How to Become a Private Investigator in Colorado

Important Notice

The Colorado Office of Private Investigator Licensure has ended effective August 31, 2021. Licensure, experience, or education are no longer needed to practice private investigation in the state of Colorado.

When researching how to become a private investigator in Colorado, it’s nice to know the state has some of the highest projected job openings for private investigators in the entire nation, over the next several years. That makes it an outstanding state in which to pursue this rewarding and exciting career path. Private investigators rarely do the same thing two days in a row.

One day they’re finding a missing person. The next, investigating a computer crime. On another day, they’re investigating allegations of marital infidelity. If a job that offers new experiences and the opportunity to use your mind every day is interesting to you, check out the requirements for becoming a Colorado private investigator.

Colorado Private Investigator License Requirements

For those looking to practice as a Colorado private investigator, licensing is available through the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies and the Office of Private Investigator Licensure. Since 2015, licensure is required in the state, and to be eligible you’ll need to fulfill certain minimum requirements including experience and education.

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Colorado Private Investigator Requirements

Minimum requirements

  • Age: Colorado PIs must be 21 years of age.
  • Provisional Requirements: Colorado doesn’t offer a provisional license.
  • Criminal Background Check: Both state and federal background checks and fingerprinting are required for licensure.
  • Military Discharge: Colorado doesn’t have any military provisions.
  • Financial History: There are no financial or credit checks required.
  • Mental Health Evaluation: Colorado doesn’t have psych exams for PIs.
  • Insurance Needed: A PI surety bond is required with $10,000 coverage.
  • Automatic Disqualifications: There are no listed automatic disqualifications for Colorado private investigators.

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Education and Experience

  • Degree: A two-year, four-year, or graduate degree can fulfill 1,000, 2,000, or 3,000 hours of experience requirements, respectively.
  • Experience: A total of 4,000 hours of investigative experience, including that gained in military service, or a combination of experience and education, are required.
  • Written Exams: You must pass the Colorado Private Investigator Jurisprudence Exam.
  • Training Courses: Certain private investigator training programs, such as two-year degrees, can provide part of your experience requirements.

Forms Needed for a Private Detective License in Colorado

  • Fees required: Your exam will cost $25. Fingerprinting carries a $39.50 fee. The fee for application is $330.
  • Registration needed: Along with your license application, you’ll need to submit proof of meeting the basic requirements, including surety bond coverage, exam completion, required application fee, proof of age, experience completion, and background check. You’ll also need to complete an affidavit of eligibility, your social security number, and answer a series of screening questions.
  • Maintaining Your PI License: You will renew your license online, on a schedule as required by the DORA director.

Colorado Private Investigator Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 520 licensed Colorado PIs, making an average of $51,360 per year. With a projected 24.5% increase by 2024 as compared to the national projected average of 5% and the national average salary of $45,610 per year, this marks Colorado as an outstanding place to begin your path in this career.

Helpful Colorado Links and Resources

Colorado Office of Private Investigator Licensure

Colorado Society of Private Investigators

Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado

Private Investigator Programs and Schools in Colorado

Private Investigator Programs and Schools in Colorado

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Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Private investigators are used by law firms, law enforcement, insurance companies, as well as individuals to conduct investigations to build criminal and civil cases. A degree related to criminal justice could benefit an aspiring private investigator greatly. Request information from multiple schools to find the best program and educational opportunity for you!