Firefighter Salary in South Africa

Working as a firefighter is not so popular these days, except among people who relish the idea of being heroes. Firefighting is one career that is noble and highly rewarding. These individuals don’t just fight fires, they also respond to first-aid calls. This is why a firefighter needs to have certain qualifications.

One of the major factors that affect an individual’s choice of profession is salary. In this post, we take a look at how much firefighters earn in South Africa. Quite a number of factors may influence how much a firefighter earns in South Africa. Some of these include experience, responsibilities, certifications, and other pieces of training.

Firefighter Salary in South Africa

What does a Firefighter do?

You must know what a firefighter does before you conclude on whether you want to be one or not. These individuals work in different establishments ranging from airports to State-owned and privately owned establishments. Firefighters have one primary responsibility, this involves protecting the community from fire disasters.

This implies that they help to put out fires in burning homes and office buildings, cars, forests, and any other place guttered by fire. Asides from putting out fires, they provide emergency help in situations where first-aid is needed.

Requirements to become a firefighter in South Africa

To become a firefighter in South Africa, you must possess a GED certificate. However, many employers require that you possess a higher degree. Beyond this, a firefighter must be in excellent bodily condition. As a result, frequent health checks, drug tests, and other background checks are carried out.

Most of these checks are a requirement of the National Fire Protection Association and are stated in its brochure. Firemen are also expected to possess computer skills and make use of specific applications.

It is also imperative that a firefighter has a valid driver’s license as well as clear driving data. Before being hired in South Africa, you should also pass all the necessary tests. It is also mandatory that the prospective firefighter has participated in certain community programs which include fire inspection and protection services.

Usually, firefighters in South Africa, just in many parts of the world, visit community fairs to teach people about responding to fire situations. A person who wants to be a firefighter must be available every day and every time of the week. This is because they work in an emergency unit and can be called upon any time of the day.

It is also important for a firefighter to be able to work in a team and understand that this job is about collective success. In this line of career, it is safety first before human gain, this is where the success lies. A firefighter needs to learn to work in strenuous and dangerous situations while having top-notch communication skills.

Tasks of a firefighter

If you aspire to be a firefighter and are wondering what their tasks are, here is a list to help you.

  1. To control and put out fires using water pumps, shovels, and any other equipment at their disposal.
  2. Providing public education on the prevention of fires and safety during fires.
  3. Keeping in touch with emergency services to make it easy to request extra help and resources when the need arises.
  4. Working with team members to bring the best from every situation.

Qualities of a firefighter

To become a firefighter, there are certain qualities you need to possess. Listed below are some of the key qualities of a firefighter:

  1. A burning passion to help people especially in emergency cases. The salary should never be considered above the job at hand.
  2. A firefighter must be willing to sacrifice his or her life for the good of mankind.
  3. Honesty and trust. This is important because a firefighter will have to enter people’s homes to save them during fires. There may be the temptation to leave with certain belongings which is against the code of conduct of the service.
  4. The ability to be a problem solver.
  5. You cannot afford to be panicky in dire situations.
  6. Since your life and the lives of the people you will save are in your care, you must be serious with the job.
  7. High level of discipline to take and follow specific instructions from superior officers.
  8. A great attitude towards life and a high level of positivity.
  9. Physical fitness since this job is quite strenuous.

Who shouldn’t be a firefighter?

As much as many of us would love to save lives as firefighters, not everyone can become a firefighter. Firefighters love their jobs and would not jeopardize the lives of others just because of money. If you are in the job for the money, then you should probably consider a different career line.

Firefighters are always in the line of danger during their work. It means that they have to make certain decisions under pressure. The only way to do this is to have a level head during crazy situations. If you are panicky and cannot maintain a level in dire situations, you should choose a less dangerous career.

Again, if you cannot stand horrific situations like deaths and serious injuries, you may want to stand aside. Several other jobs are perfect for someone like you.

How much do firefighters in South Africa?

All over the world, firefighters are respected as heroes and because of this, they earn decent pay each month. The firefighters in South Africa don’t earn as much as their counterparts in the Western World. However, they are quite comfortable with what they earn.

The average hourly pay for a firefighter in South Africa is about R58.00. When calculated over a year, it amounts to about R129,396. Note that this could be more depending on the experience and certifications of the firefighter.


In this post, we have shown you how much firefighters in South Africa earn. We have also presented you with a list of requirements and characteristics you need to become a firefighter in South Africa. Firefighting is a cool profession, the question is, “can you stand the heat?”