How to Become a Private Investigator in Indiana

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How to Become a Private Investigator in Indiana

Being a private investigator can be fun and rewarding.

This profession is on the rise in Indiana, but you need to have an idea of the requirements first.

Below, we have brought you all the info you need to become successful.

Private Investigator Requirements and Responsibilities in Indiana

In Indiana, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development oversees professionals in this field, ensuring they hold a license to operate.

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To obtain this license, individuals must meet certain criteria, including passing a test and meeting basic qualifications.

These qualifications consist of:

  • Being at least 21 years old,
  • A citizen of the United States
  • Having clean criminal and personal records

Once these prerequisites are met, applicants can apply for the PI licensure test and upon passing, gain the necessary experience.

Many aspiring private investigators opt to enroll in courses to gain knowledge and experience, although prior law enforcement experience can also suffice.

The minimum required experience for a PI is 100 hours.

Their duties typically include:

  • Surveillance,
  • Capturing events from a distance,
  • Taking high-quality photographs
  • Maintaining good health
  • Understanding their clients’ needs

Private Investigator Training in Indiana

As previously noted, formal training isn’t a requirement for becoming a private investigator.

However, overlooking this aspect entirely may not be in your best interest.

Investing in training can justify higher rates for your services and enhance your ability to excel in your role.

Enrolling in classes or earning degrees related to law enforcement can be particularly beneficial.

While any degree may suffice for this occupation, those with a focus on law enforcement are most relevant.

Specialized courses can provide valuable insights into essential equipment and help you distinguish between useful tools and outdated ones.

Each private investigator may customize their toolkit, which commonly includes items such as:

  • Maps,
  • Computers,
  • Binoculars,
  • Cameras, microphones,
  • Vehicles.

Additionally, training typically covers:

  • The NATO phonetic alphabet
  • The common terminology used in the field.

Indiana University Indiana University Bloomington Logo

At this institution, the Department of Criminal Justice offers these programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal justice minor
  • Criminal justice -certificate
  • Accelerated MA program

The courses cover 4 major topics:

  • Policing
  • Crime and social deviance
  • Law and the courts
  • Sentencing and corrections

Students can access 3 types of internships if they choose to participate in one.

Most of them take place in a courtroom, a place where private detectives will visit often during their careers.

Purdue University

The program offered at this university through the Department of Behavioral Sciences is an online Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Its duration is about 4 years.

It costs around $370 per credit and you have to attend a total of 34 courses.

The degree can be personalized or shortened to a Master’s degree thanks to the specially created program.

You can even choose to participate in an internship for more experience when out in the field.

School Name Address
Indiana University - Bloomington 107 S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405
Purdue University 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN
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Becoming Licensed as a Private Investigator in Indiana

In Indiana, obtaining a private investigator license involves a unique process: applying as a business entity, even if you plan to work solo.

This means filling out a Firm Application with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency’s Private Investigator and Security Guard Licensing Board in Indianapolis.

To complete your application, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Confirmation of two years of relevant work experience
  • A criminal background check and fingerprint verification
  • Documentation of liability insurance coverage of at least $100,000
  • Payment of a $300 application fee

However, before you can proceed, you’ll need to gather some necessary documents:

  • Evidence that you meet the minimum qualifications
  • A recent photograph of yourself
  • Three sets of fingerprints
  • Form 46

Once your application is approved and you successfully pass the test, you’ll officially be licensed as a private investigator in Alabama.

However, your responsibilities don’t end there.

You must maintain your credentials every two years.

This involves completing 16 hours of continuing education and keeping a record of your progress, along with paying a $300 renewal fee.

If you miss the deadline, there’s a late fee of $200 in addition to the regular renewal fee.

Salaries for Private Investigators in Indiana

All the effort you put into studying and getting ready would be meaningless if the pay was meager.

On a national scale, private investigators rake in an average yearly salary of $50,902.

In Indiana, they bring in approximately $49,702 annually.

Check out the table below for cities where the salaries are higher.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Whiting $50,902
Wheatfield $50,602
Indianapolis $49,602
Zionsville $49,502
Danville $49,402
Colfax $49,302
Advance $49,002
Elkhart $48,602
Yeoman $48,102
Ambia $48,002

Regional Salary in Indiana

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN160$55,880$26.87$99,880$30,840
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Private Detectives and Investigators, OCC Code 33-9021, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the skills needed by PIs in Indiana?

These skills are some of the most important for a private investigator:

  • Agility
  • Attention to details
  • Physical strength
  • Discipline
  • Knowledgable of laws and regulations
  • Able to drive
  • Comfortable approaching people
  • Able to use technology and databases

Do all PIs in Indiana need a license?

The short answer is “yes.”

Where do private investigators work in Indiana?

Private investigators work for:

  • Private investigation and detective agencies
  • As independent contractors

Independent PIs work for:

  • Law firms,
  • Financial institutions,
  • Insurance companies,
  • Corporations,
  • Government agencies,
  • Police departments

USA Private Investigator by State

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