Complete Guide on How to Become a Private Investigator in Florida


If you are interested in pursuing a career in private investigation in Florida, then you have come to the right place.

Private investigators are professionals who are hired to conduct investigations on behalf of individuals, organizations, and corporations.

They are often called upon to gather information, conduct surveillance, and provide evidence in legal cases.

The process of becoming a private investigator in Florida can be challenging and requires a specific set of skills and qualifications.


In this guide, we will provide you with a complete overview of the steps you need to take to become a private investigator in Florida, including the education and training requirements, licensing process, and necessary skills and qualities.

What Kind of Jobs Will I Have in Florida As a Private Investigator?

Professional Investigators are the name given to private investigators in Florida.


A Professional Investigator is defined by the Act as someone who takes employment to conduct business investigations.

Similarly, the Investigation business is described as a company that conducts investigations to collect information about crimes.

Professional investigators are so permitted to engage in a variety of activities, including:

  • Obtaining evidence for use in court
  • Tracking down and/or recovering stolen stuff
  • Electronic monitoring
  • In court, using computer forensics discoveries as proof
  • Employing listening and observation devices

Must Read: Easy Steps on How To Become A Private Investigator In Ohio

What Is the Average Pay of a Private Investigator in Florida?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an 8% increase in work opportunities for private investigators between 2018 and 2028.


Similarly, in its May 2015 research, after interviewing 260 professional investigators in Florida, they discovered that the average annual compensation is $42,540.

Finally, according to Indeed, the average income for a private investigator in Florida is $19.61 per hour.

Qualifications For Being A Private Investigator In Florida

Private investigators are referred to as professional investigators in Florida. Furthermore, the Florida Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs requires them to be licensed (LARA). LARA adheres to all license and education standards.

The following are the stages to becoming a professional investigator in Florida.

Step 1: Satisfy the minimum licensing requirements in Florida.

These are the essential prerequisites for pursuing a profession as a private investigator in Florida.

We have specifically mentioned all of the essential licensure criteria below.

What Are the Requirements for Licensing?

A professional investigator must meet certain standards, according to Florida Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

  • Is a legal resident of the United States.
  • Is not under the age of 25.
  • Holds a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Has not been convicted of any of the following felonies or Crimes:

  • Deception or fraud.
  • Unlawful disclosure or sale of information or evidence.
  • Impersonation of a law enforcement officer or a federal employee.
  • Using, carrying, or possessing a deadly weapon illegally.
  • Two or more offenses involving alcohol.
  • Substances classified as controlled under the Florida Public Health Code.
  • An attack.
  • Has not been dishonorably dismissed from any branch of the US military.
  • Additional experience-related requirements include:

For at least three years, has been or is doing any of the following full-time:

  • Actively engaged in the PI business in another state as a licensee, registrant, or investigative employee.
  • Lawfully engaged in the investigation business as an investigative employee of a professional investigation organization licensed to conduct investigations.
  • A government executive, military, judicial, or legislative agency, or other public authority engaged in investigation or intelligence activities that employs an investigator, detective, special agent, intelligence specialist, parole agent, probation officer, or certified police officer.
  • A baccalaureate or postgraduate degree from an approved institution of higher education in the subject of police administration, security management, investigation, law, criminal justice, or computer forensics certificated study that is acceptable to the department.
  • Lawfully engaged in the investigation business as a full-time proprietary or in-house investigator for a business or attorney, or as an investigative reporter for a recognized media outlet acceptable to the department.
  • Has posted the required $10,000.00 bond or insurance policy.

Step 2: Satisfy Florida’s minimum experience or education requirements.

A bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields is required to obtain a license in Florida.

  • Police administration
  • Security management
  • Investigation
  • Law
  • Criminal justice
  • Computer forensics

Similarly, you must have at least three years of full-time experience.

Also, the state of Florida no longer requires employee fingerprint information to determine employee fitness.

Its documents are no longer being submitted.

Step 3: Apply for a Florida Private Investigator License.

If you have met all of the minimum requirements for a license that we have listed.

Now is the time to submit an application for a Professional Investigator License.

Please include the following information in your application:

  • Two passport photographs
  • Employment verification form or official transcripts if using a degree
  • A Professional Investigator Surety Bond or Insurance Amendatory Endorsement form
  • Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization
  • Certificate of Co-Partnership from the county clerk where your business is located
  • Assumed Name Certificate or DBA if the name for registration is different from your name
  • Five (5) Personal Reference forms

If you are a current law enforcement officer, you will also give one of the following;

Copy of your jurisdiction’s collective bargaining agreement and written approval from your employer to serve as a private investigator
A copy of your district’s regulations and procedures for officers looking for off-duty work as private investigators.

