Career OpportunitiesCollage of Police Activities

Officers of the Charleston Police Department are afforded with many opportunities to develop their careers. Along with the City's college incentive program and the department's in-service training, officers are able to compete for promotional positions. All promotions are based upon merit as determined by a competitive promotional process administered by the Personnel Department.

Specialized Positions

A number of specialized positions in the department are available to qualified officers as openings occur. These specialized positions can be in the following units: 

  • Central Investigations
  • Crime Intelligence
  • Crime Prevention
  • K-9
  • Special Investigations
  • SWAT
  • Traffic


The Charleston Police Department presently consists of approximately 575 total employees (458 sworn and 117 civilians). The department maintains a police garage, weapons range, and weight training facility.

If you are interested in finding out more information about becoming employed by the Charleston Police Department, please email Police Recruiter, Officer Cherry.


Oleary DivingUniforms & Equipment

Provided at no cost to the employee.


Salary levels are competitive and based on the results of periodic salary surveys. Salary levels are also dependent upon the officer's rank in the Department. Minimum education level is that of a High School Diploma or GED.  

Additional education incentive pay is 7% each for an Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, Masters Degree or PHD/JD/Law Degree. 

Pay Scale as of January 2021

Education Salary
HS/GED  $40,922.15 to $42,968.27
A.A. plus  $43,786.70 to $45,976.05
B.A./B.S. $46,851.77 to $49,194.37
M.A./M.S. $50,131.39 to $52,637.98
PHD/JD $53,640.58 to $56,322.64

Certified Officer

Education Salary
HS/GED $45,116.68 to $49,741.14
A.A. $48,274.84 to $53,223.02
B.A./B.S. $51,654.08 to $56,948.63
M.A./M.S. $55,269.86 to $60,935.04
PHD/JD $59,138.75 to $65,200.49


You are given 10 scheduled, paid holidays per year. Vacation is accrued at a rate of 1 day per month for the first five years and increases after 5 years.

Sick Leave

Sick leave is accrued at a rate of 1 day per month.


Most medical, dental, vision, pharmaceutical and life insurances are paid by the employer. Family members may be added to the medical insurance program at a group rate.

Military Leave

Officers who are military reservists may receive up to fifteen days of military leave per year with pay.


Officers participate in the South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System. The city and the officer contribute funds monthly to this program. You may view the program at South Carolina Police Officer Retirement System.

Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer

The City of Charleston is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer who is committed to recruit, hire, promote or transfer employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, age (40 to 70), marital status, receipt of public assistance, or political affiliation, except that no person shall be employed who advocates or belongs to a group which advocates the violent overthrow of our government.