How to Become a Private Investigator in Arizona

become a private investigator in arizona

A private investigator in Arizona can be called upon to perform any number of investigative duties in the state. They might help to find missing persons. They might aid law enforcement in tracking down fugitives. They could be called upon to investigate marital infidelity. Private detectives can also conduct background investigations, serve legal papers, or investigate computer crimes.

This is an exciting career where the job is never the same two days in a row. If it sounds like the job for you, learn everything you need to become a licensed Arizona private investigator.

Arizona Private Investigator License Requirements

Arizona requires all private detectives to be licensed, and licensure is overseen and administered by the State of Arizona Department of Safety.

Becoming a licensed P.I. in the state means following specific requirements, including several years of experience working under a licensed private investigator.

Minimum requirements

  • Age: You must be at least 21 in Arizona.
  • Provisional Requirements: You must be a United States citizen or a legal resident.
  • Criminal Background Check: P.I.s can’t operate in Arizona unless they are free of current felony indictment or convictions, and are not a registered sex offender.
  • Financial History: There is no financial history requirement in Arizona.
  • Mental Health Evaluation: No psychological evaluation is required.
  • Insurance Needed: A $2,500 bond must be obtained for final licensure.
  • Automatic Disqualifications: Criminal convictions or indictments will disqualify you.

Education and Experience

  • Degree: No specific degree is necessary, but many seek law enforcement, criminal justice, or similar education to enhance their abilities.
  • Experience: Before obtaining licensure you must work as a Private Investigator Employee for at least three years under a DPS-licensed agency. The registration for this step costs $72, but is often covered by the employer.
  • Written Exams: Arizona does not have exams for PIs.
  • Training Courses: Many colleges offer certificate training in private investigations, which can be very helpful in obtaining the core skills and knowledge you’ll need.

Forms needed for Detective License

  • Fees required: The fees for your Arizona PI license are $250 for the application, and $400 for the license itself.
  • Registration needed: Your registration application must include a copy of your government ID, a fingerprint card, and a passport-style photo.
  • Maintaining Your PI License: You’ll have to renew your license every year, which carries a $250 fee, and maintaining your bond.

Arizona Private Investigator Salary

The United States BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) shows 170 private detectives operating in Arizona, with an average annual wage in the state of $48,310. According to Projections Central, the field is expected to grow by 27.5% over the next several years, which is much faster than the national average. This makes Arizona a great state in which to work as a private detective.

Helpful Arizona Links and Resources

Arizona Revised Statutes governing Private Investigators

Arizona Investigator Agency Licensing

Arizona Association of Licensed Private Investigators