How to Become a Private Investigator in Maryland

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How to Become a Private Investigator in Maryland

When I was a child, I was dreaming of becoming a private investigator, yet life led me down a different path.

Now, I have the chance to assist you in pursuing your dream career, irrespective of the industry:

  • Medicine
  • Law enforcement
  • Mechanics
  • Teaching

Therefore, if you’re in Maryland and considering a career as a private investigator, explore my comprehensive guide!

Private Investigator Requirements and Responsibilities in Maryland

Before getting your private detective registration in Maryland, there are a few requirements you have to fulfill:

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  • Be at least 25 years young.
  • Carry a good rep and moral character.
  • Clear the criminal background check run by the FBI.
  • Get hired by or have an offer from a licensed detective agency in Maryland.

If you’re gunning for a detective agency license, you’ve gotta meet some experience milestones.

And if you’re aiming for a handgun permit, there are training hoops to jump through.

Private Investigator Training in Maryland

If you’re looking to up your game in the private detective world in Maryland, consider snagging certification or a degree in one of these fields:

  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Now, here’s the scoop if you’re eyeing your detective agency in the state:

Experience isn’t a must for private detective registration, but to open up shop, you’ll need to tick off some boxes:

  • 5 years or more as a full-time certified or licensed private detective
  • 5 years or more as a full-time police officer
  • Completion of a police officer training course approved by the Maryland Police Training Commission
  • 3 years of detective work while on the police force

If you’ve got five years under your belt as a full-time fire investigator in Maryland, you can also meet the education and experience requirements by completing certified training from either:

  • The Maryland Police Training Commission
  • The Maryland Fire-Rescue Education and Training Commission.


This training academy provides a diverse range of online courses specifically designed for aspiring private investigators.

These courses are structured to improve investigative skills and adequately prepare students for the licensing examination.

The tuition fees for each course vary, spanning from $99 to $350.

Furthermore, there are specialized classes available for individuals looking to pursue advanced education within the field.

PI Education

This institution provides a 70-hour course specifically designed as a pre-licensing program for prospective private investigators.

The entire program is conducted online, underscoring the importance of having access to a reliable computer and internet connection.

Successful completion of the course accrues 70 credit hours.

To enroll, candidates must submit a tuition fee of $399.

School Name Address
PI Education online
NITA online
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Becoming Licensed as a Private Investigator in Maryland

Here’s what you need to know about the fees, registration, and maintenance for becoming a certified private detective in Maryland!

To kickstart your journey, expect to pay $15 for the application, along with an additional $37.25 for a background check.

Many folks also opt for a handgun permit, which tacks on another $75.

Registration Process

Get ready to fill out the Multiple Licensing Application through the Maryland State Police.

Along with your application, you’ll need to include fingerprint cards, two recent snaps of yourself, and all the required fees.

Don’t forget to jot down the agency you’re planning to work for if you get licensed.

Typically, your application should get the green light within 90 days.

License Renewal

Keep in mind that your private detective certification is good for three years.

Once that’s up, it’s time to renew it.

Renewal will set you back $10, and you’ll need to undergo a fresh fingerprint check.

Salaries for Private Investigators in Maryland

No wonder you are also interested in your salary as a private detective once you get your license to practice.

In the State of Maryland, you can expect to make around $52,502 a year.

This number can be significantly influenced by your physical location, where you work, and your level of schooling.

To understand more about salaries for private investigators in Maryland, read the following table.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Beltsville $56,702
Sandy Spring $56,602
Bowie $56,602
Spencerville $56,602
Abell $56,402
Barstow $56,402
Woolford $56,402
Toddville $56,402
Solomons $56,402
Adamstown $55,402

Regional Salary in Maryland

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD190$52,250$25.12$80,580$35,280
* 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 Maryland?

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

Where do private investigators work in Maryland?

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

Do all PIs in Maryland need a license?

The short answer is a strong “yes.”

USA Private Investigator by State

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