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Salary Guide: How Much Can You Earn If You Join The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)

Being a fireman is not just a childhood wish but can be a fulfilling career in adulthood.


The Singapore Civil Defence Force needs little introduction for most Singaporeans. As students, we commemorate Total Defence Day (including civil defence) on 15th February every year. While most of us are familiar with the fire and rescue officers, not everyone is aware that paramedics are also part of the SCDF.

As one of the 7 departments under the Ministry of Home Affairs, it is not surprising that SCDF’s remuneration is very similar to the Singapore Police Force. However, there are still some differences. Here’s how much salary, sign-on bonuses, and other monetary incentives you can earn if you choose to join the Singapore Civil Defence Force as a Fire & Rescue Officer/ Specialist or a Paramedic Officer/ Specialist.

Read Also: Salary Guide To How Much Can You Earn If You Join The Singapore Police Force (SPF)

How Much Does A Singapore Civil Defence Force Uniformed Officer Earn?

You Can Join As A Fireman Or A Paramedic

There are two key uniformed roles in SCDF: the Fire & Rescue and the Paramedic. The Fire & Rescue role focuses on firefighting and rescue while the Paramedic role focuses on emergency medical services.

You can enter as either a Specialist (Direct-Entry Sergeant) or Officer (Direct-Entry Lieutenant).

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for Direct-Entry Sergeant or Lieutenant differ: Lieutenants enter with a minimum of a Degree in any discipline while Sergeants enter with a minimum of GCE-A-Level, Higher NITEC or Diploma.

Direct-Entry Sergeant Direct-Entry Lieutenant
Educational Qualification Minimum GCE A-Level, Higher NITEC, Diploma from Polytechnic, IB, NUS High School, NAFA, LASELLE, ITE (except Culinary Arts) Degree from a recognised University (any discipline)
Physical Requirements Minimum pass standard for IPPT Minimum pass standard for IPPT
PES Status PES A or B for male applicants PES A or B for male applicants

Source: Compiled from [email protected].

 

Starting Salaries

If you join the SCDF as a Direct-Entry Sergeant, you can expect to earn between $1,916 to $2,614 excluding allowances, depending on your relevant work experience and completion of full-time National Service. In comparison, the median graduate starting salary for diploma holders and NITEC (without NS) is $2,540 and $1,700 respectively in 2019.

If you join the SCDF as a Direct-Entry Lieutenant, you can expect to earn between $3,890 to $4,899 depending on your relevant work experience and completion of full-time National Service. In comparison, the median graduate starting salary for degree holders is $3,600 in 2019.

Entry Sign-On Bonus Starting Salary
Direct-Entry Sergeant $10,000 $1,916 to $2,614
Direct-Entry Lieutenant N.A. $3,890 to $4,899

 

Sign-On Bonus

Direct-Entry Sergeants will receive a Sign-On Bonus of $10,000 upon appointment, subject to eligibility.

Direct-Entry Lieutenants are not eligible for this bonus.

Pre-Enlistees

Additionally, Direct-Entry Sergeants who have not served their National Service (NS) can serve out their NS commitment under the Minimum Term of Engagement (MTE) scheme. Under this scheme, you can serve a 5-year contract and a 2-year training bond concurrently as you receive a monthly salary similar to a regular SCDF officer while receiving expert training, leadership skills development and fulfilling your NS commitment.

Direct-Entry Lieutenants are not eligible for this scheme.

Training

The SCDF offers rigorous training and sponsorship and scholarship opportunities.

For Direct-Entry Sergeants, training starts with the Section Commander Course. Paramedic Specialists will undergo a 1-year full-time course in Paramedicine at Nanyang Polytechnic, followed by 3-month training with SCDF’s Emergency Medical Service. Fire & Rescue Specialists will undergo a 5-month residential training. Specialists will attain the certifications relevant to their training.

Fire & Rescue Specialist Paramedic Specialist
Training Section Commander Course (SCC) covering:
– incident management
– fire investigation
– urban search and rescue
– pre-hospital care
– firefighting
– fire safety
– hazardous materials
Section Commander Course (SCC) covering:
– urban search and rescue
– hazardous materials and mass casualty management
– management of medical emergencies
– on-the-job training at fire stations
– paediatrics and obstetrics emergencies
– patient assessment
– pharmacology
– trauma management
Duration 5 months 15 months
Training Bond 2 years 2 years
Certification – Class Class 3 License with opportunity to acquire Class 2, Class 4 and Class 5
– Certificate of Attainment for “Respond to Fire Emergency in Buildings” and “Respond to Fire and HazMat Emergency”
– Fire Safety Manager Certificate
– Basic First Aid & CPR-AED Certified
– SwimSafer 1 Certified
– Diploma in Paramedicine
– Emergency Medical Technician Certified
– Emergency Medical Specialist Certified
– Paramedic Level 3 Certified, with advancement opportunity to Level 4

Source: SCDF, SCDF

 

Good-performing Direct-Entry Sergeants can be directly promoted to the rank of Lieutenant within the first few years in the Force, even without a degree.

