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How to Become a Private Investigator in Wisconsin

To become a Private Investigator in Wisconsin is similar to most other places:

  • you need to meet basic Private Investigator requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual PI requirements of this nature.


Furthermore, you need to take a government Wisconsin Private Investigator's license exam but not a Private Investigator course or official state Private Investigator training.

  • Also, you will need to be sponsored/ employed by a Wisconsin PI agency in order to get a license.


Wisconsin Private Detective Sponsor

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

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services: Private Investigator License

In Wisconsin, the government body that controls licensed Wisconsin Investigators is the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

  • So, it is the WDSPS that will administer the PI exam to become a Private Investigator in Wisconsin.

Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and a PI agency sponsor, you will be contacted regarding the PI exam. After you complete the Wisconsin PI exam, the WDSPS will give you your Wisconsin PI license. Most jurisdiction will have a PI beginner’s license, Wisconsin does not. You will get to start out with a full Private Investigator license. This is where your struggle will begin.

Wisconsin Private Investigator Beginner License

Your Private Investigator beginner’s license in Wisconsin is just a regular Private Investigator license.

  • This Wisconsin PI license will allow you to work for a PI agency, but you will not be able to work for yourself (your own PI company).

In Wisconsin, they use the term Private Detective so it will be a Private Detective license you'll have. This PI license means you must work under the supervision of a fully licensed Wisconsin PI agency. However, the term “under supervision” will be in namesake only. You will not be supervised or guided by an experienced Private Investigator. In fact, PI agencies are not economically structured to have mentor/ student surveillance teams. Furthermore, the Wisconsin PI licensing exam 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 operations. This is why practical Private Investigator education and training specifically for Private Investigators is necessary.

Wisconsin Private Detective License Requirements

  1. You must be 18yo or older.

  2. You need a high school diploma/ GED.

  3. You need a clean criminal and personal record.

  4. You must be an American citizen.

  5. You must be sponsored/ employed by a Wisconsin PI agency.

  6. You need to take a PI license exam. After you submit your application, you will be contacted regarding information on the exam.

  7. You need to include an authorization of release of information document and include it in the application.

  8. If you you would like leave/ quit a PI agency and work for another, you need a transfer document.

  9. To get hired in Wisconsin you need PI experience. If you don't have experience, you should take a PI SKILLS COURSE.

Private Detective Aptitude Test

Private Investigator Salary Wisconsin


P.O. Box 8935

Madison, WI 53708-8935

Wisconsin Private Investigator Training

This lack of guidance is why so many new Wisconsin Private Investigators burn out and quit and why many experienced Wisconsin 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.

Wisconsin PI

So, the time comes for you to work investigations in Wisconsin with no Private Investigator experience or education.

  • The licensing exam you took focused on legal matters with no real practical Private Investigator training or topics.

You will always be told by 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 and get a Wisconsin Private Investigator business license, you will 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 Wisconsin 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 PI 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, Wisconsin 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!

how to be a detective

Become a Great Wisconsin PI

Yes, you can become a great Wisconsin Private Investigator. How? Through Private Investigator education. Not through the short Wisconsin government licensing course, but through at least 100hrs of practical Private Investigator education. This can be online Private Investigator training classes or