Private Investigator Training, Development and Education

Private Investigator training
Get the education and training you need to become a private investigator

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the investigation industry, you need training and development, as well as ongoing education. Private Investigator training is offered by universities, colleges, schools, and investigation companies. It is offered in many different forms, such as degree programs, certificate programs, continuing education, home study courses, and internships.


The best resource for an overview of the private investigator profession is the U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Outlook Handbook. The handbook describes the nature of private investigation work, working conditions, earning potential, qualifications, and other significant points for private investigators.

The handbook also explains the general amount of P.I. education and training one should have to enter the profession. See also How to Become a Private Investigator and private investigator services or check out the eBook The Private Investigator’s Licensing Handbook: How to Get a Private Investigator License in any State available at

Private Investigator Training Resources

The following are private investigation and detective training courses and development programs and home study courses that will help you learn how to become a private investigator and do private investigation work. Visit the associated website to learn more details about the course, learn about fees, and how to apply.

Before proceeding, it is important to note that many states have specific training courses that applicants must complete to become licensed. Visit the state licensing authority’s website for more information on the specific courses and exams that each state requires. You’ll find links to each state’s licensing authority in our private investigator licensing section.


PI Education

PIeducation is an internet-based private eye education service provider for the Private Security Industry. PIEducation offers courses primarily to private investigators who require continuing education as a part of their license renewal. Several states have given approval for these courses as online continuing education.

Following are examples of PIEducation continuing education courses:

  • Surveillance learning courses
  • Death investigations courses
  • Forensic photography courses
  • Interviewing witness courses
  • Bounty hunting training
  • Private investigation laws and ethics
  • Skip Tracing

Blue Ribbon Investigative Institute

The Blue Ribbon Investigative Institute is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, and certified by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Department of Education to provide the 40-hour private investigator intern course required by the state. The course is written and taught by a true private investigator. The course covers:

  • The applicable state statutes and administrative code
  • Professional ethics and legal issues
  • How to interview witnesses and verify the truth
  • How to use computers in the investigation process and sources of information
  • Restrictions on records
  • How to write reports
  • How to find people
  • Evidence
  • Courtrooms, trials, and formal hearings
  • Testifying as a witness
  • Executive protection

A certificate is provided upon completion of the course with a passing grade. The certificate must be submitted to the state with the license application form.

Detective Training Institute

Detective Training Institute – This company offers a State-approved home study course to become a Qualified Private Investigator. The Private Investigator Course trains you how to become a PI, the latest investigative techniques, including state-of-the-art computer online investigative strategies. Other topics covered include:

  • Background Investigation and Research
  • Tracking and Locating Missing Persons
  • Surveillance
  • Legal Investigations
  • Business Crimes Investigations
  • Starting Your New Career as a Private Eye

You can begin your private investigator’s education and development now – via home study or online. No previous experience is required to get started in this exciting profession. Whether this is your first career or a career change, DTI makes it simple for you.

The course provides detailed, step-by-step explanations with hundreds of photographs that make it easy and fun to learn. And, most important, you can learn private investigation from home in your spare time, on your own time schedule.

Enroll online or via mail. Online counseling is available and students can send their exams for grading via fax or online as well. Private Investigator and Detective Training School is a specialized private investigation school licensed by the Nevada Commission on Post-secondary Education. This state-approved online program can be completed by most students within 10 weeks.

We recommend downloading and reading the first lesson, which is available for free at DTI’s website. This will give you an idea of the high-quality information you’ll receive via this excellent private eye training program.

Discovery Detective Academy

The Discovery Detective Academy offers courses in Investigations, Process Serving, and Security. Their Master Course in investigations prepares you to run your own agency. The course covers:

  • Law: Civil, Criminal, Federal and ethics
  • Civil and criminal investigative techniques
  • How to collect evidence and process a crime scene
  • Forensics: handwriting analysis, fingerprints, lab results
  • Document research and retrieval
  • How to locate people, skip tracing
  • Photography and videos
  • Interrogation techniques
  • Courtroom testimony
  • How to manage cases
  • How to set up and market your business

Global School of Investigation

The Global School of Investigation offers online education and distance learning programs for private investigation studies. The web-based training courses teach you all aspects of private investigations, including private investigations, insurance investigations, security, fraud investigations, skip tracing, and bounty hunting.

Rasmussen College – Criminal Justice Program

Rasmussen College – Criminal Justice Program – The Rasmussen College criminal justice program offers a career that allows you to have a direct positive impact on individuals, businesses, and entire communities. You can choose from a wide variety of criminal justice specialties, including law enforcement, corrections, psychology, and homeland security.