For Direct-Entry Lieutenants, training starts with the Rota Commander Course (RCC).

Fire & Rescue Officers will undergo a 7-month RCC covering incident management, fire investigation, urban search and rescue, pre-hospital care, firefighting, fire safety and hazardous materials. Paramedic Officers will undergo a one-year fulltime course in Paramedic at Nanyang Polytechnic and 4-month training with SCDF’s Emergency Medical Services.

Officers will attain the certifications relevant to their training.

Fire & Rescue Officer Paramedic Officer
Certification – Advanced Diploma in Emergency Response and Incident Management
– Advanced Certificate in Team Leadership
– Fire Safety Manager Certificate
– Basic First Aid & CPR-AED Certified
– SwimSafer 1 Certification
– HAZMAT Specialist Trained
– Diploma in Paramedicine
– Paramedic Level 3 Certified, with advancement opportunity to Level 4
– Sponsorship Opportunity for Postgraduate Study/Advanced Diploma in Paramedicine
– Advanced Diploma in Emergency Response and Incident Management
– SwimSafer 1 Certification

 

 

Good performing Direct-Entry Lieutenants can be directly promoted to the rank of Captain within the first few years in the Force.

Additionally, the SCDF also offers many scholarships and sponsorships for eligible candidates to either join the Force or to improve themselves while in the Force:

  For Existing Staff For Non-Staff (i.e. existing students)
Direct-Entry Sergeant Full sponsorship or 50% reimbursement of full-time or part-time studies in professional areas specified by SCDF. Polytechnic Sponsorship covering tuition fees, other compulsory fees and monthly allowance. Bond period of 4 years
Opportunity for full salary payment during course of full-time programme ITE Sponsorship covering tuition fees, other compulsory fees and monthly allowance. Bond period of 3 years.
Recipients who go on to study at one of the local polytechnics may be sponsored with an extended bond period of 6 years.
Direct-Entry Lieutenant Postgraduate/ Master’s Degree sponsorship Singapore Merit Scholarship (Overseas or Local Study)
Part-Time Master’s Programme in professional areas Singapore Government Scholarship (Overseas or Local Study)
Local Merit Scholarship (Local Study)
Lionheart Undergraduate Study Award (Local Study)

Source: SCDF, SCDF

 

Other Benefits

Both Direct-Entry Sergeants and Lieutenants receive leave entitlement, comprehensive group insurance scheme, marriage / child birth benefits, subsidised medical and dental treatment.

Leave entitlement includes:

  • 18 – 21 days vacation leave
  • 14 days of medical leave, or 60 days with hospitalisation
  • 12 days of annual study leave (subject to approval)

Both Direct-Entry Sergeants and Lieutenants are eligible for the INVEST Scheme and Strategic Payment Scheme.

Read Also: How Much Does A Singapore Army Officer Earn?

SCDF Officers And Specialists Are Eligible For Retention and Retirement Benefits Under The INVEST Scheme

The INVEST Scheme is a scheme for uniformed officers under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It was established to help officers transit into their second career as they have an earlier retirement age of 55 as compared to the rest of the Civil Service at 62, and also compared to the Civil Service’s re-employment age of 67.

Under the INVEST Scheme, a contribution equivalent to 7.75% of the gross salary for Specialists or 13.25% of gross salary for Officers is credited monthly into the officer’s retirement account, starting from the fifth year in service and ceases when the officer reaches 55 years old. The monies are invested to earn investment returns. Upon retirement, the officer can withdraw the full sum in the retirement account.

SCDF Officers Also Receive Retention Rewards For Staying In The Force

According to SCDFs Strategic Payment, uniformed regulars (Specialist and Officers) can look forward to cash payouts of 3 months (Captain and below) and 2.5 months (Major and above) quantum upon reaching their 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 20th, and 25th year in service.

Assuming that there is no increment nor promotion, a payout of $11,670 will be made at each service milestone and the total retention payouts will amount to $81,690, based on a gross salary of $3,890 at the end of 25 years of service.

Read Also: Salary Guide To How Much You Can Earn As A Nurse In Public Healthcare

Saving Lives Is More Than The Salary

Joining the Life Saving Force can be rewarding. Our firemen and paramedics are fairly compensated. In fact, the starting salaries are higher than the median graduate starting salaries.

Joining SCDF should be more than the monetary benefits. The nature of the job can be hazardous but also fulfilling if you have what it takes to join the Life Saving Force.

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