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How to Become A Firefighter in South Carolina

If you want to start a rewarding and highly prestigious community service career, then this article will be of great use to you. It will help you learn how to become a Firefighter in South Carolina. The guide outlines the steps involved in joining this challenging profession and also shares some interesting occupational statistics.

Should I Become a Firefighter in South Carolina?

If you are honest, friendly, compassionate, and physically fit, then you definitely have a shot at excelling in a firefighting career. If you do not have these traits, then you should not think about joining this challenging line of work.

The table below gives a summary of the job requirements and the income prospects for Firefighters. The information has been taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Required

A High School Diploma or its equivalent is required.


On-the-job training.


The certification standards are not fixed throughout the country.

Key Skills/Qualities

Decision Making Skills

Communication Skills


Physical Stamina and Strength

Annual Mean Salary (2019) - National


Job Outlook (2018-28)


Annual Mean Salary (2019)  - South Carolina



Career Outlook

Forecasted data taken from BLS reveals that the employment opportunities for Firefighters will increase by 5% from 2018 to 2028.

Steps to Become a Firefighter in South Carolina

Here’s some information on how to become a Firefighter in South Carolina.

Step 1: Meet the Education Criteria  

Applicants who have not completed high school education cannot qualify for the role of a Firefighter. Thus, the first step is to obtain a GED or a high school diploma. Once the high school degree has been obtained, the candidate can consider enrolling in an advanced program, such as a Certificate or Associate of Science (A.S.) in Fire Science.

Step 2: Pass Several Tests and Pre-Employment Screenings

This stage involves applying for the Firefighter position. After being shortlisted, the individual has to appear for an academic test and a Physical Ability Test (PAT). Candidates who pass these exams are eligible for a board interview. If the applicant manages to clear the interview, he/she is expected to pass some mandatory pre-employment screenings. These include several tests, such as pulmonary function tests, polygraph tests, psychological exam, hearing and vision test, and drug test.

Step 3: Enroll in the Firefighter Academy

The Fire Academy focuses on preparing and training candidates for their job role. The training program incorporates lecture sessions and hands-on training in emergency medical services, vehicle extrication, search and rescue, firefighter techniques, and firefighter survival. After completing the compulsory training, the individual is hired as a Firefighter.

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

It takes a lot of time, dedication, patience, and commitment to become a professional Firefighter. Candidates have to undergo months of academic and professional training, after which they are eligible to join their city’s/county’s fire team.

After graduating from high school, individuals can submit their job applications. Once the application is approved, the candidate is invited to take the written and physical ability test. This is followed by a board interview.

If the panel is impressed by the candidate’s interview performance, they will call the candidate to appear for additional pre-employment screening tests. Upon completion of these tests, the individual is sent to the Firefighter Academy.

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

The ‘Palmetto State’ requires aspiring Firefighters to meet the following requirements.

  • The individual must be a U.S. citizen.
  • He/she must have completed high school.
  • The candidate must have a reliable/steady work history and must be able to able to clear a background investigation.
  • The candidate must possess a valid South Carolina Driver's License.
  • The candidate must not have a record of criminal domestic violence or a felony.

The job requirements mentioned above are pretty generic – therefore you should not solely rely on these guidelines. It is advised that you conduct thorough research to learn about your city's or county's requirements. Usually, every area has its own certification and age requirements. For example, candidates who wish to start a firefighting career in Greenville are required to obtain and maintain an EMT certification.

How Much Do Firefighters Earn in South Carolina?

Income data extracted from BLS shows that Firefighters in South Carolina made a yearly mean pay of $36,360 in 2019. This figure is lower than 2019’s national average of $54,650.

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