How to Become a Private Investigator in Florida

On the whole, employment for private detectives and investigators is expected to grow by 5 percent until the year 2024. The growing prevalence of internet-related scams has boosted the demand for these professionals, making it an exciting time to become a private investigator in Florida.

Each state has their own legal requirements to become a private investigator. In Florida, you are required to be licensed. Below, we’ll outline what you need to do in order to join this growing field and make a difference in the lives of others.

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Florida Private Investigator License Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Criminal Background Check: The application requires a record of your criminal history, if any. You may also be subject to a background check.
  • Military History: If you have been discharged, fined or disciplined in any way while in the military, you must report this on your application.
  • Mental Health Check: You must disclose all mental disorders upon application.
  • Automatic Disqualifiers: You are not a U.S. citizen or legal resident; you have been convicted of a felony; you are mentally or physically incapable of performing essential job functions; you have been convicted of acting as a P.I. without a license.

how to become a private investigator in florida

Education and Experience

  • Accepted Experience: You must meet a two-year experience requirement in order to apply for a Class “C” private investigator license in Florida. This may be fulfilled if you’ve work in related fields like law enforcement or the military, or if you’ve completed a Class “CC” internship at an approved private investigative agency. Law enforcement-related training may account for one year of the two that are required.
  • Degree: One year of the required experience may also come from college studies in criminology, criminal justice, law enforcement administration, or other relevant subjects.
  • Written Exams: A written exam covering Florida law that directly relates to the legal responsibilities of private investigators and the business practices in the industry is required. You must pass the exam before submitting an application.

Training Courses

One hour of your two-hour experience requirement may be awarded after the completion of law enforcement related training. This can be acquired through a state, county or municipal agency in Florida, or through a federal training program.

Forms Needed for Detective License in Florida

  • Fees Required: There is a $50 application fee, $42 fingerprint processing fee and $75 license fee. The Florida private investigator exam fee is $100.
  • Required Forms: Your application will include verification of your SSN, citizenship status, permanent address, training, military, criminal and personal history, alias information, proof of a passing exam, photograph of yourself and a fingerprint card. If you are upgrading from the Class “CC” intern license, you will also need a sponsorship letter.
  • Maintenance Required: Your P.I. license will be valid for two years, after which you will need to complete a renewal application form.

Florida Private Investigator Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private detectives and investigators make an annual average of $45,240.

Helpful Florida Links and Resources

Florida’s Division of Licensing

Florida Association of Licensed Investigators

Florida Association of Private Investigators

Education Programs for Private Investigators in Florida

  • Forensic Investigations, BS - Investigations
  • Forensic Investigations, BS - Science
Keiser University - Jacksonville
  • Homeland Security, MA
  • Criminal Justice, MA
Keiser University Graduate School
  • 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
  • JM: American Legal Studies
  • JM: General
  • JM: Health Law
  • JM: International Legal Studies
  • JM: Special Student (Non-Degree Seeking) - Legal Studies
  • LLM: International Legal Studies
  • MPA: Law & Public Policy
  • MS: Criminal Justice
  • MS: Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology
  • MS: Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
Liberty University - Online
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - 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
  • Doctor of Criminal Justice
Northcentral University
  • BSCJ – Law Enforcement
  • BSCJ – Juvenile Justice
  • BSCJ – Homeland Security
  • BSCJ – Forensic Psychology
  • BSCJ – Crime Scene Investigation
  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • MSCJ - Corrections
  • MSCJ - Global Issues in Criminal Justice
  • MSCJ - Law
  • MSCJ - Leadership/Executive Management
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security
  • Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management
  • BS in Corrections
Purdue University Global
  • MS in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Criminal Justice: Advanced Counterterrorism & Homeland Security concentration
  • MS in Criminal Justice: Public Safety Administration concentration
Southern New Hampshire University - Online
  • Associate in Science Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Criminology
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Homeland Secu
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Police Admini
  • BS Criminal Justice w/conc Human Services
  • BS Criminal Justice w/conc in Corrections
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security with concentration in Secure Programming
Southern New Hampshire University - Online
  • AA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
Saint Leo University - Online
  • BS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • Master - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • CTU - Criminal Forensics
Colorado State University - Global