Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Forest Firefighters in South Dakota

South Dakota has a population of 812,383, which has grown by 7.62% in the last 10 years. Nicknamed the "Mount Rushmore State," its capital is Pierre, though its biggest city is Sioux Falls.

Currently, 450 people work as forest firefighters in South Dakota. This is expected to grow by 5% to 470 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for forest firefighters, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.5% over the next eight years. In general, forest firefighters control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Income for forest firefighters is about $18 per hour or $38,070 per year on average in South Dakota. Nationally, their income is about $21 per hour or $44,260 yearly. Incomes for forest firefighters are not quite as good as in the overall category of Fire Control in South Dakota, and not quite as good as the overall Fire Control category nationally. People working as forest firefighters can fill a number of jobs, such as: wildland fire fighter specialist, firefighter, and rescue worker.

In 2008, there were a total of 566,490 jobs in South Dakota. The average annual income was $38,644 in 2008, up from $36,428 the preceding year. The unemployment rate in South Dakota was 4.8% in 2009, which has grown by 1.7% since the previous year. Roughly 21.5% of South Dakota residents have college degrees, which is lower than the national average.

The top industries in South Dakota include nonstore retailers, gasoline stations with convenience stores, and sign manufacturing. Notable tourist attractions include the Adventurepark, the Old Courthouse Museum, and the Pettigrew Home & Museum.

CITIES WITH Forest Firefighter OPPORTUNITIES IN South Dakota


JOB DESCRIPTION: Forest Firefighter

Forest Firefighter video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, forest firefighters control and suppress fires in forests or vacant public land.

Every day, forest firefighters are expected to be able to lift, push and move large and heavy objects. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in South Dakota include:

  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Fighter. Control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
  • Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
  • Forest Fire Lookout. Enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards. Report forest fires and weather conditions.
  • Lifeguard. Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.

LOCATION INFORMATION: South Dakota

South Dakota
South Dakota photo by Dean Franklin

South Dakota has a population of 812,383, which has grown by 7.62% in the last 10 years. Nicknamed the "Mount Rushmore State," its capital is Pierre, though its most populous city is Sioux Falls. In 2008, there were a total of 566,490 jobs in South Dakota. The average annual income was $38,644 in 2008, up from $36,428 the previous year. The unemployment rate in South Dakota was 4.8% in 2009, which has grown by 1.7% since the previous year. Roughly 21.5% of South Dakota residents have college degrees, which is lower than the national average.

The top industries in South Dakota include nonstore retailers, gasoline stations with convenience stores, and sign manufacturing. Notable tourist attractions include the Pettigrew Home & Museum, the Sioux Falls City, and the Old Courthouse Museum.