How to Become a Private Investigator in Florida
Updated: 4 days ago
Becoming a Private Investigator in Florida is similar to most other places: you need to meet basic requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual requirements of this nature. Furthermore, you need to take a government approved PI licensing course. In Florida, the government body that controls licensed 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 PI licensing courses. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and completion of the licensing course to the Division of Licensing, you will get your 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.
Class CC Private Investigator Intern(PI Beginner's License) Requirements
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
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 loosing 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
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