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How to Become a Private Investigator in Massachusetts

To become a Private Investigator in Massachusetts is different from most other places. The difference is that Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts PI agency.

  • You do not even need to take a Private Investigator course or official state Private Investigator training to work under a fully licensed PI.


However, you won’t have a Massachusetts Private Investigator's license but you can work as one. This can be viewed as you being a Private Investigator under supervision.

Massachusetts Private Investigator Sponsor

To become a Private Investigator in Massachusetts, you need to be hired by a local Private Investigator agency as well as meet the basic requirements. Getting hired as a PI in Massachusetts requires experience. If you do not have investigative experience, you should take a PI course that focuses on practical skills: Intro to a Career as a PI 100.

Full Massachusetts PI License

A full PI license allows you to work for yourself (your own business). This requires you to have previous investigative experience (3 years). Other than investigative experience, to become a Private Investigator in Massachusetts, you need to meet basic Private Investigator requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual PI requirements of this nature. Furthermore, you do not need to take a government approved PI licensing course/ test (most other places you do).

Certification Unit of the Colonel of the State Police: PI Licensing

In Massachusetts, the government body that controls licensed Massachusetts Private Investigators is the Certification Unit of the Colonel of the State Police. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and experience to the Certification Unit, you will get your Massachusetts PI license. Most jurisdictions will have a PI beginner’s license, Massachusetts does not. However, working under a licensed PI is similar to a beginner's license. This license is when your struggle will begin.

Massachusetts PI Beginner License

Your Private Investigator beginner’s license equivalent in Massachusetts is just being support staff to a Massachusetts PI agency.

  • This will allow you to work for a Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts PI agency. However, the term “under supervision” will be in namesake only. You will not be supervised or guided by an experienced Massachusetts 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.


  1. You need to be 18yo or older.

  2. You need to be an American citizen.

  3. You cannot have a history of mental illness.

  4. You must have a clean criminal and personal record.

  5. You need three personal references.

  6. You need three years of PI experience. or

Have been employed as an Investigator for a government agency.


Ten years of law enforcement experience, higher than Patrolman rank.

Learn more about Private Investigator Online Training

Private Detective Aptitude Test

MA Private Detective Application

Private Investigator Salary Massachusetts

Certification Unit of the Colonel of the MA State Police

485 Maple Street, Danvers

Massachusetts 01923

PI Guidance in Massachusetts

This lack of guidance is why so many rookie Massachusetts 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.

Massachusetts PI

So, the time comes for you to work investigations in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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 three years (full time average) of PI experience, 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.

Thinking of Becoming a Massachusetts Private Investigator?

“ICPI Level 100 online Private Investigator Training” is the ultimate blueprint to start your exciting and rewarding career as a real Private Investigator.

ICPI will help you start successfully in this amazing new career, even if you know nothing about investigations.

Our team has vetted out the best training and investigative methods so that you can jump-start your journey towards having the meaningful career you’ve always wanted, immediately.

This training system will provide you, a successful detective, with all the templates that you need to succeed. A clear path on becoming a PI, understanding the PI business, becoming a successful PI, and thinking like a detective- all the tools you need to make six figures being an investigative Operative.

To date, this online training system consists of over 100 informational slides, videos, exercises and quizzes that provide a step-by-step path on how to achieve your dream job as a Private Investigator.

ICPI Level 100 takes about two weeks to complete with over 30 hours of high-quality training content that will make you a Private Investigator well on your way to becoming an expert in this fascinating career.


Get a certificate that "actually" matters. When you get certified by Novel Data in the 100 Level course, Private Investigator agencies will be aware that you understand the PI industry. This will give you a great competitive edge in the PI job market. Most PI applicants know very little about the PI job they are applying to. Not you. A PI hiring manager will not want to risk turnaround by hiring someone unfamiliar with the industry, they will choose an applicant who is familiar with what will be expected of them. With Novel Data's certification, that applicant will be you!