Training in South Dakota for Law Enforcement

If you live in South Dakota and are hoping to embark on a new career, you might consider work as a police officer.  To pursue this dream, you should first ensure you will qualify by checking the specific South Dakota requirements explained below. Double check these requirements with the local police department you hope to get hired by, as some police departments differ. When you are sure that you are qualified, you can put in your resume to apply for a South Dakota officer job. If your resume is approved, you would then take the Civil Service Exam and personality written test. Passing the written tests can lead you to the next step required by South Dakota which is an oral interview conducted with a board of officers. If you pass the interview portion they may hire you on a conditional basis: the conditions being that you pass the remainder of the tests and complete police training. The remainder of the tests include things such as physical ability test, psychological exam, medical exam, drug test etc. If all of these are completed the applicant who has been hired conditionally will go to a police training academy for basic training. Upon graduation from the police academy a conditional hire would also have to successfully complete field training before they would become a full officer in South Dakota.

Requirements for South Dakota Police Officers

The minimum state requirements for an individual to seek South Dakota police officer employment are that applicants must be 21, have graduated from high school or received a GED, are legal United States Citizens, hold a valid driver’s license, and are overall moral, upstanding citizens. Sioux Falls recently added the requirements that individuals must have a minimum correctable vision of 20/40 in both eyes and not color blind, and no hearing loss.

South Dakota Law Enforcement Jobs – Salaries

In South Dakota the average yearly salary for patrol officers is 38,500. While this is not as high as the national average,  keep in mind that much of South Dakota is rural (and rural officers make less) and that cost of living in South Dakota is less than much of the rest of the country. Officers who have been promoted in rank make more. Detectives in South Dakota, for instance, can earn 53,000 a year on average.

South Dakota Law Enforcement Degrees

South Dakota police departments do not require anything more than a basic high school education, however, having a higher level degree (especially in a law enforcement related field of study) could make you a much more desirable candidate for a position. It also means that you could start out a higher pay scale if offered a position. The following list includes schools and programs in South Dakota that offer law enforcement related programs and degrees.

  • Colorado Technical University

3901 W 59th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57108


  • Dakota Wesleyan University

1200 W University Avenue, Mitchell, SD 57301


  • Kilian Community College

300 E 6th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103


  • Mount Marty College

1105 West 8th Street, Yankton, SD 57078


  • National American University

5301 South Hwy. 16 Rapid City, SD 57701


  • Sinte Gleska University

101 Antelope Lake Circle, MIssion, SD 57555


  • Southeast Technical Institute

2320 N Career Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57107


  • University of Sioux Falls

1101 West 22nd Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57105


  • University of South Dakota

414 E Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069


  • Western Dakota Tech

800 Mickelson Drive, Rapid City, SD 57703