Easy Steps on How To Become A Private Investigator In North Carolina


Welcome to the world of private investigation!

If you have ever been captivated by the thrilling exploits of fictional detectives or have a passion for uncovering hidden truths, then a career as a private investigator might be the perfect fit for you.

In North Carolina, the path to becoming a private investigator is paved with fascinating challenges and opportunities.

In this guide, we will explore the easy steps that can set you on the right course toward pursuing this exciting profession in the Tar Heel State.

Becoming a private investigator in North Carolina requires a combination of dedication, knowledge, and the development of specific skills.

As a private investigator, you will be entrusted with gathering information, conducting surveillance, and uncovering evidence in various types of cases, including legal, corporate, and personal matters.

Whether you aspire to assist in criminal investigations or work as a specialized consultant, this guide will provide you with the essential steps to embark on your journey.

First and foremost, understanding the legal requirements is crucial.

In North Carolina, private investigators must be licensed by the North Carolina Private Protective Services Board (NCPPSB).

This regulatory body ensures that individuals entering the field meet specific standards and possess the necessary qualifications.

Familiarizing yourself with the licensing process and requirements is an essential initial step.

Education and training are fundamental components of becoming a competent private investigator.

Although there are no specific educational requirements mandated by the state, obtaining a degree or pursuing relevant coursework in criminal justice, law enforcement, or a related field can enhance your knowledge and credibility.

Additionally, attending specialized training programs or obtaining certifications in areas such as surveillance techniques, evidence collection, and legal procedures can give you a competitive edge.

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Gaining practical experience is invaluable in the field of private investigation.

Consider seeking opportunities to intern or work alongside established private investigators or detective agencies.

This hands-on experience will expose you to real-world scenarios, refine your skills, and provide valuable networking opportunities.

Once you have acquired the necessary education and experience, you can proceed to apply for your private investigator license through the NCPPSB.

This process typically involves submitting an application, undergoing a background check, and paying the required fees.

It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the application requirements and ensure that you meet all the criteria before proceeding.

As you embark on your career as a private investigator in North Carolina, it is essential to remain committed to professional growth.

Stay updated on the latest industry trends, technological advancements, and legal developments.

Joining professional associations, attending conferences, and participating in continuing education programs can help you stay at the forefront of your field and enhance your credibility as a private investigator.

Becoming a private investigator in North Carolina may require effort, dedication, and a willingness to continuously learn and adapt.

However, the rewards of this exciting profession are vast.

So, if you are ready to delve into the world of mystery, investigation, and discovery, let us guide you through the easy steps to becoming a private investigator in North Carolina.

Who Is A Private Investigator?

According to Wikipedia, a private investigator is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services.

This expert frequently assists attorneys in both criminal and civil situations.

Informally, this professional was either called a private eye, a private detective, or even an inquiry agent.

These individuals are known for carrying out background checks and being involved in surveillance activities.


Regardless, PIs are only as good as their techniques.

What Is the Role of a Private Investigator?

Basically, a private investigator does many complicated things when compared to other professions but to make you get familiar with the kind of job they do, a list is provided below.

As the name private investigator implies, a Private Investigator carries out secret investigations on:

  • The recovery of lost individuals or properties
  • Causes of fires, accidents, and even fatalities
  • Discovering peoples personal dealings and character
  • Obtaining evidence for use in court, or investigative committee, and Crime
  • Finding the location of a stolen item
  • Protecting individuals from bodily harm that may eventually lead to death.

In North Carolina (NC), how long does it take to become a private investigator?

In North Carolina, there is no set time limit for becoming a private investigator.


Professionalism is accelerated by your level of education and how quickly you obtain your license.

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What Are the Qualifications for Becoming a Private Investigator in North Carolina?

Aside from meeting the educational requirements and meeting the basic prerequisites for becoming an effective Private Investigator in North Carolina, there are some key skills you must possess to help you carry out your duties perfectly.

These skills include

  • Excellent understanding of the law
  • capable of using computers and their applications
  • Excellent observation skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Patience and a keen eye

How Much Does It Cost To Become A Private Investigator In NC?

The notable cost in becoming a private investigator is the amount you pay for your fingerprint checks and application.

The figures are $38 and $150, respectively, and vary by state.

What Kind Of Training Do I Need To Become A Private investigating In NC ?

If you want to make the most of your private investigating career, you will need to go through various forms of training.


All you have to do is choose one that works with your schedule.

However, it is important to note that many states require specialized training in order to become a private investigator or even a licensed Private Investigator.

Consequently, you can immerse yourself in:

  • A college degree program
  • Certificate course
  • Home study classes
  • Internships
  • Continued education

Training Resources for A Private Investigator In North Carolina

The following are some of the courses you will encounter during training to enable you effectively and efficiently carry out your job as a private investigator.

  • Courses in Surveillance Learning
  • Death investigations courses
  • Courses in forensic photography
  • Courses for interviewing witnesses
  • Bounty hunting training
  • Bounty hunting training
  • Using Skip Tracing

What is the average salary and job outlook for a private investigator in North Carolina?

According to BLS, there are about 460 PIs who are employed all across North Carolina.

Therefore, their average salary is equated to $39,400.


