Easy Steps on How To Become A Private Investigator In Ohio |2023|

If you have a passion for investigation and a keen eye for detail, becoming a private investigator in Ohio could be the perfect career path for you.

As a private investigator, you will be responsible for conducting research, gathering evidence, and solving complex cases for individuals, corporations, and law firms.

In Ohio, there are specific requirements and steps you need to follow to become a licensed private investigator.

In this article, we will outline the easy steps you need to take to become a private investigator in Ohio in 2023.

Who Is A Private Investigator?

A private investigator (abbreviated PI and colloquially known as a private eye), a private detective, or an inquiry agent, according to Wikipedia, is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to perform investigative law services.

They frequently assist attorneys in civil and criminal matters.

A private investigator is also someone who gathers and analyzes information about legal, financial, and personal concerns.

They provide services such as background checks, internet crime investigations, missing person searches, and much more.

You can work as a private investigator for individuals, attorneys, or businesses, or you can own your own agency.

Because of the nature of the work, it is not something that just anybody can do; there is a set process and protocols in place.

Private Investigators, for example, employ a range of tactics to gather information about a certain case.

Much of their work is focused on the internet and cyberspace.

To top it all off, Private Investigators in Ohio locate information for businesses and individuals.

They may work on several types of cases, such as gathering legal, personal, or financial information, doing background checks, interviewing people, and engaging in surveillance activities.

What Does an Ohio Private Investigator Do?

Private investigators in Ohio work for corporations, legal firms, individuals, and any other entity in need of a PI.

They are in charge of validating information, gathering evidence, hunting for missing persons, and looking into any topic deemed worthy of investigation.

As a private investigator in Ohio and a private person, they understand and adhere to the legal constructions that bind them.

That is, a Private Investigator should be well-versed in federal and local legislation, such as privacy laws.

Private investigators, on the other hand, must learn to make sound decisions about how to approach a case.

Furthermore, Private Investigators conduct surveillance in line with the available subject and reports in the course of their tasks.

In some circumstances, they may need to properly collect evidence such as photos and other exhibits.

This can be accomplished with the help of photography and video cameras, binoculars, and global positioning systems (GPS).

As a result, a Private Investigator in Ohio’s job centers around investigating objectives and producing genuine results.

A Private Investigator in Ohio is responsible for the following tasks:

  • To obtain information, do interviews with people.
  • Do numerous forms of research with computerized or non-computerized records.
  • Carry out surveillance (looking for, following, or watching a person without that person noticing)
  • Gather evidence for presentation in court.
  • Check a person’s work, income, and background information.
  • Look into cyber crimes including identity theft and illicit downloads.
  • Help in criminal and civil liability cases, missing persons cases, insurance claims, and fraud.

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How Do I Become An Ohio Private Investigator?

There are numerous routes to becoming a Private Investigator in Ohio.

Nonetheless, where experience counts, the laid-out processes are important.

You must complete specified educational training, experience, test, and background check requirements before you may practice as a Private Investigator in Ohio.

The steps to becoming a Private Investigator in Ohio are outlined in the list below.

Step 1: Get your high school diploma.

A high school diploma is required to be a better fit for the profession.

This is because most firms will not consider hiring a Private Investigator who does not have a high school diploma.

Step 2: Get a Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice or a similar discipline.

An associate or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a comparable discipline will be extremely beneficial.

This is due to the fact that a degree in criminal justice or another comparable area exposes you to the workings and technicalities of a private investigator’s job. A degree also qualifies you for extra opportunities.

Armed PI Training – You must acquire the fundamentals of weapons training at an Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission-approved institution and demonstrate completion of the program.

This necessitates 20 hours of handgun instruction.

If you intend to use other types of firearms, you will need an extra 5 hours of training.

Step 3: Accumulate Relevant Work Experience

With appropriate law enforcement experience, it will be simple to adjust and operate optimally as a Private Investigator.

Many private investigators begin their careers in law enforcement before becoming private investigators.

This can also act as a superb post-retirement plan.

Step 4. Get a License

To receive a license to practice as a Private Investigator in Ohio, you must meet a number of conditions, which will be detailed further in this article.

Nonetheless, the license is the only way to practice as a private investigator in Ohio.

How to Get an Ohio Private Investigator License

The following are the two basic processes to obtaining a PI license in Ohio:

Step 1: Fill out your Ohio application.

When you submit your application, you must additionally provide the following information:

  • Photograph (recent full-face) (recent full-face)
  • Character allusions (from at least five reputable citizens) Fees:
  • A $25 examination fee is required.
  • A license cost of up to $375 (refunded if you do not obtain a license) is required.
  • Fingerprints sent directly to the Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for a criminal background check
  • Verification of at least $100,000 in liability insurance for each investigator
  • $300,000 for each instance of physical harm
  • $100,000 in property damage compensation

Forms are accessible on the state’s website for the PISGS.

If you want to carry a firearm on the job, you must notify the Director.

