Private Investigators as PC Techs? Why You’ll Need a PI License to Work as a Computer Geek in Texas
Anybody with the right kind of skills and techniques can play the part of a private investigator. However, if you wish to make it your business or career, you will need to have a license. Here are some important information regarding private investigation licensure that you might find useful:
Why you need a private investigation licensure
In most states, you will need to have a license to do business as a PI. A private investigation licensure is proof that you are competent in your field and that you can work within accepted legal limitations, something that is often required for civil or criminal cases. Licensure also requires continuous training, which is mandatory in many states.
Qualifications for a private investigation licensure
Generally, private investigators have had experience working in other jobs. It’s not uncommon for policemen and detectives and even billing collection and insurance agents, for example, to shift to private investigation work. Some may also enter the field after working in investigative reporting, commercial credit, military, law enforcement and other jobs that require some form of investigation or audit.
Many people also become private investigators as their second career, after serving years in another field of work.
Educational requirements for private investigation licensure
Although most types of private investigation jobs do not require formal education, many PIs are college graduates or have Associate’s degrees. Courses include police science, criminal justice and other related degrees in the PI’s chosen field of work such as accounting, law or business administration.
If a PI wishes to focus on computer forensics, for example, he will need to have a degree in computer science or at least have a minimum of 15 credits in the subject. In some cases, professional degrees, Master’s or PhDs may be required, depending on the job.
The kind of licensure requirements for private investigators varies from one state to the next. Some states may have strict requirements while others may have less stringent demands. The minimum age usually starts at 18. There are also a minimum number of years that the PI must be in practice. Some states, such as California, require at least 3 years of experience.
Private investigation licensure also requires that the PI is in good standing with the law and have a clean criminal history. This is verified with the state’s Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Qualifying exams on laws, rules and regulations regarding the practice must also be passed. If the PI wants to carry a handgun, the necessary firearms permit must also be acquired.