To become a licensed Private Investigator in Virginia does not require investigative experience.
The state of Virginia will issue you a Virginia Private Investigator's license if you meet the basic Private Investigator requirements and take a government Private Investigator licensing course.
PRIVATE DETECTIVE APTITUDE TEST
Learning Private Investigation in Virginia
When you get your Virginia PI license, you'll need to know how to perform investigations fit for Private Investigations, such as surveillance (the government PI course won't teach this). After learning how to perform investigations, you can simply work as a Private Investigator in Virginia. To become a Private Investigator in Virginia that can perform, it is recommended that you first learn how to work investigations relevant to the PI industry, such as surveillance for insurance fraud files.
Virginia PI Experience
The fact that Virginia does not have experience requirements does not mean that the quality of investigations is less in Virginia than in other states. In fact, due to poor state industry standards, having a PI license in general does not make you a qualified Investigator regardless of experience/ education requirements. The poor industry standard come from the non-relevant experience most, if not all, states require of you to become a licensed Private Investigator. This non-relevant experience can be education degrees and non-PI investigative experience.
Virginia Private Investigator License Requirements
Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
You must be 18yo or older.
You need a clean criminal and personal record.
You must be legally allowed to work in Virginia.
You need a high school diploma/ GED.
You need to be finger printed. The DCJS will be notified once your fingerprints have been processed.
You will need to complete a 60hr government approved PI course. You will need to search for an approved Virginia PI course provider.
Learn More About Private Investigator Online Training
Private Investigator Aptitude Test
Apply for a Virginia PI License Online
Private Investigator Salary Virginia
Virginia Private Investigator Industry
An industry standard flaw most states have is regulations regarding law enforcement experience. Most states allow you to obtain a PI license if you have law enforcement experience. Some states also accept non-PI investigative experience to obtain a PI license. The problem with states requiring previous investigative experience is that there is no such thing as equivalent Private Investigator experience. Sure, a career in law enforcement will gain you some transferable skills to bring to the PI world. However, an investigative career outside of PI work will not provide you the skill-set to perform what we do the most:
single person surveillance for Virginia insurance fraud investigations.
Furthermore, PIs typically obtain all evidence via quality and litigious video. This is uncommon for most other investigative careers. Being a police officer will not make you a good PI the same way being a PI will not make you a good police officer.
Some states also require you to take an approved PI licensing course/ test, such as Virginia. However, these courses/ tests typically focus on what laws you need to be aware of. This is of course useful, but new Private Investigators still need to learn how to perform investigations. The required tests/ courses do not focus on what we do most: single person mobile surveillance. Often, these tests/ courses do not not even mention single person mobile surveillance. If you are becoming a PI, you need at least 100 hours of surveillance experience to be able to perform safely and meet client's high standards.
Another requirement issue is the acceptance of post-secondary degrees. These degrees that are accepted for PI licensing are typically in the criminal justice field. However, some states accept any post-secondary degree. The issue is, having an educational degree will offer almost no help to you in the Private Investigation industry.
Novel Data Investigative Learning offers the only Private Investigator education courses that focuses on mobile surveillance and understanding the PI industry. For more information on PI education, click here.
Thinking of Becoming a Virginia Private Investigator?
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Get a certificate that "actually" matters. When you get certified by Novel Data in the 100 Level course, Virginia 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!