Private Investigator License Requirements

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Private Investigator License Requirements

A career as a private investigator is challenging and at the same time, very rewarding. In this CareerStint write up, we provide you with information about the licensing requirements associated with the job.

The life of a private investigator is always full of action. They work in various detective agencies and solve cases related to frauds, thefts, business crimes, civil crimes, etc. These professionals must possess the requisite licenses, educational qualifications, and training to succeed in this career.

License Requirements

A license is essential to practice as an independent detective or work in an investigating agency. For obtaining this license, you need to be at least eighteen years of age. In some states, the minimum age for entry into the job has been fixed to be twenty one. Along with the age criteria, a strict background check of the candidate is conducted and those with a non-criminal background are obviously preferred.

Previous work experience as a police force officer or in an investigation agency will prove to be quite useful in getting the license. All the interested candidates are supposed to clear the written examination for obtaining the license.

Those who would be possessing weapons for investigation purposes are required to have an arms license, along with the investigation license. Candidates who want to obtain the license are asked to submit the proof of their financial status. While granting the license, individuals are checked for alcohol addiction, and addiction to certain narcotic substances. Mental and physical well-being of the applicant are given prime importance.

You will also have to produce a good character certificate from at least three people who know you for at least three years. On the education front, having a bachelor or master’s degree will increase your chances of getting the license.

Essential Skills

The following are the skills which are essential to achieve set goals in the career of a private investigator:

  • Logical thinking abilities
  • Good communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Capacity to interpret data
  • Decision-making abilities
  • Good observation and listening skills
  • Presence of adventurous spirit
  • Good penning skills for writing detailed investigation reports
  • A firm desire to fight against crime


The salary of a private investigator largely depends on the location he works in and the kinds of clients he caters to. Working for affluent and high-end clients will naturally fetch more money. People who wish to hire private investigators are charged fees on an hourly basis. The less experienced or rookie investigators can expect to earn anything between USD 30 – USD 35 per hour. The highly skilled, well-known and experienced investigators can earn anything between USD 120 – USD 200 per hour for the services rendered by them. As per the surveys, the average private investigator salary is around USD 55 per hour. With an experience of six to eight years, earning USD 50,000 per annum would not be a difficult task.

You can get trained at a detective school in all the skills required for private investigators. To get the license successfully, you should seek guidance from those who have gone through this procedure and have achieved a name for themselves in this field.

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