How to Become a Private Investigator in Nebraska
Updated: Jun 19
Becoming a Private Investigator in Nebraska is different from most other places. The difference is that Nebraska does not require much for you to work as a PI for a Nebraska Private Investigator agency. You simply need to be registered as support staff for a Nebraska PI agency. You will get a type of license for this: "Plain Clothes Investigator." You will need a Nebraska PI sponsor/ employer before applying for the PCI license. However, you won’t be a fully licensed PI 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 requires you to have previous investigative experience or education. Other than investigative experience/ education, 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 exam/ test (most places you do). After you apply for a PI license, you will be contacted regarding taking the Nebraska PI exam. In Nebraska, the government body that controls licensed Private Investigators is "The Nebraska Secretary of State." Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and experience/ education to the NSS, you will be able to take the Nebraska PI exam. After successful completion of the PI exam, you will get your Nebraska PI license. Most jurisdiction will have a PI beginner’s license. In Nebraska, it is the PCI license. Getting this license is when your struggle will begin.
Plain Clothes Investigator
You will need to contact the licensing division to obtain an application for this license. You will need a Nebraska PI sponsor/ employer to apply.
Your Private Investigator beginner’s license in Nebraska is just being support staff to a Nebraska PI agency. This license is called, PCI. It will allow you to work for a Nebraska 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 Nebraska PI agency. However, the term “under supervision” will be in namesake only. You will not be supervised or guided by an experienced Nebraska 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 Detective License Requirements
-You need to be 21yo or older.
-You need to be an American citizen/ legal resident.
-You cannot have a history of mental illness.
-You must have a clean criminal/ personal record.
-You will have to pay a small licensing fee.
-You need 3000hrs of investigative experience for a PI agency or government agency.
-Degrees in a criminal justice type field can count as experience.
This lack of guidance is why so many rookie Nebraska Private Investigators burn out and quit and why many experienced Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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 Nebraska PI 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 with 3000hrs of experience (full time average) and get an Nebraska 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.