your application to be considered, then you will have to meet the requirements listed below:

  • You need to be a US citizen
  • You must have a GED or a high school diploma
  • You must not be younger than 18
  • You should have no criminal history
  • You should have a valid driver’s license
  • You need to pass a series of tests

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

Submit the Application

You will be expected to fill out the application form and submit it, along with all the required documents, before the deadline. The initial screening process will begin after the deadline, if you are shortlisted.

Take a Number of Tests

If your application is shortlisted, you will be called in for a number of tests. These will include the written exam and the physical agility test. The written exam will test your cognitive abilities, problem solving skills, and reasoning skills. The physical exam will include various physical exercises and tasks such as a stair climb, mannequin drag, hose pull, and hose platform. These tasks will test your upper body strength, aerobic ability, physical strength and stamina.

Clear Interviews and Background Checks

If you have cleared the physical and the written test, you will be called for a series of interviews to determine whether you are suited for the job. This will be followed by a rigorous background check and a medical exam, after which you will be hired as a probationary firefighter. At this stage, you will be sent to the training academy where you will receive training about firefighting practices.

How Much Does a Firefighter Make in South Dakota?

The annual mean wage of firefighters in South Dakota was $44,710 in 2018. These figures have been taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Outlook

According to O*Net Online, the firefighting profession is expected to see a growth in South Dakota; it is projected that the employment of firefighters will grow by 4% in South Dakota from 2016 to 2026. The projected annual openings will amount to 40.