Step 2: Take the Ohio Exam.

After you have submitted your license application, you will be notified of the date and location of your written examination.

You must arrive on this date unless you can verify your ailment with a doctor’s certificate.

The exam covers the state’s private investigation regulations in Chapter 4749 of the state’s amended code, as well as other aspects of functioning as a private investigator.

To succeed, you must score 80% on this 75-question multiple-choice exam.

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What Are the Qualifications to Become an Ohio Private Investigator?

Besides meeting the educational and experience requirements, you must also meet background standards in order to receive a license.

Private investigator licenses are given by the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Private Investigators & Security Services (PISGS).

Requirements for prior experience

  • Age: In most circumstances, applicants must be at least 21 years old to meet licensure criteria.
  • Preliminary Requirements: In Ohio, provisional licenses are not required or available.
  • Candidates must not have a history of violent crimes, felonies, sexual offenses, or any moral turpitude.
  • The military discharge has no bearing on Ohio licensing.
  • Financial background checks are not performed.
  • To be licensed, you must be mentally competent.
  • Businesses must be bonded for $100,000 per investigator, hold $300,000 in bodily injury insurance, and be bonded for $100,000 in property damage liability.
  • Criminal convictions or mental incapacity will disqualify an applicant.
  • A $375 licensing charge, plus a $25 examination fee and any fingerprinting fees.

How Much Does An Ohio Private Investigator Make?

Private Investigators in Ohio earn $50,510 per year and $24,28 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The job is predicted to grow by 8% between 2023 and 2028.

To become a private investigator in Ohio, you must first obtain a license from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, which requires passing a written exam and a background check, completing at least 4,000 hours (two years) of experience as an investigator (or law enforcement officer or military policeman), and providing proof of liability insurance in the amounts listed below:

  • $100,000 for each investigator
  • $100,000 in property damage compensation
  • $300,000 for each instance of physical harm

If you’ve gone above and beyond and gotten a criminal justice degree, you’ll just need 2,000 hours of experience to qualify for licensing.

Candidates who desire to be armed must attend an Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission-approved institution.

Do Ohio private investigators carry firearms?

In general, private investigators do not carry firearms.

This is due to the fact that the job of a Private Detector in Ohio is not one that includes street arrests or dealing with violent offenders.

Yet, in some cases, a PI in Ohio may be required to carry a licensed firearm.

PI’s can carry guns if they receive a weapons permit from the appropriate police agency.

Private Investigative Schools in Ohio

Ohio’s criminal justice institutions have numerous chances to get a degree that will prepare you for professions in law enforcement, forensics, private investigation, and corrections.

In Ohio, there are various opportunities to get an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or even doctoral degree in criminal justice.

The curriculum you select will most likely be linked to your job objectives.

Some employers in the criminal justice field may simply demand a high school diploma, while others may require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Even if a degree is not needed, having one will make you a more competitive applicant.

A criminal justice degree can also better prepare you for training programs, lead to higher starting salary, and provide more opportunities for advancement.

List of Ohio Criminal Justice Programs

1. The University of Cincinnati

Our top-ranked school for Private Investigator in Ohio offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees.

The University of Calgary is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and excellence in research, teaching, and service that tackles real-world issues and possibilities for constructive social change.

Furthermore, they equip students to maximize their abilities to make a positive difference and contribute to society.

It is a large public university in a big metropolis. In 2015, 519 students graduated with 283 Master’s degrees, 229 Bachelor’s degrees, and 7 Doctoral degrees in the field of Criminal Justice.

It now has 4,958 students.

Several ranking organizations, including US News and World Report, USA Today, and College Factual, routinely rank the University of Cincinnati’s College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) as the nation’s top college.

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Cincinnati (UC) and all regional campuses (HLC).

2. Xavier University.

The Criminal Justice curriculum at Xavier University has a long tradition of preparing graduates for professions in law enforcement, the legal system and corrections, and private investigation.

Criminal justice investigates the nature, incidence, prevalence, distribution, causes, and solutions to crime and delinquency in our society.

Among major competitors in the region, Xavier is ranked first for its great academic reputation.

Children receive the best education possible, from intense classroom subjects to hands-on learning in the real world.

Xavier University offers four Criminal Justice degrees.

It’s a medium-sized private university in the middle of a big city.

In 2015, 21 students graduated from the Criminal Justice program, with 16 getting Bachelor’s degrees and 5 receiving Master’s degrees.

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Xavier University.

3. Dayton University

The University of Dayton’s Criminal Justice Studies Department educates aspiring private investigators on the historical, philosophical, social, political, and legal theories, concepts, practices, and events that shape the criminal justice system, its agencies, and components in contemporary society.

A Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice is available through the Criminal Justice Studies Program (CJS).

Students develop a practical and critical grasp of criminal justice, justice studies, and criminology at this institution.

The University of Dayton has two Criminal Justice programs.

