Becoming a Private Investigator in Florida is similar to most other places: you need to meet basic Private Investigator requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual PI requirements of this nature. Furthermore, to become a Private Investigator in Florida, you need to take a government approved Florida Private Investigator's license course. In Florida, the government body that controls licensed Florida Private Investigators is the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing. So, it is the Division of Licensing that will have a list of approved Florida PI licensing courses. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and completion of the FL Private Investigator licensing course/ Private Investigator training to the Division of Licensing, you will get your Florida PI beginner’s license. This is where your struggle will begin.
Your PI beginner’s license in Florida is called Class CC Private Investigator Intern. Which means you will be a Private Investigator under supervision. You’ve guessed it, an “under supervision” license means you must work under the purview of a fully licensed Florida PI. However, the term “under supervision” will be in namesake only. You will not be supervised or guided by an experienced PI. In fact, PI agencies are not economically structured to have mentor/ student surveillance teams. And that licensing course you took? It does not teach investigation, only what laws Florida Private Investigators need to be aware of. This is useful; however, new Private Investigators still need to know how to be successful working operations.
Florida PI License Requirements
Class CC Private Investigator Intern(PI Beginner's License)
You can only work for a Florida PI agency. You cannot work for yourself(your own PI agency)
You must be 18yo or older
You must be legally allowed to work in Florida
You must be sponsored by a Florida Private Investigator agency
You must complete a Florida Department of Education approved PI course
Private Investigator Jobs: How to Get Hired?
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing, P.O. Box 5767, Tallahassee, Florida 32314-5767
This lack of guidance is why so many new Florida Private Investigators burn out and quit and why many experienced 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.
So, the time comes for you to work investigations with no Private Investigator experience or education. The Florida government licensing course you took 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 with over two years of PI experience, you will qualify for a full Florida PI license. This basically means you can open your own PI agency. Hopefully, when you are hiring new Private Investigators, you will appreciate the importance of proper PI education.
Full Private Investigator License(Class C) Requirements
Permissions: you can work for yourself(your own PI agency)
You must be 18yo or older
You must be an American citizen
You will have to have a clean criminal record
You cannot have a history of drug and alcohol abuse
You need 2 or more years of PI experience
You need to take and pass a Florida state PI exam
Thinking of Becoming a Florida Private Investigator?
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Become a Great Florida PI
Yes, you can become a great Florida Private Investigator. How? Through Private Investigator education. Not through the short Florida government licensing course, but through at least 100hrs of practical Private Investigator education. This can be online Private Investigator training classes or in an in-class training environment. In order to become a successful Florida Private Investigator and meet Private Investigator requirements, you need to become educated on the complexities of the private investigation industry (this will also help you decide if you want to pursue the PI career) and how to set yourself up to become a successful Private Investigator. Secondly, you will need to become educated on how to perform investigations.
To learn the complexities of the Florida private investigation industry you will need to understand a few Private Investigator industry topics. Regional licensing requirements for Private Investigators will teach you what you need to obtain your Florida Private Investigator license. To help you decide if you want to enter the career of private investigation you, will have to learn the common misconceptions about the Private Investigation industry. Understanding the learning curve of a Private Investigator will set you up to become a successful FL Private Eye.
Before entering the Florida PI industry, it is useful to know the challenges encountered as a Professional Private Investigator. This will also help you make career decisions. Then you need to learn what you will be doing as a Private Investigator. Learning the areas of specialization as a Professional Private Investigator and types of clients and corresponding file requirements will help with this. You will need to learn how Florida Investigators obtain assignments and hours of work to determine if this work environment is right for you.
If you are concerned about your ability to perform as a Florida Private Investigator and how to be a Private Investigator that is successful, learning what factors will determine your aptitude as a Professional Private Investigator and what makes a “good” Professional Private Investigator will be essential. It is also important to know the physical and health requirements and health considerations. Then there is equipment. Learning about equipment needed in order to get started in a career as a Professional Private Investigator is a must.
Furthermore, you will need to educate yourself on communication devices and their role in private investigation. Lastly and most importantly, you must learn “The Investigative Mindset.” This will teach you how to think like a Private Investigator. After you learn these concepts, you will be well on your way to becoming a Private Investigator even without experience.
After learning the complexities of the Florida private investigation industry, you will need to develop practical skills in various areas. The most important areas are Desk Investigations, Pre-surveillance, surveillance, mobile vehicle surveillance, on-foot surveillance, obtaining evidence, and litigious reporting. To learn Desk Investigations, you will need to understand what is a Desk Investigation, Desk Investigation nomenclature, corroborated/ circumstantial evidence, The Evidence Document, The Desk Investigators Mindset, Google Basics for North America, and social media search basics for North America. Surveillance will be the largest subject to learn. Under this field you should learn about setting up a proper surveillance vehicle, surveillance spot checks, and surveillance set ups for various investigative operations.
As a Florida Private Investigator, you will spend the majority of your time performing investigations solo. This is why learning single person surveillance is crucial. Furthermore, you will occasionally work in surveillance teams, so you will need to learn how to perform surveillance with two or more surveillance operatives. Florida Private Investigators perform a lot of their surveillance from a surveillance vehicle, but also on foot, you will need to learn this also. The entire reason Florida Private Investigators are hired, is to obtain evidence. Obviously, learning how to obtain evidence, mostly in video form, is a must. As a Florida Private Investigator, you will need to obtain quality video that is litigious and that will satisfy your client. At the end of all this, you will need to learn how to create an investigative report that will most likely be used in litigation. After you learn all of this, you will have no trouble becoming a successful Florida Private Investigator.
It should be apparent now, why and how you can become a Florida Private Investigator. Yes, the government licensing course is necessary but it will not set you up for success as a Private Investigator. You will always need at least 100hrs of practical Private Investigator education. You will need to learn the PI industry, as well as how to perform. In fact, becoming a Private Investigator through proper education will set you up to become more successful than Investigators with many years of experience but who have not developed a strong foundation with proper Private Investigator education.
What You Need to Learn to Become a successful Florida PI
-Regional licensing requirements for Florida Professional Private Investigators
-Common misconceptions about the Private Investigation industry
-The learning curve of a Professional Private investigator
-Personal challenges encountered as a Florida Professional Private Investigator
-Areas of specialization as a Florida Professional Private Investigator
-Types of Florida clients and corresponding file requirements