Where to Study to Become a Private Investigator



Depending on the state you live in, you may need to do private investigator training before testing for state licensure. To verify the type of training required, you will need to research your state’s requirements. Each state varies in terms of qualifications necessary to work as a private investigator in that particular state. You may need to take a private investigator training course or obtain a degree in criminal justice.


Criminal Justice Degree

The first form of education you can pursue if your goal is to become a private investigator is a criminal justice degree. Your state may require that you obtain a bachelor’s in criminal justice, or an associate’s degree may suffice. Both programs will provide you with a substantial amount of knowledge regarding the criminal justice system. This knowledge will be very useful when you take your state licensure exam.


Private Investigator Training

The second option available to you when becoming a private investigator is private investigator training. This option can be taken in addition to the criminal justice degree or on its own. Many states only require that you complete a training program before taking the state exam.

A private investigator training program will provide you with pointed training in fieldwork, investigating, researching, interviewing, and document preparation. These skills will be useful when you enter the workforce as a private investigator.


In-Person Classes

P.I. training courses are often offered online. This is a great option for students straight out of high school or college who have not yet started their careers. These classes offer in-person lectures, labs, and experience. Unfortunately, many individuals working towards becoming private investigators have families or full-time jobs. In these cases, it can be incredibly difficult to attend in-person classes.


Online Programs

For individuals with busy lives, online programs are also available. You can complete your private investigator training courses online in your own time. This ensures that you still have time for what’s important to you. These programs still provide you with lectures, labs, and relevant field experience. An online program can provide you with all of the information and knowledge required to work as a P.I in addition to the flexibility you need to succeed in completing the program.

Regardless of the type of training you obtain, it is important to fully understand what it takes to work as a private investigator. A criminal justice degree may get you through the state test for licensure, but it may not provide you with the fieldwork training necessary to hold a position as a private investigator.

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