How to Become a Private Investigator in Oregon

Private investigators are one of the most important professions in Oregon. When information or people are hard to find, Oregon citizens and businesses turn to private investigators for assistance. A typical private investigator is responsible for such tasks as locating missing persons, performing background checks, finding the source of fraud and investigating stolen property, criminal threats and violent offenses.

Prospective private investigators in Oregon will need to meet the standards constructed by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training to become a licensed provisional investigator, which is what this state calls private investigators.

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Oregon Private Investigator License Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Age: An Oregon private investigator must be over the age of 18.
  • Provisional Requirements: You must be legally eligible to work inside the United States, whether as a citizen or a legal alien.
  • Criminal Background Check: Private investigators in Oregon are required to be of good moral character and must submit to a fingerprint background check.
  • Discharge from Military: A military discharge, whether honorable or dishonorable, will not affect your private investigator license.
  • Financial History: A check of your financial history and/or standing is not part of the application process in Oregon.
  • Mental Health Check/Mental Disease or Defect: Applicants for private investigator licensure in Oregon do not have to undergo psychological examination.
  • Insurance Needed: You will need either a $5,000 surety bond or a $5,000 errors or omission insurance policy to receive a private investigator license.

Become a Private Investigator in Oregon

Education and Experience

  • Degree and/or Accepted Experience: Oregon requires 1500 hours of investigative experience before you will be licensed as a private detective. You can gain this experience by working in an investigative agency, during a private investigator apprenticeship or through an approved course of study.
  • Written Exams: You will need to schedule and sit for a private investigator competency exam before being granted a license. A passing score is 86% or higher. You can take the exam three times, but if you do not pass the exam you will have to wait a year before you will be eligible for a retake.

Oregon P.I. Training Courses

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) offers training through its Private Investigator Program. In addition to maintaining professional standards for private investigators, the Program offers training to assist applicants in meeting these standards. In addition to receiving training through the Program, many investigators will earn degrees in related disciplines like forensics, political science, investigation and criminal justice.

Forms Needed for a Detective License in Oregon

  • Fees Required: Several fees are necessary to be licensed in Oregon. You will need to pay a $550 license fee, $29 for your background check and exam and a $41.75 fee for your state and national criminal history check.
  • Registration Needed: With your completed license application, you will need to include documentation required by the DPSST. This documentation includes surety bond proof, three character references from non-relatives, two passport photos that were taken in the last six months, a signed Code of Ethics form and your fingerprints. After your application has been approved and you’ve passed the exam, you will be licensed.
  • Maintenance Required for PI License: Oregon private investigators licenses last for two years, after which you will need to apply for renewal. You will need to submit a renewal form, pay a $550 renewal fee, submit new passport photos and provide proof of 32 hours of continuing education, two hours of which must be dedicated to ethics.

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

Oregon is one of the few states where the Bureau of Labor Statistics has not collected information for private investigation. The average pay for private investigators across the country is $46,610 a year, and the profession is expected to add 1,800 jobs between 2014 and 2024.

Links to State Government Pages or Other State Resources

Education Programs for Private Investigators in Oregon

  • Criminal Justice, MA
  • Homeland Security, MA
Keiser University Graduate School
  • Homeland Security, AA
  • Criminal Justice, AA
  • Homeland Security, BA
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
  • JM: American Legal Studies
  • JM: General
  • JM: Health Law
  • JM: International Legal Studies
  • JM: Special Student (Non-Degree Seeking) - Legal Studies
  • LLM: International Legal Studies
  • MPA: Law & Public Policy
  • MS: Criminal Justice
  • MS: Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology
  • MS: Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
Liberty University - Online
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - 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
  • 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
Purdue University Global
  • MS in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Criminal Justice: Advanced Counterterrorism & Homeland Security concentration
  • MS in Criminal Justice: Public Safety Administration concentration
Southern New Hampshire University - Online
  • Associate in Science Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Criminology
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Homeland Secu
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Police Admini
  • BS Criminal Justice w/conc Human Services
  • BS Criminal Justice w/conc in Corrections
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security with concentration in Secure Programming
Southern New Hampshire University - Online
  • AA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
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