Send this application package to;

  • Florida Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
  • Licensing Division
  • Professional Investigator
  • Post Office Box 30018
  • Lansing, Florida 48909

Step 5: Maintain your Florida License

As a private investigator in Florida, you must renew your license every three years by completing the Application for Relicensure as a Professional Investigator Agency form and submitting a $750 renewal fee (payable to the State of Florida).

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What Are Florida’s Private Investigator Associations?

The Florida Council of Private Investigators provides useful tools for both aspiring and seasoned private investigators.

Florida Contract Security Association – They work to improve security industry professionalism by establishing standards, promoting ethics and education, and engaging the political process for the benefit of the private detective industry.

How To Hire A Private Investigator

Because a private investigator in Florida is required by law not to discuss your case with anyone, you are free to speak with him about your problem.

To hire a private investigator, you must meet with him at his office and discuss the specifics of the problem.

You will then be required to complete some papers.

The forms’ goal is to define what is expected of the agency as well as what is expected of you.

You will also supply information on the person you want to research.

This may include a picture, name, car type, plate number, date of birth, place of birth, and any other relevant information.

What Can I Learn in Florida to Become a Private Investigator?

There are various educational requirements for those seeking a license to conduct private investigations in the United States.

Most states, including Florida, have a high school diploma as a minimum requirement.

A bachelor’s or postgraduate degree, however, can substitute for the required three years of experience.

You can study any of the following courses to become a professional investigator in Florida:

Criminal Justice: 

Criminal Justice is an excellent major for those who desire to work as private investigators.

You’ll learn about ethics, rules, regulations, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system.

Political Science:

This is another another excellent alternative for people interested in becoming private investigators.

Students will learn about existing state and national laws.

Legal Studies:

A degree in Legal Studies provides you with a more in-depth understanding of the law than a degree in either criminal justice or political science.

See Also: Complete Guide on How To Become A Bounty Hunter

 Florida Private Investigation Schools

In Florida, these colleges provide criminal justice, police science, and legal studies.

Any of these will qualify you to work as a private investigator in Florida.

We basically chose these colleges because they offer a choice of courses that an aspiring PI can take to obtain all of the necessary basic knowledge.

Similarly, we gathered student reviews, and they identified these as the best PI schools in Florida.

1. Ferris State University

The School of Criminal Justice at Ferris State University educates students for successful careers in professional investigation through relationships with both local and international agencies.

Students in this faculty have four options: law enforcement, correctional, generalists, and masters.

Moreover, minors in Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Homeland Security-Digital Security and Forensics, and Military Science – ROTC are available.

They also provide police science and legal studies.

2. Baker College

This is another excellent Florida university that provides associate and bachelor degree programs in criminal justice, law enforcement, and legal studies.

The Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice program, for example, prepares you to work in law enforcement, corrections, or legal courts at the federal, state, or local levels.

Those who work in the criminal justice system contribute to the maintenance of social order by reducing and preventing crime.

3. University of Madonna (Livonia)

There is another another prestigious university that will prepare you for a career in professional investigation.

As a result, you’ll get a degree in criminal justice and forensic science.

There are also certificate programs in areas such as private investigation, homeland security, crime laboratory technician, DNA analysis, and emergency management.

All of this will assist pupils in learning about private investigations.

4. Florida State University

Graduates gave this institution five stars for being one of the greatest universities in the country and for being reasonably priced.

In Florida, this university offers a variety of programs for professional investigators.

We will only mention a few of them.

To name a few, criminal justice, global and area studies, forensic science, judicial administration, and law enforcement intelligence and analysis.

5. Wayne State University 

There is another school that offers some fascinating courses in professional investigation.

Wayne is recommended by one reviewer for students on a tight budget.

You do, however, receive a high-quality education.

Criminal justice, dispute settlement, forensic investigation, and alcohol and drug misuse studies are among the courses available.

We’ve also used behavior analysis, peace and security research, social welfare research, and assessment.

With a budget, you may be assured of a high-quality education.


In conclusion, becoming a private investigator in Florida can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice for those who have a passion for investigation and problem-solving.

With a comprehensive understanding of the licensing requirements, training and education, and practical experience needed to succeed in this field, aspiring private investigators in Florida can take the necessary steps to achieve their goals.

To become a private investigator in Florida, it is essential to obtain a state license, which requires a certain level of education and training.

It is also important to develop practical skills in areas such as surveillance, interviewing, and evidence collection.

Through dedication, hard work, and a commitment to lifelong learning, aspiring private investigators can establish themselves as trusted professionals in the field.

Whether working for a private agency or as a self-employed investigator, a career in private investigation can offer a wide range of opportunities to make a positive impact in people’s lives.

Overall, a career as a private investigator in Florida can be both challenging and rewarding.

By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, individuals interested in pursuing this career can take the necessary steps to achieve success and make a meaningful difference in their communities.

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