• Peter Sandru

How to Become a Private Investigator in Louisiana

Updated: Jun 19

Becoming a Private Investigator in Louisiana is different from most other places. The difference is that Louisiana 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 Louisiana PI agency as an apprentice. You will get a license for this. This license is called PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR APPRENTICE. You need to be sponsored/ employed by a Louisiana PI agency to get this license. However, you won’t be a fully licensed Private Detective but you can work as one. This can be viewed as you being a Private Investigator under supervision. A full PI license allows you to work for yourself (your own business). This license is also not difficult to obtain. All you need is to take an approved Louisiana PI course. Other than the PI course, you need to meet basic requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual requirements of this nature. In Louisiana, the government body that controls licensed Private Investigators is the Louisiana State Board of Private Investigator Examiners. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and completion of the course to The Board, you will get your full Private Investigator license. Most jurisdictions will have a PI beginner’s license. In Louisiana, it is the Apprentice license. Getting this beginner's license is when your struggle will begin.

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Your Private Investigator beginner’s license equivalent in Louisiana is just being support staff to a Louisiana PI agency with the Apprentice license. This will allow you to work for a Louisiana 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 Louisiana PI agency. However, the term “under supervision” will be in namesake only. You will not be supervised or guided by an experienced Louisiana 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 surveillance operations. This is why practical Private Investigator education and training specifically for Private Investigators is necessary.

Private Investigator APPRENTICE License Requirements

-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 need to be finger printed.

-You will need to complete an approved PI course within one year of having your Apprentice PI license.

-The approved PI courses are offered by local educational institutions. To enroll in an approved PI course, contact a local college/ university.

PI Apprentice Application

PI Apprentice Applicationpdf

More information

Learn more about Private Investigator Online Training

This lack of guidance is why so many rookie Louisiana 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 in Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 of an industry and get a full PI license, you be qualified to work for yourself with your own PI agency. Hopefully, when you are hiring new Private Investigators, you will appreciate the importance of proper PI education.

Click here for information on applying for a full PI license and opening a PI agency.