How to Become a Private Investigator in South Carolina

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How to Become a Private Investigator in South Carolina

Being a private investigator in South Carolina comes with lots of advantages.

But before you dive in, it’s crucial to know what your main duties are and what training you’ll require.

Each state, like Rhode Island, has its regulations, so make sure to check out our guide for all the specifics!

Private Investigator Requirements and Duties

To become a private investigator in South Carolina, you need to meet certain criteria.

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Here they are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old (21 if you plan to carry a weapon).
  • You have to be a citizen of the United States.
  • If you’re a veteran, your discharge must be one of the following: Honorable, General under Honorable, or Uncharacterized.
  • You should not have been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
  • You must not have any pending criminal charges that would disqualify you.
  • You shouldn’t currently hold a position that presents a conflict of interest, except for law enforcement officers who work unregistered for Premise Companies under the Moonlighting statute.

When it comes to your daily duties, you will usually have to do the following:

  • Watching one person at a time
  • Filming things from far away in high detail
  • Snapping clear photos from a distance
  • Staying healthy
  • Knowing what their clients want

Private Investigator Training in South Carolina

South Carolina has specific requirements for becoming a licensed investigator.

You need either three years of experience as a police officer doing investigations or three years of work in a licensed investigation company.

If you have a PI Study Certificate or an associate’s degree, it counts as six months of experience.

A bachelor’s degree counts as one year, and graduate degrees count as 1.5 years.

You should know you don’t have to take a written test needed to become a private investigator in South Carolina.

Explore online programs for private investigators in South Carolina that suit your needs!

Training is crucial for becoming a private investigator in South Carolina.

The state has a list of approved courses for training, which can help you learn investigation skills or fulfill continuing education requirements.

You can also pursue degrees in fields like:

  • Forensics
  • Criminal justice
  • Political science
  • Law

University of South Carolina

The Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at the University of South Carolina teaches how sociology can help understand crime and guide policies.

They focus on theories that connect to social justice.

Their goal is to train students to tackle the issues of crime and justice as professionals in the field, researchers, and teachers.

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers a unique education for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The program focuses on applied research about crime and its causes.

It also assesses practices in the courts, police, corrections, and juvenile justice systems.

You can easily get a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the undergraduate level.

You can also pursue pursuing master’s, Ph.D., or Dual Masters degrees.

Applying to the University of South Carolina is done online, with options available for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

School Name Address
University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208
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Becoming Licensed as a Private Investigator in South Carolina

To get your license from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), you’ll need to pay a $350 fee.

You also have to get a $10,000 surety bond.

When you apply to SLED, make sure your application is signed and notarized.

It should also include:

  • Two fingerprint cards
  • Your surety bond
  • A statement from your Court of Clerks showing no outstanding civil judgments
  • A color photo
  • A sample contract
  • Details of the main owners of your business
  • Proof of work experience
  • Forms PD/PS-9 and DD-214

Your private investigator license is valid for two years.

To renew it, you need to show you’ve done twelve hours of extra education in that time.

Salaries for Private Investigators in South Carolina

Now that you’ve got your license, it’s time to begin searching for your first job.

You might be wondering how much money you can earn.

In South Carolina, private detectives usually make about $48,102 per year.

For a detailed view of salaries in this state, take a look at the table provided below.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
York $50,102
Rock Hill $50,102
McConnells $50,102
Van Wyck $50,102
Richburg $50,002
Smyrna $49,702
Charleston $48,402
Goose Creek $48,302
Summerville $48,202
Awendaw $48,002

Regional Salary in South Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charleston-North Charleston, SC30$63,720$30.63$104,150$39,230
Columbia, SC30$50,670$24.36$79,230$34,390
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC50$44,630$21.46$52,000$36,400
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Private Detectives and Investigators, OCC Code 33-9021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all PIs in South Carolina need a license?

The short answer is “yes.”

The answer is the same for a PI license and to carry a gun.

What are some of the skills needed by PIs in South Carolina?

These skills are some of the most important for a private investigator:

  • Agility
  • Attention to details
  • Physical strength
  • Discipline
  • Knowledgable of laws and regulations
  • Able to drive
  • Comfortable approaching people
  • Able to use technology and databases

Where do private investigators work in South Carolina?

Private investigators work for:

  • Private investigation and detective agencies
  • As independent contractors

Independent PIs work for:

  • Law firms,
  • Financial institutions,
  • Insurance companies,
  • Corporations,
  • Government agencies,
  • Police departments

USA Private Investigator by State

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