It is a large private institution located in a medium-sized city. In 2015, 32 students graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in the subject area of Criminal Justice.

The University of Dayton is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools’ Higher Learning Commission.

4. Ohio Northern University

Criminal Justice is available as a major and minor at ONU.

You’ll study rigorous courses in corrections, policing, the courts, and juvenile justice, as well as classes in psychology, sociology, political science, statistics, and research methodologies.

Many of these courses include significant research and writing components.

With hands-on experience in the field, you’ll also improve your teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities.

You’ll be prepared for whatever the future brings, whether it’s law school, rehabilitating criminal offenders, combating terrorism, or eventually working for the FBI.

ONU’s bachelor’s degree is ranked #69 on College Factual’s ranking of the Top Colleges for Criminal Justice.

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Ohio Northern University.

5. Cedarville University

Cedarville’s distinctively Christian B.A. in criminal justice degree can equip you for graduate school or a career in a variety of criminal justice professions.

The faculty of the criminal justice department believes so firmly in the value of internship experience that it is required as part of the degree.

The curriculum prepares you for a job as a private investigator, police officer, detective, probation officer, or other law enforcement-related occupation.

The Higher Learning Commission has granted The University regional accreditation.

6. The University of Findlay

The criminal justice degree at the University of Findlay will set you up for a prosperous and rewarding career.

With interactive training and targeted one-on-one advising, criminal justice students benefit from dedicated and caring teachers whose primary focus is on addressing your personal needs and career objectives beyond receiving your criminal justice degree.

You will be prepared for successful jobs in many fields of criminal justice, including law enforcement, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice, thanks to a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum design.

Students who complete the program go on to work for the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, municipal police and probation agencies, private investigators, and a variety of other organizations.

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Findlay.

7. Baldwin Wallace University

Corrections, law enforcement, private investigation, law and courts, and juvenile justice are all career options available through BW’s Criminal Justice bachelor’s program.

Its interdisciplinary approach enables you to understand the psychological, sociological, and political variables that underpin criminal and delinquent behavior, as well as crucial concerns within the criminal justice system.

You will learn critical thinking and problem-solving abilities through BW’s program, which will prepare you for a job in law enforcement, courts, or corrections.

You will discover insights, methods, and professional practices that you can immediately apply in real-life situations.

Criminal justice is a broad, multidisciplinary program that includes coursework in policing, criminology, and victimology, as well as pertinent courses in psychology, political science, sociology, and statistics.

It is available in a major and minor.

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Baldwin Wallace University.

8. University of Mount Union

The University of Mount Union’s Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice prepares students for a career in a variety of professions.

There are four programs available for the criminal justice degree: law enforcement, community corrections, forensic studies, and criminology.

The courses allow students to learn about a wide range of topics from dedicated faculty.

Criminal justice is an interdisciplinary field that combines sociology, psychology, forensic science, legal studies, philosophy, political science, and urban studies to uncover and explain patterns of criminal conduct.

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Mount Union University.

9. University of Miami

Within the context of a liberal arts education, the Bachelor of Science in criminal justice at Miami’s Regional campuses provides students with a comprehensive and dynamic grasp of crime, justice, punishment and corrections, policing, and the legal system.

Furthermore, the Criminal Justice degree prepares aspiring private investigators in Ohio for in-demand positions in the United States criminal justice system.

The two-year and four-year degrees are only available at Miami University’s regional campuses in Hamilton, Middletown, and West Chester.

Graduates will have the knowledge, experiences, and skills necessary to live a meaningful, thoughtful life, to be productive and contributing citizens, to be successful in their criminal justice careers, and to be life-long learners.

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has accredited the University of Miami to grant baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

10. Bowling Green State University-Main Campus

The Criminal Justice Program’s mission is to be a leader in educating future criminal justice practitioners by providing students with the ability to critically examine the world around them, the ability to understand and embrace the diversity of the society in which they serve and live, and the desire to continue learning more about themselves, society, and the criminal justice field.

The majority of our criminal justice classes are taught by full-time, highly qualified teachers that are globally recognized in their profession and bring real-world expertise to their classrooms.

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Bowling Green State University [BGSU].


In conclusion, becoming a private investigator in Ohio in 2023 requires specific steps and qualifications.

To become a licensed private investigator in Ohio, an individual must meet the state’s requirements, including being at least 21 years old, having a clean criminal record, and completing the necessary training and education.

It is also essential to pass the state’s private investigator examination and meet ongoing continuing education requirements to maintain a valid license.

Individuals interested in becoming private investigators in Ohio should also consider gaining experience through internships or working with a licensed private investigation agency.

Building a network of contacts in the field and staying up-to-date with industry developments can also be valuable.

Becoming a private investigator in Ohio can be a rewarding career path for those with a keen eye for detail, strong analytical skills, and a commitment to upholding legal and ethical standards.

With dedication and perseverance, individuals can take the necessary steps to pursue their dream of becoming a private investigator in Ohio in 2023.

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