How to Become a PI?

Princeton,NJ/ 360prwire / November 26/

According to the Hollywood model, you put on a nice suit, drive an expensive car, carry around a few gadgets, and you’ll be a Private Investigator. But unfortunately, that isn’t the case in real life. 

There are different sorts of jobs for private investigators. Some work for law firms looking into cases for attorneys, while others investigate insurance frauds, infidelity, missing persons, and a variety of other issues as part of their job. Such work necessitates more than just being able to play detective. Below we have discussed basic requirements to become a private investigator.

Who Can Become a PI?

The state issues licenses to private investigators after they meet the minimum standards and comply with certain areas of expertise. The rules vary from state to state; some basic qualifications to become a private investigator include:

  • Be at least 18 years old (21 in some cases)
  • Have no felony convictions or sexual offenses
  • Have three to four years of experience in conducting investigations or have a four years bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be able to show financial responsibility
  • You must also pass criminal background checks by the FBI
  • Some states require applicants to take a written test before issuing them a license

What Skills Are Needed?

The field requires a person who can juggle multiple tasks at once, handle unfamiliar situations, and think quickly on their feet. Skills like driving, photography, and computer literacy are very useful in this job.

Because PI’s deal with all types of people and handle all types of scenarios, they must have attention to detail and logical reasoning. They should also be able to communicate well, understand the nuances of verbal and non-verbal communication, and have the ability to read people.

What Type of Education & Certification is Required?

There is no formal education requirement, but most professional PI’s get degrees in criminology, law, or forensics to have a better understanding of the justice system and police work.

For licensing, states require applicants to complete an accredited training program. The curriculum covers topics like:

  • State and federal laws covering criminal and civil investigations
  • Investigation techniques
  • Legal ethics, codes, rules of evidence, courtroom conduct, and other skills you’ll need to do the job well

Usually, it takes 3-5 weeks to earn the certificate or diploma needed to become a PI.

Once you have obtained your license, you will be obligated to continue your education every few years to keep it. Most states require 8 CEUs per year to renew your license, and these should be obtained from approved continuing education providers only.

How to Get Training to Become a Private Investigator?

Several institutions offer training courses in private investigation. They provide hands-on experience and formal education on conducting investigations, interviewing people, doing surveillance, analyzing evidence, etc. You can go back to the basics in entry-level courses, or you can choose specialized classes that focus on one specific area of private investigation.

We hope that reading this article has given you a better understanding of how to become a private investigator. Seek expert advice to be sure you are fully prepared to get a license in your state.