How to Become a Private Investigator in New Hampshire

how to become a private investigator in new hampshire

Almost no career in the state of New Hampshire is more enticing than becoming a private investigator. Despite the small size of the state, private investigators will find many employment opportunities, both in public and private areas. If you become a private investigator, you’ll be responsible for collecting information requested by your client, which can include information about fraud, infidelity and persons who have gone missing.

New Hampshire designates private investigators as investigative professionals, and requires that they become licensed with the state of police. Becoming licensed as an individual investigative professional requires meeting the Department of Safety standards for the profession.

New Hampshire Private Investigator License Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Age: In New Hampshire, you are required to be over the age of eighteen before applying to be a private investigator.
  • Residency: Residents of the US are eligible to become licensed private investigators.
  • Criminal Background Check: You will be required to submit to a background check before receiving a license as a private investigator.
  • Record of Military Service: While some states prevent former servicemen with a dishonorable discharge from working as private investigator, New Hampshire does not.
  • Financial Standing: There is no financial history test receiving your licensure as a private investigator.
  • Mental Well-Being: There is no mental wellness check required for private investigation work in New Hampshire.
  • Insurance Coverage: You will need a two-year surety bond worth $50,000.
  • Disqualifying Crimes: Felonies, domestic violence and abuse charges will bar you from licensure. In addition, misdemeanors related to fraud, theft or sale of a controlled substance are disqualifying.

Education and Experience

  • Experience: You must complete one of the following:
    • 4 years of experience in claims adjusting, security or law enforcement
    • 2 years of employment as an investigator and either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or certification through the American Society for Industrial Security or the National Association of Legal Investigators
    • 4 years of employment as a full-time investigator or firefighter. If you were a firefighter, you would have been certified by the International Association of Arson Investigators
    • American Society for Industrial Security certification in security operations and two years of work experience
  • Exam: New Hampshire does not require an exam for private investigators.

New Hampshire P.I. Training Courses

Receiving formal training as a private investigator prior to becoming licensed is one of the best ways to stand out in your chosen field. Although New Hampshire does not certify training courses, you can enroll in a related degree program from an accredited institution. Degree programs to consider include criminal justice, political science, computer forensics, law and investigation.

Forms Needed for Detective License

  • Fees: Fees that you will need to pay to receive your license include a $150 application fee, a $10 background investigation fee and a $25 criminal record check fee.
  • Licensure: Unlike in some states where you can apply online or via mail, you must hand deliver your application to the New Hampshire Department of Safety. Be sure your completed application is accompanied by all fees, your surety bond and proof of experience. The Department of Safety will notify you once your application has been approved and you should receive your private investigator license shortly afterwards.
  • Renewal: Private investigator licenses will periodically need to be renewed. The renewal fee is $150, and you will also need to pay $25 for a criminal background check and $10 for a background investigation.

Salaries — According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

As documented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of private investigators employed in New Hampshire in 2015 was 190. Private investigators who are employed in New Hampshire can expect an annual mean salary of $44,690.

Links to State Government Pages or Other State Resources

New Hampshire State Police Department of Safety

Bureau of Labor Statistics Report for Private Investigators

New Hampshire League of Investigators