Work With Us

Whether you're looking for a career in Forensic Science, Undercover Narcotics, or Community Policing, we offer a diverse choice of specialized professions designed to provide our citizens with the finest service and protection available.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department currently employs over 550 uniformed officers, making it one of the largest departments in the state. We offer deputies a wide choice of career opportunities, the finest training, and tremendous potential for advancement.

A few of the distinct branches of the Richland County Sheriff's Department are Narcotics, Investigations, Forensics, Boat Patrol, Dive Team, Special Operations Response Team, Bomb Squad, K-9 Unit, Crime Prevention, Training Instructors, School Resource Officers, Community Police Officers, Victims Assistance Officers, Public Affairs and Deputy Sheriff III.

If there are any questions concerning the hiring process, please contact Maj. James Stewart by email or phone: 803-576-3045.

To become a Deputy Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff III with Richland County, you must meet the following qualifications:

1. For Deputy Sheriff positions, candidate must have a four year degree from an accredited college or university, or Associate Degree and two years of previous law enforcement or military experience, or be a currently certified law enforcement officer.
2. For Deputy Sheriff III and Court Security Officer candidates - must have High School Diploma from an accredited school or GED.
3. Minimum of 21 years of age.
4. No criminal history.
5. Valid driver's license with limited violations.
6. Drug-free background.
7. Satisfactory background, including financial stability.
8. Pass a polygraph examination, drug testing, physical fitness test and staff interviews
9. Meet physical fitness standards. Including a pre-employment PT Test.
10. Successfully complete training at the Criminal Justice Academy.

• An application under oath on a format prescribed by the Director of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

• Evidence that the candidate has completed high school and received a high school diploma; equivalency (military or other) recognized and accepted by the South Carolina Department of Education or South Carolina.

• Evidence that the candidate is physically fit to fulfill the duties of a law enforcement officer. Such proof must be in obtaining a complete medical history by a licensed physician or medical examiner and a complete medical examination.

• The candidate has not been convicted of any criminal offense that carries a sentence of one year or more or a criminal offense that involves a crime of moral turpitude. The forfeiture of bond, a guilty plea, or a plea of nolo contendere is considered the equivalent of a conviction.

• Candidate must be a person of good character as established by an in-depth background investigation. In determining good character, consideration must be given to all law violations, including traffic and conservation law convictions, prior history of alcohol and drug abuse, etc.

• Candidate must have a valid and current state driver's license with no record during the previous five years for suspension of the driver's license as a result of driving under the influence, reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, or leaving the scene of an accident.

• A credit check with favorable results

• Fingerprints and a check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division the candidate has no felony convictions.

• The candidate must be photographed.

• Evidence that the candidate's present age is not less than twenty-one years. This evidence must include a birth certificate or another acceptable document

• If the candidate has successfully completed a course of law enforcement training by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy or another law enforcement training Academy, copies of the documents must be obtained.

• No convictions for criminal domestic violence.

1. Applicant submits application
2. Preliminary background investigation conducted
3. Pre-employment agility test
4. Pre-employment reading comprehension test
5. Pre-employment essay/writing sample
6. Pre-polygraph booklet completed
7. Pre-employment polygraph consent and advisory signed
8. Pre-employment psychological evaluation for Deputy Sheriff Applicants
9. Pre-employment polygraph
10. Some applicants are chosen to appear before an interview board based on the application packet and evaluations.
11. Interview Board
12. Interview Board results are compiled and recommendations are made to the Sheriff.
13. Selected applicants are interviewed by the Sheriff.
Note: Steps 3-7 to be conducted all on the same day at the Firing Range.
The application and hiring process could take up to 60 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Line deputies work 12-hour shifts. Out of a 28-day cycle, the deputy will work 14 days and will be off 14 days.

Most deputies respond to a variety of calls ranging from civil disturbances, assaults, thefts, serving mental papers, follow ups on reports, etc. Officers are often requested to speak to neighborhood groups at community meetings as well.

1. Run 200 yards
2. Carry two 30 pound water bottles 60 yards
3. 20 step-ups
4. 15 bent leg sit-ups
5. Climb through window size opening 4 feet off the ground
6. 15 bent leg sit-ups
7. 20 step-ups
8. Carry two 30 pound water bottles 60 yards
9. Run 200 yards

Each Deputy is issued approximately $5,700 worth of equipment, to include uniforms, boots, departmental firearms and ammunition, a Taser, pepper spray, handcuffs, a hand held radio, rain gear, flashlight, ballistic vest, etc. The deputy will normally receive a vehicle they can drive home after 4 to 6 months of service.

Certified Class 1 / Deputy: $39,998.79 ($18.099/hour)

Non-certified Class 1 / Deputy: $38,999.97 ($17.647/hour - will move up in salary after SCCJA completion)

Certified Class 3 / Deputy III: $34,999.77 ($15.837/hour)

Non-certified Class 3 / Deputy III: $34,000 ($15.385/hour - will move up in salary after SCCJA completion)

While on duty or otherwise representing the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, personnel personnel are permitted to display tattoos or other forms of body art, which may be seen by the public within the following guidelines:

  1. Tattoos/Body Art are not permitted on the neck, face, head, or the area of the chest that would be visible while an officer is wearing official attire or in uniform wearing a properly fitting crew neck t-shirt.
  2. The display of any offensive image, phrase, or other expression contained within visible tattoos/body art shall be prohibited. Examples of prohibited content shall include, but is not limited to Offensive Tattoos and Body Art,  Extremist Tattoos and Body Art or  Indecent Tattoos or Body Art

Personnel who may have a tattoo or body art as referenced shall completely cover the tattoo or body art with a long sleeved shirt or blouse, a skin toned patch, or other material, which is approved by the Sheriff or his designee.

The Sheriff may grant exceptions to this rule, if necessary, to further a legitimate law enforcement interest when presented and responded to in writing.

Hair Regulations: All employees shall maintain their hair in a professional manner. All haircuts and facial hair must meet the approval of the Sheriff. Sworn personnel may have neatly groomed facial hair.

To ensure a professional appearance and the safety of female deputies, hair must not exceed pass the first seam on the back of the uniform shirt. Non-uniform deputies must conform to the same equal length in the back as the uniform shirt requirement. It is recommended that hair be in a bun, rolled up, or a pony tail. Bangs cannot extend below the eyebrows. Hair cannot be worn loosely around the face. It must be behind the ears. Hair color must not be an unnatural color (i.e. blue, purple, etc.). Hair accessories should be black or match the color of the hair. Employees must be groomed in a manner befitting their work assignments.

Only female officers may wear one (1) earring in each ear on the lower ear lobe or by male officers upon approval of the Sheriff. Any earrings worn must be “stud earrings” and of such a size and character as not to be easily grasped by an assailant. No other body piercing is approved that is visible while in uniform or plainclothes.

Fingernails – All personnel will keep fingernails clean and neatly trimmed. Males will keep nails trimmed so as not to extend beyond the fingertip. Females will not exceed a nail length of inch, as measured from the tip of the finger.

Females will not wear shades of lipstick and nail polish that distinctly contrast with their complexion, that detract from the uniform, or that are extreme. Some examples of extreme colors include, but are not limited to, purple, gold, blue, black, white, bright (fire-engine) red, khaki, camouflage colors, and fluorescent colors.

Candidates interested in obtaining information on job vacancies and receiving an application can attend an employment orientation every Tuesday (except County Holidays) at 10:00 a.m. at our headquarters at 5623 Two Notch Road or you can call Capt. Cole Porter at 803-576-3063.