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

  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
Baker College Online
  • Forensic Investigations, BS
Keiser University - Jacksonville
  • Criminal Justice, BA
  • Homeland Security, BA
  • Homeland Security, AA
  • Criminal Justice, AA
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
  • 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
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Policy Analysis
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Emergency Management
  • MS in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
Walden University
  • DBA - Criminal Justice
  • DBA - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
Northcentral University
  • MPA - Criminal Justice
Kaplan University Online
  • 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
Kaplan University Online
  • B.S. Criminal Justice
  • B.S. International Relations and Security - Cybersecurity
  • B.S. International Relations and Security - Global Security
  • A.S. Criminal Justice
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
  • Master of Science Criminal Justice Critical Incident Mgt
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Corrections
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Criminal Investigation
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Legal Studies
Saint Leo University - Online
  • AA in Criminal Justice
  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BA in Criminal Justice - Criminalistics Specialization
  • BA in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Specialization
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