Indeed, the average hourly wage for private investigators is approximately $22.54.

Furthermore, Salary.com reported that the PI salary in North Carolina was $45,102.

It does, however, range between $36,502 and $54,602.

Many factors could contribute to the rise and fall in earnings, including certifications, additional skills, education, and how much experience you have gained in the profession.

Generally, the job outlook for PIs in North Carolina is expected to grow by 6.4% in the next seven years, which is higher than the national average.

See Also: Easy Steps on How To Become A Private Investigator In Ohio

Which North Carolina Schools Can I Attend To Become A Private Investigator?

Fundamentally, private investigation isn’t a course or program you must finish in a higher school to earn a certificate before you can start performing.

Since you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in a related field or its equivalent, we’ll list some of the schools in NC that offer those courses.

So, they are as follows;

  • North Carolina State University
  • Johnson C. Smith University
  • University of Mount Olive
  • Gardner-Webb University
  • Barton College
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • William Peace University
  • Appalachian State University
  • Pfeiffer University
  • Salem College

What Are The Requirements To Become A Private Investigator In North Carolina?

Usually, the basic requirements for becoming a private investigator vary according to the states.

Although, there are defined restrictions to one from becoming a private investigator such having any form of criminal conviction.

The general requirements are listed below.

1. Obtain A High School Diploma or Its Equivalent

A high school diploma is required to work as a private investigator in North Carolina.

2. Age

The minimum age you can attain to be a Private Investigator is 18, but, if you want to spice your job up by carrying firearms, you should be 21 years of age.

Anything less than these qualifies you as unfit.

3. Consider an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree

Consider obtaining one of the aforementioned degrees to accelerate your job growth and advancement.

This opens you up to many job opportunities and serves as a fast track to your earnings.

4. Job Experience

Job experience in a relevant sector is an extra advantage to your prospects of becoming a private investigator.

Also, if you are still in the paralegal sector, you might select your career as a private investigator as a second one.

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

How to Become a Licensed Private Investigator in North Carolina

Private investigators in North Carolina obtain their licenses through the North Carolina Department of Justice.

Hence, in order to obtain a license, you must complete the following standards.

Step 1: Comply with North Carolina requirements.

  • To be an armed Private Investigator , you must be at least 18 years old and at least 21 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or a GED
  • You must be a US citizen or a resident alien.
  • Have a good character

Step 2: Acquire the Required Education and Training in North Carolina

Before you can apply for a license as a private investigator in North Carolina, you should have at least 3 years of experience carrying out investigations with either of the following: a private person, association, firm, US Armed Forces, Municipal law enforcement agency, or any other government agency.

The credits required for any of these degrees are listed below.

  • Associate’s: 400 hours
  • Bachelor’s: 800 hours
  • Graduate: 1200 hours

More so, if you are applying to carry a firearm, you must complete these classroom instructions for unarmed security guards.

The Security Officer in North Carolina Legal Issues for Security Officers Emergency Response Communications

Assume you lack the necessary training to become a licensed Private Investigator.

In that case, you can either work as an associate or under the direct supervision of a fully licensed North Carolina private investigator.

Step 3: Fill Out and Submit Your North Carolina Application

After you are done acquiring the necessary training, you go ahead to submit your application to the North Carolina Department of Justice.

You will be asked to give additional information or submit the following.

  • Application (for armed or unarmed registration)
  • Card with Fingerprint Authorization
  • Picture of head and shoulders were taken within the past six months
  • Full name with your last name first
  • First four digits of your social security number

In addition, you will need to submit your criminal record check for each country that you have been a resident in for the preceding sixty months.

Step 4: What Happens After You Apply?

Once you’ve been licensed, you will have a pocket identification card in your possession which you must keep on you when carrying out your obligations as a private investigator.

If you are also licensed to carry a firearm, you may be subject to extra regulations from the state. Also, you will be required to renew the firearm permit annually.


In conclusion, the journey to becoming a private investigator in North Carolina is an exhilarating and fulfilling one.

By following the easy steps outlined in this guide, you can set yourself on the path to a rewarding career in the field of private investigation.

From understanding the legal requirements and obtaining the necessary education and training to gaining practical experience and acquiring your license, each step is crucial in building a solid foundation for success.

Remember to stay committed to professional growth by staying informed about industry advancements and continuously honing your skills.

As a private investigator, you will have the opportunity to make a significant impact by uncovering truths, assisting in legal matters, and providing valuable information to clients.

Your work may involve conducting surveillance, gathering evidence, and employing various investigative techniques to solve complex cases.

It is a profession that requires dedication, critical thinking, attention to detail, and the ability to adapt to ever-changing situations.

The world of private investigation is as exciting as it is challenging.

It offers a chance to embark on a career where no two days are the same, where curiosity and perseverance are rewarded, and where you can make a difference in people’s lives.

So, if you have a passion for unraveling mysteries, seeking the truth, and helping others, the path to becoming a private investigator in North Carolina awaits you.

Take the first step today, immerse yourself in the knowledge and skills required, and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.

Remember, becoming a private investigator is not just a job—it’s a calling, an adventure, and a chance to make a lasting impact.

Good luck on your journey as you pursue your dreams and unlock the secrets that await you in the realm of private investigation.

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