How to Become a Private Investigator in Georgia

Private investigators and detectives perform services for individuals, businesses and attorneys such as conducting background checks, verifying statements, proving infidelity or even finding missing persons. They may go undercover, use surveillance measures and conduct investigative research in order to resolve cases and gather evidence.

This line of work is extremely valuable to the individuals and businesses searching for answers in regards to financial, legal and personal matters. If you are interested in becoming a private investigator in Georgia, you must first obtain a license. We’ll outline how you can make your start in this exciting and rewarding field.

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Georgia Private Investigator License Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Age: To be eligible to work as a private investigator, applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Provisional Requirements: In Georgia, licenses are only issued to companies. If you are a partner, owner or officer of a private investigative company, then you may hold the company license. Those wishing to work for an existing company must meet the official Georgia requirements outlined in Article 43-38-7 of the OCGA.
  • Criminal Background Check: A criminal background check is required upon application. You must not have a history of personal or domestic violence and you should not be convicted of any crimes.
  • Mental Health Check: If you are considered dangerous to yourself and others or are formally judged as mentally incompetent, you will not be qualified to work as a private investigator.
  • Automatic Disqualifiers: You are not a U.S. citizen; you have committed a crime involving illegal weapon use; you have been convicted of a felony; you are on parole; you have a physical disability which hinders you from performing essential job functions, even with reasonable accommodation; you have practiced private investigation without a Georgia license.

how to become a private investigator in georgia

Education and Experience

  • Degree: A four-year degree in criminal justice or a related field from an accredited university will meet any Georgia P.I. education requirements.
  • Accepted Experience: In order to qualify as a private investigator, two years of experience in law enforcement or for a licensed private detective company is necessary.
  • Written Exams: All applicants must pass an exam to work as a P.I. in Georgia.

Training Courses

Georgia applicants must also complete a 70-hours basic training course which covers the history of the industry and information regarding criminal law, surveillance and investigation. This can be completed within six months of being hired.

Forms Needed for Detective License in Georgia

  • Fees Required: There will be fees of $52 to $60 for a digital fingerprint scan. Additionally, the state charges a $70 fee when you mail your application to the Georgia Board of Private Detectives & Security Agencies.
  • Forms Needed: You are expected to submit proof of residency and citizenship, weapons certifications and permits and proof that you’ve completed the required certification classes.
  • Maintenance Required for PI License: Georgia private investigators should complete 16 hours of continuing education requirements each year.

Georgia Private Investigator Salary and Job Outlook

On average, Georgia private detectives and investigators make a yearly wage of $42,749.

Helpful Georgia Links and Resources

Georgia Association of Professional Private Investigators

Georgia Board of Private Detectives & Security Agencies

Education Programs for Private Investigators in Georgia

  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
Baker College Online
  • 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