How to Become a Private Investigator in Utah

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How to Become a Private Investigator in Utah

Are you interested in becoming a detective in Utah?

It’s an interesting job for people seeking something new and thrilling.

Before you begin, remember there are things you need to learn.

Let’s find out what it takes to become an excellent private investigator!

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Private Investigator Requirements and Duties

There are some requirements to becoming a private investigator.

In Utah, the requirements are as follows:

  • You must be at least 21 years old.
  • You need to be eligible to work in the United States.
  • A background check is required.
  • If you were dishonorably discharged from the military, you can’t become a private investigator in Utah.
  • Your financial situation doesn’t affect getting licensed.
  • If a court deemed you mentally unfit, you won’t get a license.
  • Insurance isn’t necessary to get licensed.
  • You can’t get a license if you’ve been convicted of certain crimes in the last five years, have pending charges, or need to register as a sex offender.

As a private detective, you will also have to complete some daily duties.

These daily tasks typically involve:

  • Watching one person at a time.
  • Taking clear videos and photos from a distance.
  • Keeping yourself healthy and in shape.
  • Understanding your clients’ needs and desires.

Private Investigator Training in Utah

Here’s what you need to become a licensed investigator in Utah:

You must have 2,000 hours of investigative experience to be fully licensed.

Many people start by getting an apprentice license and working in a licensed private investigation agency to gain this experience.

Utah doesn’t ask private investigators to take a written exam to get licensed.

Because of the 2,000-hour work experience rule, most private investigators in Utah get training while they work.

But some future investigators might start by getting a degree in a related field.

Degrees in things like forensics, political science, law, investigation practices, or criminal justice are common choices.

Training in law enforcement can also get you ready for this job.

Utah Valley University

Students should learn about various aspects of the criminal justice system, like:

  • Criminal law
  • Victimization
  • The process of adjudication
  • Correctional options
  • Police-community relations
  • Evidence
  • Ethics
  • Theory.

Students will develop skills to communicate effectively in writing, solve complex problems by considering multiple perspectives, and support their conclusions with persuasive arguments.

Students will understand and apply the main principles of the United States Constitution, especially those related to individual rights and due process, to real criminal justice issues.

Students will explore the complexities of cultural diversity and ethical dilemmas within the criminal justice system.

Students will create and carry out an original research project on a topic relevant to the study of criminal justice.


The NITA Training Academy provides online courses for people who want to become private investigators.

These courses are made to improve investigative skills and get students ready for the licensing test.

The cost of each course varies, ranging from $99 to $350.

Some classes are for those who want more education in this area.

PI Education

At PI Education, they offer a 70-hour course that’s like a prep program before you get licensed.

You can take the whole course online, so having a good computer and internet connection is necessary.

Completing the course gives you 70 credit hours.

To enroll, you will need to pay a tuition fee of $399.

School Name Address
Utah Valley University 800 W University Pkwy, Orem, UT 84058
NITA online school
PI Education online school
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Becoming Licensed as a Private Investigator in Utah

To get your license, you’ll need to pay a $127 fee.

Additionally, there’s a $16.50 fee for your fingerprinting and background check.

To register, if you meet the minimum requirements and have completed 2,000 hours of work experience, you can apply to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification.

You’ll need to include:

  • A recent color photo
  • A completed fingerprint card
  • A copy of your surety bond
  • Verification of your work experience with your application.

Approval might take up to 90 days.

For maintaining your PI license, when it’s about to expire, you’ll need to pay the BCI a $65 renewal fee to ensure your license stays valid.

Salaries for Private Investigators in Utah

After you’ve obtained your license, it’s thrilling to begin searching for your first job.

Before you jump in, you may wonder about your potential earnings.

In Utah, private investigators typically earn around $48,202 per year.

However, this amount can change based on factors like your location, education, and experience.

For more detailed information about salaries in the state, take a look at the table below.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Monticello $52,302
Washington $51,002
Toquerville $51,002
Veyo $51,002
Springdale $51,002
Midway $49,402
Alpine $49,202
Moab $49,202
Kamas $49,002
Lehi $46,602

Regional Salary in Utah

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Ogden-Clearfield, UT50$50,050$24.06$100,780$24,230
Provo-Orem, UT30$50,560$24.31$101,750$29,970
St. George, UT40$39,300$18.89$42,310$31,200
Salt Lake City, UT270$46,560$22.38$97,470$31,340
* 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

Do all PIs in Utah need a license?

The short answer is “yes.”

Where do private investigators work in Utah?

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

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

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

USA Private Investigator by State

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