Feelings and emotions are not strong enough to convict a culprit. When dealing with very dangerous people, garnering evidence yourself is a risky and uphill task. However, the evidence must be garnered. The question remains who can help you stay safe while sourcing and compiling concrete evidence?
A Private investigator! Yes, private investigators are carefully trained to do this job.
Becoming a private investigator in Pennsylvania demands you complete some academic and personal development sessions. And, this article compiles the best and easiest way to become a private investigator in Pennsylvania.
According to Pvteyes.com, private investigation has been in existence as a craft for over a thousand years. However, its origin can be traced to 1883, when Eugène François Vidocq established the first known private detective agency.
As a French soldier, criminal, and privateer, Eugene founded “Le Bureau des Renseignements Universels pour le commerce et l’Industrie”. Investigative.Uk posits that Eugene who was once a criminal used ex-convicts and criminals to carry out operations that the police of the day would not undertake.
In the late 19th century, private detectives and investigators began to take shape in the United States. During this time, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency was obviously very prominent.
After a couple of successful investigation stories, especially the foiling of an assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln, it rose to the public eye.
Basically, the necessity of private detectives can not be underemphasized. It is not just a demanding job, it is also a fun profession. And, you can easily make a career off it by following the steps put together in this piece.
To get started, catch a glimpse of what it entails to become a private investigator in Pennsylvania by taking a quick glance at the table of contents below.
- Who is a Private Investigator?
- Why Become a Private Investigator in Pennsylvania
- What is the Job Outlook for Private Investigators in Pennsylvania?
- What are the Requirements of Becoming a Licensed Private Detective
- What is the Cost of Private investigators License in PA?
- How to Become a Private Investigator in Pennsylvania in 2020?
- How to Become a Pennsylvania Private Detective FAQs
Who is a Private Investigator?
Also called an inquiry agent, a private investigator usually refer to a person who gets hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services.
Also, they could be hired by organizations, firms and industries to find information when necessary. Basically, their job entails searching for clues and garnering evidences for court cases.
While the job appears risky, it is also an interesting job that requires some level of expertise and training. In fact, private detectives are non-members of a police force who are licensed to do detective work.
Why Become a Private Investigator in Pennsylvania
Private investigators in Pennsylvania offer essential services that makes them important in the society. Below are some reasons why you should consider becoming a private investigator in Pennsylvania.
Job Descriptions of Private Detectives in Pennsylvania
If you love working discreetly and good with keeping secrets, then you should consider a career as a Private detectives. In Pennsylvania, undercover investigators are charged with the responsibility of garnering evidences that could be used in court.
In fact, working discreetly, garnering information, and aiding the court to punish offenders is one interesting job and a great reason to become an undercover investigator in Pennsylvania.
Private investigator in Pennsylvania Salary
According to indeed.com, private detectives earn close to $27.23 per hour. So, another reason to consider becoming a private detective in Pennsylvania is that it offers a good pay. Quite rewarding, pays excellently well and can easily be earned.
Most commonly, though, private investigators charge an hourly rate. Depending on your location, complexity of the work and expertise of the private investigator, fees can range from $40 to over $100 per hour with the average somewhere around $50 an hour in the United States.
The following BLS stats reveal the median-top 10% salary range for PIs in Pennsylvania’s largest MSAs:
- Philadelphia: $61,610-$94,100 (approximately 1,350 licensed PIs)
- Harrisburg: $45,210-$79,380
- Allentown-Bethlehem: $56,490-$79,330
- Pittsburgh: $38,470-$61,550 (approximately 1,520 licensed PIs)
Cost of Becoming a Private investigator in Pennsylvania
Compared with other states, becoming a private detective in Pennsylvania is more affordable. In fact, it costs just $200 to obtain a license for undercover investigators in the state. In addition to the license fee of private investigators, a surety bond of $10,000 is also required.
On the other hand, your counter parts in other states like Florida will pay $420 for the mandatory PI course, and $154 for license and fingerprints.
Furthermore, becoming a private investigator in PA demands you provide five character references who have known you for at least 5 years and, passport size photographs.
In summary, you should consider becoming an Undercover detective in Pennslyvania for the following reasons:
What is the Job Outlook for Private Investigators in Pennsylvania?
Bureau of Labour Statistics posits that the job growth rate for private investigators will grow by 8% creating 33,000 new jobs by 2028.
This implies that there will always be a place for Private investigators in Pennsylvania. Also, Pennslyvania provides different variety of field for PIs. They can choose to become self employed by being consultants, or work as undercover for any of the private investigative companies in PA.
Some of these private detective companies in PA include:
- Penta Detective Agency LLC
- American Detective Agency
- Private Investigation Agency
- Eye See You Detective Agency, LLC
- Tri State Detective Agency
- WARSTONE DETECTIVE SERVICES
- Lancaster Detective Agency
What are the Requirements of Becoming a Licensed Private Detective
Generally, what you require to become a licensed Private investigator differs across states. To become a PI in PA, you must fulfill the Pennsylvania private detective act of 1953.
According to the law, Pennsylvania private investigators must complete 3 years of investigative experience.
In addition, the Court of Common Pleas in the county you reside or where your business is stationed must be petitioned before you get the private investigator license.
For clarity, the requirements to become a PI in PA will be itemized based on academic, skill, and license requirements.
