How To Become A Licensed Private Investigator

How To Become A Licensed Private Investigator

Steps for Becoming a Licensed Private Investigator

Private investigation can be a rewarding career, as you help individuals and companies find out the truth about matters vital to their well-being. It takes patience and determination to follow the facts and help your clients reach a positive outcome. If you have a good eye for detail and excellent research skills, it’s worth checking out private investigation as a career.


The first steps toward your private investigator (PI) career are finding a registered training organisation and signing up for classes. For busy professionals and those in remote areas, taking classes online is a convenient option. In some states, you’ll need a Certificate 3 in Investigative Services to work as a PI. This certificate will include computer training and writing proficiency because you’ll need to have effective research and reporting skills.

Advanced Education

Some companies prefer to hire private investigators who have earned a bachelor’s degree, although skill and perseverance also make a positive impression on prospective employers. You can begin your journey toward becoming a practising private detective by taking a PI course.

Getting Your License

Once you’ve completed the educational component, you’ll need to obtain a license to practise. Licensing authorities recognise certificates in private investigation that meet state training and assessment standards. Although each state has its own licensing requirements, there’s an interstate mutual recognition agreement that will allow you to work in multiple states in Australia.

Hands-On Experience

In the latter part of your training, you’ll have the opportunity to practise interviewing and surveillance skills with a licensed PI. This involves going out in the field with an experienced investigator and using the skills you’ve learned under their supervision. At the start of your first job, you can also expect to be in an apprentice role until you’ve gained some experience.


Part of the preparation for becoming a private investigator is gathering the equipment you’ll need to do the job. During training and once you’re a practising PI, you’ll need your own tools of the trade. These include:

  • Reliable vehicle
  • Driver’s license
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Digital camera
  • Video camera
  • Mobile phone
  • & more

Finding Employment

Your school will have resources for finding contacts in the investigative field and an internet search will bring up more opportunities. Look for a company that deals with corporate and individual clients so you’ll have access to a wide range of jobs. Even if you’re assigned to one geographic area, it’s best to work with a company that covers Australia’s major cities, including Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

Getting Started

If you have integrity, persistence and the ability to connect with people on a personal level, private investigation could be a rewarding career. This is a field that’s well-suited for people with the ability to impartially and professionally get to the bottom of issues. If this is you, perhaps it’s time to start looking into getting your PI certificate. Speak to our staff for further information today!


    We are available 24/7. Talk to an expert today! 1800 878 847