How to Become a Firefighter in South Australia


Becoming a firefighter in South Australia isn’t easy, you’ll have to get through every stage of the highly competitive recruitment process. This article is designed to help boost your chances of success by explaining what’s expected of you in each step of the process.

We also have a dedicated resources page with tips and advice on the tests and assessments you will be required to pass if you are interested in becoming a firefighter in South Australia.

Note – this is a guide specifically designed for South Australia. If you’re looking for advice on how to become a firefighter in general I recommend reading this guide.

New here? Welcome! I’m Brent C. An active firefighter with a wealth of experience in the firefighter recruitment process. I have a huge passion for helping people pursue careers in the fire service, and you can learn more about my mentoring here.

Brent C at his desk.

Which Service Should You Join? 

In this guide, I’ll be covering getting into the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS). This service covers over 90% of the South Australian population with the other two fire services in South Australia (The SASES and SA Country Fire Service) volunteer-based. If you’re looking for a paid career in firefighting in South Australia, the MFS is the way to go.

The MFS is expecting a large number of resignations and retirements within the next 3 to 5 years. To counter this they will run Firefighter Recruitment and Selection Campaigns annually; great news for applicants. 

How to Become a Firefighter in South Australia

Check your Eligibility

Before you even start the application, make sure you check that you’re eligible for the role. You can find the requirements in full here but here’s our summary:

  • Applicants must provide evidence of being able to work and reside in Australia permanently.
  • At the time of applying you must have a current and valid C Class driver’s license.
  • An MR driver’s licence will need to be obtained (at your expense) before the recruit course starts (time will be allocated for getting this)
  • You must be willing to obtain a HR driver’s license (at your expense) within your first 12 months of employment.

Submit Your Application

Submitting an application is the first step in the recruitment process. When applications open, you will have a limited amount of time to do so (normally around 2 weeks). The online application form is only available during the timeframe that applications are open.

When applications are live, you will be able to apply online here: MFS Recruitment

If you are successful in satisfying the application requirements, you will then need to pay a $100 application fee. This is to cover admin costs incurred during the handling of applications. This is a non-refundable fee, and no part of it is retained by the MFS.

Check the – South Australia Firefighter Position Description 

South Australia Application Fee Exemptions

You could be exempt from paying the application fee if you hold a Department of Human Services (DHS) concession card. 

Be certain you hold a valid card before claiming any exemptions. Proof that you hold one will be required to progress to the next stage of the application. Failure to provide your card will see you excluded from the process.

Quick Tip: the Fire Service has a no-nonsense approach surrounding late applications. Make sure you get your application in on time or you won’t be considered.

Driver History & Tattoo Images

A Driver Licence History Report is required before you can proceed to the next stage of the recruitment process. You will need to provide details of all traffic infringements over the last 10 years.

Safety is an important aspect of being a firefighter, if you have a serious traffic offence within the past 10 years it will be considered grounds for a 10-year disqualification (from the date of the offence) from being considered as an employee.

Learn more about Driver Licence History reports by clicking here.

You’re also required to submit images of your visible tattoos when wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and socks. It’s at the discretion of MFS whether they will allow you to proceed to the next stage.

Criminal History

You will need to consent to the MFS obtaining personal information related to your criminal history. This will involve the completion of a National Criminal History check. The results of the check will be considered case-by-case.


The purpose of the MFS seeking out references is to gather information on how you perform in a work capacity. They are also helpful for validating any claims made by the applicant during the application process.

You will be required to provide the contact details of 2 referees (a supervisor and a peer). If possible inform your referees they will be contacted to help avoid any delays.

Firefighter Salary in South Australia

If you’re looking for a career in the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service, you might be wondering how much firefighters get paid.

firefighters make an average salary of $78,665 each year in South Australia.

You will be pleased to know that as a recruit you will be paid at a gross rate of $1,152.54 per week (as of 1/01/2024).

If you’re looking for a little extra help and support in getting through the recruitment process, we’d love to hear from you! Click here today to take our course and boost your chances of being successful.

Brent wearing firefighter shirt

Tools to save you wasting your time.. 

Firefighter Recruitment Bundle

What Every Applicant Needs To Know About Firefighter Recruitment Testing to Stand a Chance!

The bare minimum for anyone that claims to be "serious" about becoming a firefighter.

If you are currently preparing for the next firefighter recruitment intake. These guides give you simple details that help you prepare properly for every test you'll face and — the application process, the Aptitude, Personality, and Physical tests, and the Interview.

Get the Edge

Work With Me & My Team

Personalised coaching sessions based on decades of experience and tailored to your needs.

If you think you need that little bit of extra help to make it through the next recruitment intake or you're sick of missing out and not knowing why, then this may be perfect for you. Together, we'll work out a strategy that:

  • Builds on your strengths and fills you with confidence and certainty
  • Learn the reasons behind why people fail time and again so you don't
  • Improve your weaknesses to eliminate points of failure
  • Show you exactly what to expect so you can present the best version of yourself every step of the way.

Wherever you are in the process, and whatever challenges you’re facing right now, Working with us gives you step-by-step guidance, personal support, and resources not available anywhere else to help you get where you want to be in the quickest way possible. You don’t need to struggle on your own anymore!