Requirements to Become a Private Investigator

Are there private investigator schools?

The requirements to become a private investigator are well-defined, and there are several means of qualification for this exciting profession.

One of the questions we are always asked here at Accredited Online University is: "Are there private investigator schools?"

Technically speaking, the answer is no. But one of the qualifications to become a private investigator, if you don't have extensive investigative work experience, is to have taken various legal courses at an accredited college or university.

It always helps to have an advanced education for any field, as it will always improve your chances of qualifying for licensure, and will no doubt help you during your career.

What are the requirements to become a private investigator?

Although it differs from state to state, we will use California as an example of the more stringent qualifications. Other states may require more or less experience/education:

1. You must be 18 years of age or older;

2. You must undergo a thorough criminal background investigation by the FBI and your state Department of Justice;

3. Qualification to become a private investigator can be accomplished three ways: you can have three years of compensated experience in investigative work; two years of experience with a law or police science degree; or two and a half years experience with an associates degree in police science, criminal law or justice;

4. You must take and pass a two-hour multiple choice examination covering laws and regulations, criminal liability, evidence handling and related topics;

5. If you pass the exam, you have to submit and application and pay a licensing fee in the range of $150-$250.

So you can see that although there are no private investigator schools, it does help if you have taken related college-level courses, as it reduces the amount of investigative work experience needed to get your license.

To learn more about the requirements to become a private investigator in your particular state, visit your state's official government web site.

From there you will be able to access the particular requirements necessary to get a private investigator's license where you live.

Remember, there are no private investigator schools, but a college education, particularly legal courses related to the field, are always beneficial.


more than requirements to become a private investigator on our Accredited Online University home page