How to Become a Private Investigator in South Dakota

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How to Become a Private Investigator in South Dakota

Do you want to become a private investigator in South Dakota?

This is a good option for anyone looking for a fun and unusual career.

However, keep in mind you need to attend some training first.

Let’s have a look at what you need to do to become a successful private detective!

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Private Investigator Requirements and Duties

Just like in any other field, private investigators also must meet some prerequisites.

This is also the case for South Dakota, and these are:

  • You should be 21 years old if you want to carry a weapon
  • You should be a US citizen.
  • You should have a clean criminal record
  • 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.

Of course, you will also have some daily duties.

Some of these will include but not be limited to:

  • Watching one person at a time.
  • Recording events from a distance in high detail.
  • Taking sharp photos from afar.
  • Keeping fit and healthy.
  • Understanding their clients’ needs.

Private Investigator Training in South Dakota

In South Dakota, you don’t need a degree or work experience to become a private investigator.

But if you want to increase your chances of success, it’s smart to work in a private investigator agency or get a degree before offering your investigative services.

There’s no written test required to work as a private investigator in South Dakota.

Many private investigators prefer learning on the job, and gaining experience as they go.

However, those serious about a successful career often complete a degree program related to private investigation.

You could consider getting a degree in:

  • Criminal justice
  • Legal studies
  • Political science
  • Forensics
  • Investigation

Next, let’s have a look at the criminal justice programs available in this state.

University of South Dakota

This accredited institution offers several options for future private investigators.

Getting a degree before starting as a private investigator can make you more appealing to clients and boost your success rate in investigations.

Any student studying any subject can add criminal justice as a double major by finishing 36 semester hours of criminal justice courses.

For those double-majoring in Criminal Justice and Political Science, you’ll need to choose either CJUS 205 or POLS 205, not both.

This adds up to 69 credit hours in total.

Alternatively, you can choose one of these options for a double major totaling 66 credit hours:

  • Completing CJUS 396 or POLS 380 allows you to count 3 credits toward both majors.
  • Completing CJUS 492 or POLS 492, Faculty Led Program, also lets you count 3 credits toward both majors.

To graduate in four years, USD recommends taking 15 credits per semester or 30 credits per year.

They also provide a sample academic plan to help you stay on track.

School Name Address
University of South Dakota 414 E. Clark Street Vermillion, SD 57069
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Becoming Licensed as a Private Investigator in South Dakota

Getting a Business License: To work as a private investigator in South Dakota, you need a business license.

Most people starting out as PIs get a license for sole proprietorship, but some choose to form an LLC. LLCs are registered with the Secretary of State, while sole proprietorships file with the county Register of Deeds.

Once your LLC is approved, you’ll need to get an IRS tax ID. Every business must also register with the Unemployment Tax Unit.

Unlike most other states, private investigators in South Dakota have to charge a 4% sales tax rate for their services.

This means you’ll need a license from the Department of Revenue to charge sales tax.

You’ll also have to follow any additional tax requirements in the area where you work.

Just like for any other job, you will need to keep your license valid.

Private investigator licenses in South Dakota are valid for 2 years, after which they need renewal.

In order to renew it, you have to attend some additional hours of education.

Salaries for Private Investigators in South Dakota

Once you get your license, you should consider finding your first job.

Before you start searching, you might want to know how much money you will make.

You should know that in South Dakota, private investigators make around $44,902 a year.

This number varies and depends on your location, education, and experience.

In order to learn more about the salaries in this state, check out the following table.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Watertown $45,002
Alexandria $45,002
Bullhead $49,002
Britton $47,002
Claremont $47,002
Wilmot $47,002
Veblen $47,002
Sioux Falls $45,702
Renner $45,702
Deadwood $44,102

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do private investigators work in South Dakota?

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

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

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

Do all PIs in South Dakota need a license?

The short answer is “yes.”

USA Private Investigator by State

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