How to Become a Private Investigator in Minnesota

If you’re interested in a career using investigation skills to find important information and missing persons, then you should consider becoming a private investigator. Private investigators can work independently or be employed by a detective agency, a business or the government, and will work to find whatever information their client requests.

Minnesota refers to private investigators as private detectives, and requires licensure whether you plan to work as an individual or wish to start a private detective firm. Following the guidelines laid out by the state is the only way to work as a private detective in Minnesota.

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Minnesota Private Investigator License Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Age of Applicants: All applicants must be over the age of 18.
  • Proprietorship: Minnesota requires that individuals, partnerships or LLCs apply for licensure before providing private detective services in the state. You must also apply if you have an established private detective agency in another state and plan to expand your services to Minnesota.
  • Criminal History: Anyone seeking to work as a private detective in Minnesota is required to undergo a criminal background check.
  • Military History: Dishonorable discharges will not prevent you from becoming a private detective in this state.
  • Financial Health: You must submit Proof of Financial responsibility before you will be licensed to provide detective services.
  • Psychological Background: A mental health background check is not required.
  • Surety: You must have purchased a surety bond worth $10,000 prior to application.
  • Disqualifying Factors: Those who have a criminal record that contains felony convictions are disqualified from becoming licensed private detectives in Minnesota.

how to become a private investigator in minnesota

Education and Experience

  • Work Experience: Like many states, Minnesota does not require private detectives to have a degree prior to licensure. However, the state does require work experience. To be licensed as a Minnesota private detective you must have 6,000 hours of experience as an investigator with a private agency, an investigator employed by a government investigative agency or an investigator with a sheriff’s office or city police department.
  • Written Exams: You are not required to pass any sort of examination to be licensed as a private detective in Minnesota.

Minnesota PI Training Courses

While prior experience is required to work as a private detective in Minnesota, the Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services does not certify any training courses. Instead, it is recommended that you earn a degree in a field that is related to private investigation work. Most private detective choose accredited degrees in areas like law, investigation, forensics and criminal justice. Police training is also useful for private detectives.

Forms for a Detective License in Minnesota

  • Fees: The Board does not make private detective licenses publicly available. Instead, you will need to pay a $25 fee and request a form in writing. If you are applying for a license as an individual, your license fee will be $1,000. Partnership applicants pay $1,700 and corporation/LLC applicants pay $1,900.
  • Registration Steps: Fill out your application and submit it to the Board for approval. In addition to your fees, the application should include proof of work experience, your surety bond, a criminal history release, a set of fingerprints, references from non-relatives who have known you at least five years and a recent photograph or your face.
  • Renewal: Periodic renewal of your license is required. The fee depends on how many people you employ. If you work by yourself, the fee is $540.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Salaries

In May of 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 520 private detectives working in the state of Minnesota. Unfortunately, no data is available related to the salary of these detectives. However, the average salary for private detectives in the US for that same year was $45,610.

Minnesota Private Detective Links

Education Programs for Private Investigators in Minnesota

  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
Baker College Online
  • Criminal Justice, MA
  • Homeland Security, MA
Keiser University Graduate School
  • 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
  • MBA - Criminal Justice
  • MBA - Homeland Security
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