If you’ve ever asked yourself “how do I become a private investigator?”, chances are you’ve only found a few online resources to help you get started, with minimal information. At Find Your Investigator, we offer the collective knowledge and experience from countless PIs across the nation to help you get started in your career as a private investigator! From finding private investigator jobs to starting your own company, the team at Find Your Investigator knows how difficult it can be to start from scratch. While this article will serve as a beginning guide, Find Your Investigator offers a variety of interviews, articles, blogs and How-Tos from experienced private detectives for you to further your knowledge about the field and its requirements. Continue reading to learn how to become a private investigator!
Licensing: You Might Need It, You Might Not
A common misconception about the private investigation field is that all investigators must be licensed. While this may be true for some states, not all states require PIs to receive a license. Take a look at our license requirements by state map to see whether or not you need to obtain a license. Keep in mind, some states that don’t require a license may require one at a local level, so be sure to research further about your intended area of operation!
If your selected state does require a license, next it’s time to determine how to get a private investigator license. Some states require licensing through the state police, while others go through dedicated commissions.
Requirements for licensing vary by state as well. Some states require a minimum of an associate’s degree or higher in criminal justice or a similar program, and/or experience in a related field (criminal justice or otherwise). Some states even allow aspiring PIs with no experience to complete a training to become licensed.
Private Investigator Jobs: Starting Your Career
If you’re not looking to start your own business yet, but would like to gain some experience in the PI field, getting a job with a local PI is a great way to learn the tricks of the trade from an experienced professional. While PI schools and certifications can help you to understand the basics, many of the techniques PIs use on a daily basis are gathered through years of practical experience and intuition.
To get a job as a private investigator, it’s important to exhibit the following qualities:
- A willingness to be ready in a moment’s notice. Situations can shift rapidly, your assignment’s requirements can change, or a new job can pop up. In order to be a successful PI, you need to be able to think quickly and avoid getting flustered.
- Strong writing skills. Being a PI means writing reports – lots of reports! Your ability to write clearly, professionally and in a timely manner is essential for your success. A potential employer will quickly notice if you lack the writing skills to work for them.
- Problem solving and the ability to think outside the box. You will encounter difficult process serves and elusive subjects on surveillance. How will you handle setbacks? Think about your assignment and work to overcome difficult scenarios using critical thinking. Is a subject aware they’re under surveillance from a previous investigator who only worked during daylight hours and saw nothing? Change your surveillance time-frame to nighttime!
Start Your Career as a Private Investigator Today
If you’re looking to become a Private Investigator, becoming familiar with your state’s requirements and gaining experience under a reputable PI near you is the best way to kickstart your career. While the private investigative field can be relatively easy to break into, becoming successful is far more difficult. Research more about becoming a PI on Find Your Investigator, or use our site to find an investigator near you!