How to Prepare Yourself to Become a Private Detective


For our primary page on this subject, please see Private Detective Training and Education Requirements.

If you reached this page via an internet search engine, then you may be asking yourself, “what does it take to become a private investigator?” Or, you may be wondering about the types of training and education requirements are involved. Obtaining the proper private investigation training prior to certification is necessary for any individual who is considering pursuing a career in private investigation. The United States Bureau of Labor forecasts that the outlook for careers in the investigation industry will increase significantly in the next five to seven years.

As a private investigator in the marketplace it’s highly recommended that you enroll in education and development from a well-recognized school, college, or university with an excellent status in the detective industry. I personally have a criminology background and have experience working as a sheriff New Hampshire.

P.I. Training Requirements and Standards

To enroll in a program the most vital things you will require is a General Education Development (GED) certificate or a High School Diploma. These are two basic educational qualifications.

There are certain schools and universities with good reputation that prefer to admit candidates, who have some kind of private investigation training experience, like law enforcement, and preferably a criminal justice background.

Next, move towards the U.S. Department of Labor web site to get some details regarding precise information on every state’s individual requirements, job opportunities, earning potential and training requirements. You will get specifics and find updated details on prospects in the industry of professional investigation.

You may focus on schools that target their private investigation training in helping the interested candidates do well on a state level for the private investigation examinations. If you obtain a diploma from a private investigation training institution, then you might find job limited job opportunities.

Next, you may extend your search via the Internet, since there are online universities that provide the opportunity to receive the training over the Internet. Try to use more online resources to find and learn more about private investigation training universities in your area or state. Or call your local universities and colleges, you would be amazed at how popular this field has become.

After finding all the major training institutions, contact each one personally to find out the essentials of their application criterion, training requirements, and educational qualifications.

Once you have made a decision and want to possibly go that particular school or learning institution then let me suggest you contact the training institution and obtain testimonials from ex-students. If possible, contact the students and ask them about the professionalism and authenticity of that private investigation training institution.

However, if you train under the aim to become an authorized private detective  from a reputed institution, then certainly your marketability including ability to start your own investigations firm or agency is larger. As the head of Tom Nickels Professional Investigations I can tell you I have and still do work for lawyers, corporations, privately held companies, and individuals. I hope this little bit of information can give you a better understanding about your future and potential while researching reputable institutions and learning centers that offer private investigation training.


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