How to Become a Private Investigator in Missouri

how to become a private investigator in missouri

Missouri is nicknamed the ‘Show Me’ state, and there’s no profession that embodies this name quite like being a private investigator. When you work as a private investigator, you will be responsible for searching out hard to find information, and people, for your clients. For example, you may perform background checks or fraud research for a business, or track down a long-lost family member for an individual.

Missouri, like most states, has very strict requirements for working as a private investigator. If you are set on an investigative career, your first and most important step should be to learn about and fulfill these requirements.

How to Become a Private Investigator in Missouri

Minimum Requirements

  • Age: Private investigators in Missouri must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Provisional Requirements: To work as a private detective in Missouri, you must have a physical business location where you can be contacted or located by the state government.
  • Criminal Background: Missouri requires a criminal background check before you can be licensed as a private investigator.
  • Dishonorable Discharge: Former military members who have received a dishonorable discharge are eligible to work as private detectives in the State of Missouri.
  • Financial: Your financial history or health will have no impact on your ability to be licensed as a private investigator.
  • Mental Health: Missouri does not examine the mental health of private investigator applicants.
  • Insurance: You must be able to acquire at least $250,000 of liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Proof of insurance must be provided to the Board of Private Investigator and Private Fire Investigator Examiners.
  • Automatic Disqualifications: There are no issues that will automatically disqualify you from receiving a private investigator license.

Education and Experience

  • Experience: You should have at least two years of experience as a private investigator before applying for your license in Missouri. If this experience directly preceded your application submission, you can ask for a waiver for the certification exam.
  • Written Exams: If your application has been approved and you do not have investigative work experience, you will need to pass a licensing examination. The 75 question exam is comprised of problems related to Missouri regulations and practices of private investigation. You must score 70% to pass the exam.

Missouri PI Training Courses

The Board does not offer or require certified training courses to become a private investigator. However, many applicants will earn a degree related to private investigation before entering this profession. Possible degrees you can enroll in that will help you become a successful private investigator include forensics, criminal justice, investigation and law.

Forms needed for Detective License in Missouri

  • Fees to Pay: The fee for a private investigator license is $500. The licensing exam will cost $80 if you are required to take it.
  • License Registration: When you submit your application to the Board, be sure to include two passport style photos, a full set of fingerprints for your background check, proof of $250,000 worth of insurance and proof your experience. You will be notified when your application has been processed and is ready for Board review.
  • Maintaining Your PI License: To maintain your license, you will need to complete sixteen hours of Board approved continuing education every two years.

Missouri Private Investigator Salaries

According to the most recent numbers made available by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 490 private investigators were employed in Missouri in May of 2015. The BLS also reports that the average salary for a Missouri private investigator in 2015 was $51,680.

Private Investigator Links

Forms for Missouri Private Investigators

Career Information by the BLS

Missouri State Investigators Association