  • Learn from current sheriffs, sergeants, and other seasoned law enforcement professionals
  • Gain real-world insight through police ride-along, correctional visits, and other hands-on opportunities
  • Examine the social and behavioral issues involved in the study of crime to help you in the field

For more information, visit the website or contact:

Michael Schwartz
Rasmussen College
Address: 8300 Norman Center Drive Suite 300
Phone: 952-806-3900
FAX: 952-831-0624

The Stratford Career Institute

The Stratford Career Institute offers a Private Investigator Training Distance Learning Course (home study) that provides fundamental instruction on key areas such as

  • Ethics and legal issues
  • Various types of investigations, including accidents, criminal, domestic, fraud, financial, insurance, missing persons and undercover
  • Resources, tools, and techniques in the P.I.’s toolbox
  • How to interview witnesses
  • How to provide testimony
  • How to conduct research

Worldwide Learn

PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR & SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS PROGRAMS – Train at home to be a private investigator, detective, security specialist, or to work in personal or executive protection and intelligence & investigations with these online courses and distance learning diploma programs from accredited institutions.

Private Investigator Training Books

Books are a good place to start if you are interested in entering the field of private investigation. If you’re already licensed and working in the field, reference books can be a great way to add to your knowledge and experience or to pick up new skills. A good detective always knows where to turn to find the right information. Sometimes, the answers may be sitting on your bookshelf. Start building your library of reference books today.

The Private Investigator’s Licensing Handbook: How to Get a Private Investigator License in any State
Think you might be interested in pursuing a career as a private investigator? Browse through the pages of this eBook to learn about the services provided by private investigators, the typical work environment, career outlook, and salary range. Plus learn the basic licensing requirements for each state and where to find more information. Includes sections on training and education, PI associations, and more. Buy the eBook at Amazon today for just $3.69.

PI School: How To Become A Private Detective – Most detectives are ordinary citizens just like you – except they know how to locate information, data and how to locate people. And so will you after you read this book. A PI is only as good as his techniques, and PI School teaches you everything you need to know: surveillance, paper trails, interrogation and more.

Traffic Accident Investigators’ Manual: A Level 1 and 2 Reference, Training and Investigation Manual – This book is a great resource for learning about investigating, analyzing and reconstructing traffic accidents. It explains how to investigate traffic accidents, conduct various analyses and prepare reports for clients.

Techniques of Crime Scene Investigation Interactive Training CD-ROM

This interactive CD-ROM summarizes in layman’s terms the critical concepts that are detailed in Fisher’s text of the same name. This hands-on CD presents complex, scenario-based interactions within virtual crime scenes and offers activities and exercises with instant feedback that allows students and trainees to immediately determine right and wrong answers. Each section follows the outline of Fisher’s text and contains short quizzes to instantly test comprehension. The CD also serves as an aid for court testimony, providing useful information for investigators, expert witnesses, and attorneys.

Covert Surveillance

Learn how to conduct covert surveillance investigations for your clients. Learn the methods used by the pros to conduct undetected surveillance and gather the information, photographs, and video you need.

Death Investigation: The Basics

This guide details the procedures used by coroners and medical examiners. Includes flow charts, illustrations, and sample forms, as well as current information on the diagnosis of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and procedures for the investigation of infant deaths. Primarily for new death investigators.

Forensic Anthropology Training Manual

Book Description – This new book focuses on the challenges and responsibilities of the Forensic scientist, the multidisciplinary nature of the work, and the international potential for the Forensic sciences. An excellent introduction to the realities of the profession of Forensic scientist. Trains in the description and analysis of human skeletal and dental remains. This guide offers a well-illustrated approach to osteology, including a concentration on vocabulary-building, the use of case studies, and a structured approach to skeletal analysis and report-writing. An excellent text for those considering the field of Forensic science.

If you’re interested in becoming a police officer, learn about the training and education options available to law enforcement.

If you have any questions about these private investigator training, development and education resources, please post it below. Also, view a list of Private Investigator Jobs.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


  1. I loved when you mentioned how a private investigator needs to be trained on how to write a report. It is important to understand that doing some research can help you find the best way to get the information you need. A friend of mine was talking about how he needed to find a private investigator, so I wanted to look into it before helping him.

  2. name is Sheri. I like to know if I applied to Stratford Institute for home studies .. Can I use that diploma and credits to take the exam. I already have a BS in criminal justice, public safety, plus in school now studying my MA in forensic psychology..don’t want to waste money if not credited for the State of Illinois

  3. I have a masters degree of forensic psychology. I would like to be a PI in the state of KY…do I need to go through a program to do so?

  4. I Wilbert would like to know if I can obtain a MS Degree in private investigation, with three domestic dispute felonies on my record.
    And I would like to know if I can obtain a private investigation license by the department of Justice. I live in the state of CA,
    Thank you very much for your time and information.

  5. There are many private detective companies which develop private detective training. In most cases we need at first to read some materials and books related to detective services before doing any in field training. In Romania after the training and courses, Police will examine your skills on private detective services and then they give you a license.


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