How to Become a Private Investigator in Florida in 2022

Growing up, I saw a lot of action movies where intelligent folks would use their intuition to decipher what could have happened in a crime scene they were not around when it happened. They would say why it happened and ways how it happened. And sometimes they would tell you who they think committed the crime.

Some others too would follow through picking different tiny pieces of details as evidence of the crime. All of these times I watched, I would just wonder how these guys do this thing. Do you know what this did to me? I started nurturing desires on how to become a private investigator.

Now, I want to quickly show you how to become a private investigator in Florida! This is will be more to you if you live in Florida.

Truth is, there are different career paths you can take in Florida but the most exciting of them is becoming a private investigator. It is so flexible that you can be hired by individuals, corporate organizations, or even the government to gather information.

Now, the era of social media will help make your work as a professional investigator easier. Let’s get right at how you can become a PI in Florida.

The items we will discuss are outlined below.

What Kind Of Jobs Will I Do As a Private Investigator In Florida?

Private Investigators in Florida are called Professional Investigators. The Act defines a Professional Investigator as a person who accepts employment to investigate the business.

Likewise, the Investigation business is defined as a business entity that conducts investigations to obtain information pertaining to crimes. Professional investigators are hence allowed to perform several activities, including:

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  • Securing evidence to be used in court
  • Locating and/or recovering stolen property
  • Electronic tracking
  • Using computer forensics findings as evidence in court
  • Using devices for eavesdropping and observation

Salary of A Private Investigator In Florida?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projection that there will be an 8% job growth for private investigators between 2018 and 2028.

Similarly, in its report in May 2015, after interviewing 260 professional investigators working in Florida, they found out that the average salary for the year is $42,540.

Finally, according to Indeed, the average salary for a private investigator is $19.61 per hour in Florida.

How To Become A Private Investigator In Florida- Requirements

In Florida, private investigators are known as professional investigators. Moreover, they must be licensed by the Florida Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). LARA maintains all the necessary licensing and education requirements.

The following are the steps you have to follow to become a professional investigator in Florida.

Step #1. Meet Florida’s Minimum Licensing Requirements

These are the basic requirements you must meet in order to pursue a career as a private detective in Florida. Specifically, we have listed all the basic licensing requirements below.

What Are The Licensing Requirement?

Requirements

According to Florida Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, a professional investigator must meet these requirements.

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  • Is a citizen of the United States.
  • Is not less than 25 years of age.
  • Has a high school education or its equivalent.
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, or a misdemeanour involving any of the following:
  • i. Dishonesty or fraud.
  • ii. Unauthorized divulging or selling of information or evidence.
  • iii. Impersonation of a law enforcement officer or employee of the United States.
  • iv. Illegally using, carrying, or possessing a dangerous weapon.
  • v. Two or more alcohol-related offences.
  • vi. Controlled substances as defined under the Florida Public Health Code.
  • vii. An assault.
  • Has not been dishonourably discharged from a branch of the United States military service.

Other Requirements Involving Experience Include;

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  • For a period of not less than 3 years has been or is any of the following on a full-time basis:
  • i. Lawfully engaged in the PI business as a licensee, registrant, or investigative employee in another state.
  • ii. Lawfully engaged in the investigation business as an investigative employee of the holder of a license to conduct a professional investigation agency.
  • iii. An investigator, detective, special agent, intelligence specialist, parole agent, probation officer, or certified police officer employed by any government executive, military, judicial, or legislative agency, or other public authority engaged in investigative or intelligence activities.
  • iv. A graduate of an accredited institution of higher education with a baccalaureate or postgraduate degree in the field of police administration, security management, investigation, law, criminal justice, or computer forensics certificated study that is acceptable to the department.
  • v. Lawfully engaged in the investigation business as a full-time proprietary or in-house investigator employed by a business or attorney, or as an investigative reporter employed by a recognized media outlet, acceptable to the department.
  • Has posted a $10,000.00 bond or insurance policy provided for in the act.

Licensing Fees

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  • Individual/Partnership/Limited Liability Company License Application $750
  • Renewal fee $350
  • Relicensure $750

Step #2. Meet Minimum Experience or Education Requirements in Florida

The minimum education requirement to get licensed in Florida is a bachelors degree in one of the following areas;

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In similar fashion, you also need at least 3 years of full-time experience.

Furthermore, the state of Florida does not require employee fingerprint information anymore to check employee fitness. Documents for it are no longer being submitted.

Step #3. Apply for Florida Licensure as a Private Investigator

After you have met all the minimum requirements we have listed for a license. Now is the time to Apply for a Professional investigator License.

