How do you become a private detective?


Quick Answer

To become a private detective, fill the basic requirements and get the private investigator license. Some college in the legal or crime field is recommended, but not typically a requirement.

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Full Answer

Anyone wanting to become a private detective needs to take the license exam and be currently bonded and licensed. However, before doing this, they must meet some basic qualifications. This includes being at least 18 years old, not having a criminal record and completing a criminal history background check and having a check run through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI. Some requirements vary by state, but these are good general requirements.

In some states, such as California, there are also requirements based on the number of hours of investigative work, such as 2,000 hours a year and 6,000 hours total, to maintain the private investigator license. Some areas also require a college degree in the legal field or a four-year course in police science. Some accept an associate’s degree in police science or criminal law.

The license exam is also state-issued, so the individual should look into the type of questions on the exam for their own state. Private investigators also need to have a firearm permit if they will carry a firearm for business purposes and have adequate insurance.

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