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How to Become a Private Investigator in Oregon

Updated: 3 days ago

Becoming a Private Investigator in Oregon is different from most other places. The difference is that Oregon 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 Oregon PI agency as an apprentice. You will get a license for this. This license is called PROVISIONAL INVESTIGATOR. You can get this license before being employed. You will need to take a government PI test after you submit an application to get this beginner's license. However, you won’t be a 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 requires you to have previous investigative experience (1500hrs). Other than investigative experience, you need to meet basic requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual requirements of this nature. Furthermore, you do not need to take a government approved PI licensing course (most other places you do). However, you will need to take the same government PI test after you submit your application. In Oregon, the government body that controls licensed Private Investigators is the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and experience to the DPSST, you will be contacted regarding taking the PI test. After you complete the PI test, you will get your Oregon PI license. Most jurisdictions will have a PI beginner’s license. In Oregon, this license is the PROVISIONAL INVESTIGATOR license. Getting this beginner's license is when your struggle will begin.

Learn more about Private Investigator Online Training


Your Private Investigator beginner’s license equivalent in Oregon is just being support staff to an Oregon PI agency with the PROVISIONAL INVESTIGATOR license. This will allow you to work for an Oregon 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 Oregon PI agency. However, the term “under supervision” will be in namesake only. You will not be supervised or guided by an experienced Oregon 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.


PROVISIONAL INVESTIGATOR (Beginner) 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 need three personal references.


-You need a $5000 surety bond. You must include this form in the application.


-You will have to pay a $620 license fee.


-After you submit the application, you will be contacted regarding taking the PI test. The test is in regards to the Private Investigator Professional Code of Ethics.

PROVISIONAL INVESTIGATOR Application


PROVISIONAL INVESTIGATOR Applicationpdf

Mail Application:

Department of Public Safety Standards and Training

(DPSST)

Private Security/Investigator Certification &

Licensing Program

4190 Aumsville Hwy SE, Salem, OR 97317-8983




This lack of guidance is why so many rookie Oregon 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.


Private Detective Aptitude Test


So, the time comes for you to work investigations in Oregon 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 Oregon 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 1500hrs 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.



PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR (Full) 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 need three personal references.

-You need a $5000 surety bond. You must include this form in the application.


-You will have to pay a $620 license fee.


-You must submit proof of 1500hrs of PI experience.


-After you submit the application, you will be contacted regarding taking the PI test. The test is in regards to the Private Investigator Professional Code of Ethics.


Application Forms


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