With the application, submit the following information;

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  • Two passport photographs
  • Employment verification form or official transcripts if using a degree
  • A Professional Investigator Surety Bond or Insurance Amendatory Endorsement form
  • Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization
  • Certificate of Co-Partnership from the county clerk where your business is located
  • Assumed Name Certificate or DBA if the name for registration is different from your name
  • Five (5) Personal Reference forms

Then, if you are currently a law enforcement officer, you will, in addition, provide one of the following;

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  • Written permission to act as a private investigator from your employer
  • copy of the collective bargaining agreement from your jurisdiction
  • A copy of your district’s policies and procedures for officers that seek off-duty employment as a private investigator

Send this application package to;
Florida Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Licensing Division
Professional Investigator
Post Office Box 30018
Lansing, Florida 48909

Step #5. Maintain your Florida License

You must apply for re-licensure every 3 years as a private investigator in Florida by completing the Application for Relicensure as a Professional Investigator Agency form and submitting a $750 renewal fee (payable to the State of Florida).

What Are The Private Investigators Associations In Florida?

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How To Hire A Private Investigator

Since, a private investigator in Florida is mandated by law not to discuss your case with anyone, you can be free to discuss your issue with him.

Thus, to hire a private investigator, you have to meet him at his office and discuss the details of the problem.

Next, you will fill out some paperwork. The purpose of the forms is to outline what is expected of the agency and what is expected of you.

Additionally, you will provide the details of the person you want to investigate. This may include a picture, name, vehicle type, plate number, date of birth, place of birth, just about all information that will be helpful.

Agree on a start time, then the mode of payment.

What Can I Study To Become A Private Investigator in Florida?

Generally, there are different educational requirements for people seeking to receive a license for private investigating in the USA. Most states including Florida have the minimum requirement of high school education. However, the experience of three years required can be covered by a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree.

If you want to become a professional investigator in Florida, you can study any of the following courses;

Criminal Justice: 

Criminal Justice is a great major for people who want to become private detectives. You will gain knowledge in ethics, laws, regulations, law enforcement, and the criminal justice process.

Political Science:

This is another great option for those looking to become private investigators. Students will become educated of the state and national laws existent.

With a degree in Legal Studies, you gain more in-depth knowledge of the law than in both criminal justice or political science.

Private Investigation Schools In Florida

These schools offer both criminal justice, police science, and legal studies in Florida. Attending any of them can qualify you to become a private investigator in Florida.

We basically selected these schools because they have a variety of courses that an intending PI can undergo and get all the basic knowledge required of him. In the same way, we also gathered reviews by students, and they chose these as the best PI schools in Florida.

Lastly, criminal justice degree schools also agree with this choice.

They are listed in no particular order.

1. Ferris State University

The School of Criminal Justice at Ferris State University, through partnerships with agencies both local and international, prepares students for a successful career in professional investigation.

There are four options for students in this faculty; Law enforcement, corrections, generalists and masters.

In addition, there are also minors in Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Homeland Security-Digital Security and Forensics, and Military Science – ROTC.

Furthermore, they also offer police science and legal studies.

Read About The International Students Scholarship At this University.

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2. Baker College

This is another great university in Florida that offers both associate and bachelor degree courses in criminal justice, law enforcement and legal studies.

For instance, the Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice program prepares you to start a career in law enforcement, corrections, or legal courts at the federal, state, or local levels. Those who work within the criminal justice system help maintain social order by reducing and preventing crime. 

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3. Madonna University (Livonia)

This is another noble institution that prepares you for a career in professional investigating.

Consequently, you get a degree in criminal justice and forensic science. Also, there are certificate courses in private investigation, homeland security, crime laboratory technician, DNA analysis, and emergency management amongst others. All these will help students in gaining knowledge of the private investigation.

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4. Florida State University

Graduates gave this school a five start for being one of the best universities in the country, as well as for a good price.

This university offers many programs for professional investigators in Florida. We will just list some of them. Criminal Justice, Global and Area Studies, Forensic Science, Judicial Administration, Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis to mention but a few.

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5. Wayne State University 

This is also another school with some interesting courses related to professional investigating.

One of the reviews recommends Wayne for students on a budget. You still get quality education, though.

Some courses are criminal justice, dispute resolution, forensic investigation, alcohol, and drug abuse studies. Also, we have applied behaviour analysis, peace and security studies, social welfare research, and evaluation.

Be assured of a quality education with a budget.

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FAQs

Do I Need to write a license exam to becoming a private investigator in Florida?

No. You do not need to write a licensing exam to become a professional investigator in Florida.

Does a private investigator in Florida need to be licensed?

Yes. Any person or firm conducting business involving investigations needs to be licensed by the State of Florida.

What are the Best Private Investigation Schools In Florida?

1. Ferris state university
2. baker college
3. madonna university
4. Florida state university
5. Wayne state university

Conclusion

It is quite easy to get a professional investigator’s license in Florida. All you need to do is to have the minimum education requirement, work experience, and meet all the license requirements. Then, you are on your way to becoming a private investigator in Florida. World Scholarship Forum cares!

References

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