How to Become a Private Investigator in New Mexico

Private investigators are hired to perform many different types of investigation in New Mexico. A private investigator, for example, may research suspected fraud for a business, find out who is sending criminal threats to a client and can locate and recover stolen property. It is even possible for private investigators to gather evidence that will be used in courts or by law enforcement officers.

If you’re someone interested in a career as a private investigator and live in New Mexico, you will first need to become licensed by the New Mexico Private Investigations Board. Licensure is important as it insures investigators in the state are of the highest quality.

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New Mexico Private Investigator License Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Age: Over the age of 18.
  • Provisional Requirements: You must be a US citizen with at least a high school diploma.
  • Criminal Background Check: Applicants will have to submit to, and be able to pass, a background check. For this purpose, you will supply a full fingerprint set to the New Mexico board of commissions.
  • Discharge from Military: A dishonorable discharge from any of the armed services will not preclude you from being a private investigator.
  • Financial History: New Mexico does not require a check of your financial standing before receiving a private investigator license.
  • Mental Health Check/Mental Disease or Defect: A mental health examination is not part of the licensing process in New Mexico.
  • Insurance Needed: Private investigators in this state must be able to secure a surety bond of at least $10,000.
  • Automatic Disqualifications: Felony convictions or convictions involving violence or the illegal use/possession of a firearm will prevent you from earning a PI license.

become a private investigator in new mexico

Education and Experience

  • Degree and/or Accepted Experience: New Mexico does not require private investigators to be educated about the high school level. It does, however, mandate work experience. You should have 6,000 hours of work experience in the last five years. This work experience should include investigating crimes and threats, people, stolen property and evidence that will be used in court.
  • Written Exams: You will need to pass an exam offered by the New Mexico Regulations and Licensing Department. The exam covers jurisprudence and is twenty-five questions.

New Mexico P.I. Training Courses

Although New Mexico requires security managers to undergo certified training, it has no such requirements for private investigators. Instead of a state certified course, you should consider a degree in a related field from an accredited university. Associate and bachelor’s degree programs that serve as a good base for a private investigation careers include criminal justice, forensics, political science, law and investigation techniques.

Forms Needed for Detective License

  • Fees Required: You will need to pay the New Mexico Private Investigations Board a $400 non-refundable fee. In addition, you will need to pay $44 for the fingerprint set to be used in your background check.
  • Registration Needed: After earning a passing grade with the jurisprudence exam, you will fill out an application and submit it to the Investigations Board. With your application, the Board needs to receive proof of work experience, two passport-style photos, proof of your age and a copy of your surety bond. Fingerprints will be sent to the Department of Safety.
  • Maintenance Required for PI License: Private investigator licenses expire on the last day of your birth month. You will need to pay a $300 renewal fee to prevent your license from expiring.

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

The data provide by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 330 private investigators were working in New Mexico in 2015, which was the last time data was made available. Across the state of New Mexico, the average pay for a private investigator in 2015 was $33,680.

Links to New Mexico State Government Pages or Other State Resources

New Mexico Private Investigations Board

Jurisprudence Exam Sample

BLS Salaries and Employment Information

Education Programs for Private Investigators in New Mexico

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
South University, Online
  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
Baker College Online
  • Criminal Justice, AA
  • Homeland Security, BA
  • Criminal Justice, BA
  • Homeland Security, 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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