How to Become a Private Investigator in Connecticut
Becoming a Private Investigator/ Private Detective in Connecticut is different from most other places. The difference is that Connecticut does not require much for you to work as a PI for a Private Investigator agency. You simply need to be employed/ registered under a licensed Connecticut PI. However, you won’t be a licensed Private Detective but you can work as one. This license is called INVESTIGATOR/ AGENT. This can be viewed as you being a Private Detective under supervision. A full PI license allows you to work for yourself (your own business.). This requires you to have previous investigative experience (5 years). Other than investigative experience, you need to meet basic requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual requirements of this nature. Furthermore, you do not need to take a government approved PI licensing course/ test (most other places you do). In Connecticut, the government body that controls licensed Private Detectives is The Connecticut State Police under their department: The Special Licensing and Firearms Unit. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and experience to the state police, you will get your Connecticut PI license. Most jurisdiction will have a PI beginner’s license. In Connecticut, it is the INVESTIGATOR/ AGENT license. Getting this license is when your struggle will begin.
Your Private Investigator beginner’s license equivalent in Connecticut is just being support staff to a Connecticut PI agency. You will get a type of license called INVESTIGATOR/ AGENT. Your Connecticut PI agency will register you with the government. This will allow you to work for a PI agency, but you will not be able to work for yourself (your own PI company). This means you must work under the supervision of a fully licensed Connecticut PI agency. However, the term “under supervision” will be in namesake only. You will not be supervised or guided by an experienced Connecticut Private Investigator. In fact, PI agencies are not economically structured to have mentor/ student surveillance teams. Furthermore, a background in non-PI investigations will give you some transferable knowledge but it will not set you up to become a successful Private Investigator. New Private Investigators still need to know how to be successful working operations. This is why practical Private Investigator education and training specifically for Private Investigators is necessary.
This lack of guidance is why so many rookie Connecticut Private Investigators burn out and quit and why many experienced Connecticut Private Investigators are jaded. On top of this, PI clients with small budgets typically get the new unqualified Private Investigators, nobody wins in this situation. It is also not fair to small PI clients to use their files to haphazardly train new Private Investigators.
Connecticut State Police
The Special Licensing and Firearms Unit
So, the time comes for you to work investigations in Connecticut with no Private Investigator experience or education. If you took a PI course or PI training, it most likely focused on legal matters with no real practical Private Investigator training or topics. You will always be told by employers that “soon you will get some PI training,” which never happens. It took me over five years to figure out the industry and get good at a few specialized fields. During that time, I struggled and probably lost several hundred thousand dollars due to losing work opportunities from a lack of skill and education. What is sad is that this is a common story in the industry. If you make it through this meat grinder of an industry and get 5 years (full time average) of Connecticut PI experience, you be qualified to work for yourself with your own Connecticut PI agency. Hopefully, when you are hiring new Private Investigators, you will appreciate the importance of proper PI education.
Working Under a Connecticut Private Detective Agency Requirements
INVESTIGATOR/ AGENT LICENSE
-You need to be 18yo or older.
-You need to be an American citizen.
-You cannot have a history of mental illness.
-You must have a clean criminal and personal record.
-You will need to be a registered employee under a Connecticut PI agency. When applying for a PI job, the PI agency will complete an employee registration document to send to the state police's licensing department.
Private Detective License Requirements
-You need to be 25yo or older
-You need 5 years of full time PI experience or 10 years of full time law enforcement experience.
-You cannot be currently employed as law enforcement.
-A degree in a criminal justice type field can count as hours.
-You need a bond and liability insurance.
Thinking of Becoming a Connecticut Private Investigator?
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