How to Become a Private Investigator
How to Become a Private Investigator?
The purpose of this section, “How to Be a Private Investigator” is to provide an overview of the qualities and skills you should possess or obtain in an effort to be a PI. A private investigator can also be referred to as a PI or private detective. At some point in becoming a private investigator, you should think about what type of private investigation cases that you are interested in pursuing.
An opportunity in becoming a PI are more prevalent today than ever and the employment outlook as a private detective has been increasing steadily over the past decade. Studies have shown that the PI industry is one of the fastest growing areas of employment. An increase in demand for solving crimes, increase in the divorce rate, personal injury and auto accidents increase, there will always be job security in the private investigation industry.
Becoming a Private Investigator in Georgia?
Georgia license are issued to companies only. A owner, partner, or an officer of the company who is qualified by experience or education can be the holder of the license for the company. If you are interested in starting your own private investigation business, please refer to the Company License Information regarding your requirements. Call our office for FREE private investigator training guidance.
What Kind of Experience do You Need?
Two years of experience in either law enforcement or as a registered private investigator employed by a licensed private detective agency is required in order to qualify as a state exam applicant. If a person does not have the qualified experience then you must possess, at a minimum, four-year degree in Criminal Justice or related study program from an accredited college or university.
Working for a Georgia Private Investigations Agency
If you are interested in becoming a private investigator employee for a licensed company, you are not required by the Georgia Board of Private Detectives and Security Agencies to have any former experience. You must be at least 18 years of age and meet the minimum requirements as detailed in O.C.G.A. 43-38-7. The company that you are employed by will become responsible for your training by a Board-approved instructor. However, you may elect to attend a Board-approved training class on your own prior to employment by a licensed private investigation agency. The employer is also required to submit an Application for Employee Registration on your behalf within 30 days of your hire date.
Finding a Private Investigator Instructor
We have some of the best state certified private investigator training instructors on staff. Georgia Board-certified private investigator training instructors can be searched and verified online by accessing the state’s License Verification page. Training instructors can be searched by their certification number, or by their name.
Verifying "Good Standing" Investigation Agencies
The state board provides verification of a private investigation agency license at the License Verification page. Some of the fields may need to be modified in order to achieve your desired results.
Verifying Georgia Investigator Licenses
The state board provides access to a private investigators license at the License Verification page. It is always a good idea to verify the license of a private investigator prior to hiring them.
How to be a PI as a Veteran Law Enforcement Officer
Former law enforcement officers and ALL applicants are required to take the state exam for Private Detective and or Security. There are no exceptions to this regulation for experience nor exceptions for licensure in other states.
How to Operate as a Private Investigator Company in Other States
Georgia does not honor reciprocity with any other state for obtaining a Georgia issued private detective company license. All applications for a company private detective license in Georgia must successfully pass the state examination for Private Detective and or Security, regardless if they are licensed in another state. Georgia does have agreements with some states for limited license recognition.
Limited Private Detective License Recognition Agreement
The agreement between Georgia and other states will allow for a licensed private investigator from another state to enter into and perform private investigator duties in Georgia for a period of time no longer than 30 days per case per annum, that originated from the state of the private investigators licensure. A Georgia-licensed investigator is likewise allowed to enter into other states for a period not to exceed 30-days on cases that originate from Georgia.
States with Limited Private Detective License Recognition Agreements
Georgia has Limited Private Investigator License Recognition Agreements with Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, California, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Tennessee. This list is subject to change without notice and it is advised to visit the state’s web site for the most current and accurate information.
How Much Does it Cost to be a Private Investigator?
Refer to the state’s Fee Schedule for a current listing of the various fees regarding becoming a PI.
Approval to take the Georgia Private Detective Exam
When a candidate is approved for examination, the Exam Section will provide notice within two weeks of the scheduled private investigation exam date. The notice will identify the date, time, and place of the exam. Applicants who are not approved for the state private detective exam will be notified about two weeks after the Georgia Board meeting.
Georgia Private Detective Exam Schedule
The next Georgia Private Detective exam can be found on the state’s Examination Information page or by calling (478) 207-2440.
Examination Study Material Preparation
Refer to the Georgia Law and Board Rules for a current list of suggested study material. Also refer to the information obtained during your initial private investigator training.