According to the data provided by the US Fire Administration, South Carolina recorded 3.1 deaths and 8.5 injuries per 1,000 fires. These figures are higher than the national figures of 2.3 deaths and 7.2 injuries per 1,000 fires.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,920 firefighters were working in the state. The demand for firefighters is high and if you want to become one, read this article to get all the details you need.

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Steps to Become a Firefighter in South Carolina

Becoming a firefighter in South Carolina involves a series of steps and requirements, which slightly vary depending on the city or county. Here’s an overview of the general process and requirements:

Meet Basic Qualifications
  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED.
  • Hold a valid driver’s license.
  • Be physically and mentally fit.
  • Have a clean criminal record​​​​​​​​.
Education and Training
  • Some candidates opt for advanced programs such as a Certificate or Associate of Science in Fire Science.
  • Attend a firefighter training academy for comprehensive training. This includes at least 26 weeks of training plus time for EMT certification​​​​.
Pass Exams and Screenings
  • Written academic test and Physical Ability Test (PAT).
  • Board interview.
  • Pre-employment screenings like pulmonary function tests, polygraph tests, psychological exam, hearing and vision tests, and drug test.
Application Process
  • Applications are typically submitted online.
  • The application process includes written exams, physical ability tests, interviews, and background checks​​​​.

Becoming a firefighter in South Carolina is a demanding but rewarding process that requires dedication, physical fitness, and a commitment to public safety. Each city or county may have additional specific requirements or steps in their hiring process.

Salary of Firefighters in South Carolina

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, firefighter’s salary in South Charleston is:

  • Annual Mean Salary: $39,580.
  • Annual Median Salary: $37,900.

As a reference, below are the starting salaries for firefighters working in two important South Carolina fire departments:

Charleston Fire DepartmentFirefighter$50,740.35 per year
Greenville City Fire DepartmentFirefighter$45,760.00 per year

Career Outlook for Firefighters in South Carolina

The demand for firefighters in South Carolina is extremely high. As per O*Net Online, South Carolina will experience an 18% job growth for firefighters between 2020 and 2030.

Firefighters Training Academies in South Carolina

In South Carolina, there are several firefighter training academies and programs available for new recruits seeking certification. These academies provide comprehensive training and education necessary for a career in firefighting. Here’s an overview of some key academies and training programs:

South Carolina Fire Academy (SCFA)

  • SCFA is a primary resource for firefighter training in South Carolina.
  • They offer a variety of training programs, including Basic Fire Investigations, Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Program (ARFF), and Industrial Fire Brigade Training.
  • The academy also offers EMS training and various online courses for continuous education and professional development.

South Carolina Volunteer Firefighters

  • Provides training for volunteer firefighters, including specialized courses in hazardous materials and rescue operations.
  • Training is flexible and scheduled on nights and weekends to accommodate different schedules.
  • New recruits without prior training can expect to spend 200-300 hours in their first year on initial training and related activities.

SC Fire Training

  • Offers a range of training resources for firefighters.
  • Courses include Fire Officer Academy, Apparatus and Vehicle Driving/Operating, Behavioral Health, Building Construction, Fire Attack Skills, and many more.
  • The platform allows training officers, instructors, and firefighters to contribute and share training materials, benefiting the wider firefighting community in South Carolina.

South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association

  • Provides additional training opportunities, especially through web-based education.
  • Offers certification level programs and educates responders on new hazards on the fire ground.
  • The association’s Leadership Institute and Quarterly Training events are resources for further professional development​​​​.

Greenville, SC Firefighter Training

  • The Greenville City Fire Department (GCFD) coordinates and conducts all fire department training at their facility on Mauldin Road.
  • The training includes in-service training, annual proficiency and competency training, and a three-week skills review for recruit firefighters.
  • Specialized training in hazardous materials and technical rescue response is also available at this location.

These training academies and programs offer a comprehensive approach to educating and preparing new firefighters, covering basic skills, advanced rescue techniques, hazardous materials handling, and leadership development. They ensure that new recruits are well-equipped to handle the diverse challenges faced in firefighting and emergency response.

1)Greenville, SC – Official Website | Official Website:
2)South Carolina Employment Trends: 33-2011.00 – Firefighters:
3)South Carolina Fire Loss and Fire Department Profile:
5)Charleston, SC – Official Website | Official Website:

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