How to Become a Private Investigator in Arkansas

Arkansas is a good state in which to work as a private detective. Also known as private investigators or by the abbreviation P.I., these men and women work hard to perform a broad variety of investigative activities for individuals, companies and law enforcement.

From tracking down fugitives to conducting background checks, from following cheating spouses to finding missing persons, private detectives live an exciting life with a rewarding career. Learn all you need to start on the path to being an Arkansas private investigator.

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Arkansas Private Investigator License Requirments

When researching how to become a private investigator Arkansas, you should know that Arkansas requires those wishing to practice as PIs to be licensed. This process involves meeting a series of requirements that include a minimum age, criminal background checks, experience and good character. Licensing is administered by the Arkansas State Police and the state is reciprocal with Tennessee, Oklahoma and Louisiana, meaning your license in one of those states is good in Arkansas as well.
how to become a private investigator in arkansas

Minimum requirements

  • Age: All Arkansas P.I.s must be at least 21.
  • Provisional Requirements: There is no provisional licensing in Arkansas.
  • Criminal Background Check: Background checks are required to prove you have no convictions related to violence, moral character, or the like.
  • Military Discharge: If applicable, your discharge must be honorable.
  • Financial History: There is no financial history requirement in Arkansas.
  • Mental Health Evaluation: A psych evaluation will demonstrate that you have not been declared mentally incompetent, or that you are clear of such a state.
  • Insurance Needed: There is no listed bond requirement, though insurance is often a vital protection for private investigators against lawsuits or liability issues.
  • Automatic Disqualifications: Dishonorable discharge, mental incompetency or criminal convictions can disqualify you from licensure.

Education and Experience

  • Degree: No degree is necessary, but studies in criminal justice or law enforcement can be extremely helpful.
  • Experience: Arkansas requires two years of consecutive on-the-job training with a licensed investigations company before you can apply for licensure.
  • Written Exams: There are no written exam requirements.
  • Training Courses: While not required, you may consider taking a certificate program for private investigators at a local college or university, to gain the core skill proficiencies you’ll need.

Forms needed for Detective License

  • Fees required: New licensure carries a $40 fee for an unarmed security officer, $22 for the state background check, $10 for federal background check, plus $3 in additional federal background check fees.
  • Registration needed: You will need to submit your application with proof of meeting all requirements and all fees to the State Police Regulatory Services.
  • Maintaining Your PI License: Your license will need to be renewed every two years, and carries the same fees and requirements as your initial application.

Arkansas Private Investigator Salary and Job Outlook

The BLS indicates that 140 Licensed Arkansas private detectives are currently employed in the state, with an annual average wage of $50,050. According to Projections Central, an 8.7% positive increase is expected by 2024.

Helpful Arkansas Links and Resources

Arkansas State Police Licensing Page

New Private Investigator License Application

Renewal Application

Arkansas Act 393

Education Programs for Private Investigators in Arkansas

  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
Baker College Online
  • Criminal Justice, MA
  • Homeland Security, MA
Keiser University Graduate School
  • Criminal Justice, BA
  • Homeland Security, AA
  • Criminal Justice, AA
  • Homeland Security, BA
Keiser University eCampus
  • DEM - Emergency Management
Capella University
  • BS - Criminal Justice
Capella University
  • MS - Cybersecurity
Capella University
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Public Administration
Liberty University - Online
  • General-Advanced
  • Online Teaching in Higher Education
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) - Homeland Security
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Emergency Management
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership
Walden University
  • DBA - Criminal Justice
  • DBA - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
Northcentral University
  • A.S. Criminal Justice
  • B.S. Criminal Justice
  • B.S. International Relations and Security - Cybersecurity
  • B.S. International Relations and Security - Global Security
Indiana Wesleyan University - Online
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance
  • MS in Criminology
  • BS in Criminology
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance and Cyber Security
  • Master of Science in Criminology - Cybercrime and Terrorism Focus
  • Master of Science in Criminology - Human Behavior Focus
  • Master of Science in Criminology - Leadership Focus
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance - Cybersecurity Specialization
Regis University- Online
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Computer Science - Cyber Security
Lewis University - Online
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Network Forensics and Intrusion Investigation
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
  • Masters in Financial Crime and Compliance Management
  • MBA Economic Crime and Fraud Management
  • MS Cybersecurity - Intelligence
  • MS Cybersecurity - Computer Forensics
  • MS Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
  • BS in Criminal Justice - Cyber Criminology and Policy
  • Computer Forensics Certificate
  • Cyber Crime and Fraud Investigation Certificate
  • Cyber Network Defense Certificate
  • Cyber Operations Certificate
  • Cyber Policy Certificate
  • Cybersecurity Technologies Certificate
  • Financial Crime and Compliance Operations Certificate
  • Financial Crime Investigation Certificate
  • Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis
  • MBA - Cyber Policy
  • MBA - Cybersecurity
  • Monitoring, Surveillance, and Intelligence Operations Certificate
  • MS in Cybersecurity - Electronic Crime
  • MS in Cybersecurity - Malware Analysis
  • MS in Data Science: Cybersecurity
  • MS in Data Science: Financial Crime
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Financial Investigation
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Fraud Prevention and Detection
  • Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity
  • BS in Criminal Justice - General
  • BS in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
  • BS in Criminal Justice - Legal Issues in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Criminal Justice - Public Policy and Leadership
  • BS in Criminal Justice - White Collar Crime
Utica College - Online
  • BS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • Master - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • CTU - Criminal Forensics
Colorado State University - Global