Basically, becoming a PI in Pennsylvania demands you complete some form of training. To excel in this profession, you need to earn a high school diploma or its equivalent.
In addition, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or its related field will go a long way in establishing you in this profession. Where it is not possible to earn a bachelor’s degree, you should opt for an associate degree.
Admission requirements for PA Programs in Pennsylvaian
To become a PI in PA, you may need to complete a degree program in Criminal Justice or its related field.
For most schools, gaining admission to study this course means you tick the admission checklist. Usually, you may have to provide the following documents to gain admission:
- High school diploma
- Official transcripts
- Application fee
- Average GPA of 3.0
Private Detective Eligibility Requirements Pennsylvania
To obtain a private investigator license in Pennsylvania, you must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be at least 25 years old.
- Have three years of experience as a. Detective agency employee. Law enforcement agent (with a rank higher than a patrolman)
- Not have been convicted of any of the following:
- Illegally using, carrying, or possessing a dangerous weapon
- Making or possessing instruments for burglary
- Unlawfully entering a building
- Aiding a prison escape
- Unlawfully distributing or possessing habit-forming narcotic drugs
- Picking pockets (or trying to do so)
- Recklessly endangering another person
- Committing simple assault
- Soliciting a person to commit sodomy or other lewdness
- Making threats of terrorism
Skill Requirement to Become PI’s in PA
Aside from academic requirements to become a PI in Pennsylvania, imbibing the following skills will aid you in your journey of becoming a licensed private investigator:
What is the Cost of Private investigators License in PA?
Depending on the type of PI license you wish to obtain, cost ranges from $200.00-$450.00. Below is the cost of various PI license in Pennsylvania.
- Initial Individual License – $200.00. (Issued for 2 yrs.)
- Initial Partnerships and Corporations – $300.00. (Issued for 2 yrs.)
- Renewal Individual License – $300.00. (Issued for 3 yrs.)
- Renewal Partnerships/Corporations – $450.00. (Issued for 3 yrs.)
How to Become a Private Investigator in Pennsylvania in 2020?
This article aside from listing the requirements to become a private investigator in PA will now give a full guide on how to become a Private Investigator.
To become a Pittsburgh Licensed Private Investigator or a Philadelphia Private detective in 2020, follow this full guide beneath:
#1: Meet Pennsylvania Private Detective Requirements
To become a PA private investigator, you must fulfill private detective requirements of the Pennsylvanian Private Investigator act of 1953. These requirements include academic, eligibility, and other laws.
Although PA doesn’t have any slated educational requirement for Private detectives, obtaining a bachelor’s degree or associate degree will be beneficial to you.
Pennsylvanian Private Investigator act of 1953 Requirements
- e a U.S. citizen
- Be at least 25 years old
- Be a member of the U.S. government investigative services OR
- Be a sheriff OR
- Be a member of the Pennsylvania State Police OR
- Have at least 3 years of private detective experience
- And have not been convicted of a felony
#2: Apply to become a PI in Pennsylvania
Once you tick the checklist, the next thing to do is obtain application for Private investigator in Pennsylvania. Basically, application must be got from the county you intend to work in.
For instance, obtain an application from Philadelphia county if you wish to become a Philadelphia Private detective. To obtain an application, simply contact your County Clerk of Courts.
#3: Complete Application to become Pennsylvania Private Investigator
To complete application for PI in PA, you will provide the following documents and fees:
- Fingerprint cards
- The signatures of 5 references who have known you for at least 5 years
- 2 passport-sized photographs of yourself
- Filing fee and Fingerprint fee
#4: Purchase Pennsylvania Private Detective Bond
The next step to becoming a Private detective is purchasing a Private investigative bond. Pennsylvania’s private detective bond is set at $10,000. Usually, the bond serves as a surety bond required by law to put in check.
Most times, if you fail to abide by the rules, someone else can make claim against your bond.
You will not need to pay the full bond amount to get bonded. Instead, you will just pay a small portion of the amount.
#5: Pay Fees
Depending on the type of PI licence you need, the next step in obtaining a PI license in Pennsylvania is to pay your fees. Check the list below to get informed on what each type of license cost generally.
- $200: if applying as an individual
- $300: if applying as partnership, corporation, or association
#6: Submit Application
Finally, submit your application to your County Clerk of Court’s office. In PA, most counties will process your license within 10 days through the District Attorney.
Once your license is processed and in your custody, you should consider joining the Pennsylvania Association of Licensed Investigators.
#7: Renew Your License
Most Private investigator licenses will expire in 2 years. You should endeavor to renew as at when due. Finally, get work experience and frequently take PI course mostly online.
How to Become a Pennsylvania Private Detective FAQs
How much does a private investigator cost in Pennsylvania?
Private investigators charge an hourly rate. Generally, in PA, private investigators cost between $40 to $100 per hour.
How do you become a detective in Pennsylvania?
To become a private detective in Pennsylvania, meet requirements, obtain application, complete application, then, buy surety bond of $10, 000. Finally, pay your fees, and submit your application.
What kind of degree do you need to be a private investigator in Pennslyvania?
There is no required degree to become a PI in PA. However, it is wise and important to complete a two-year or four-year degree program in criminal justice or its related field.
Can you be a private investigator without being a cop?
Yes, you can be a private investigator without being a cop. While it is necessary and important to gain experience as a cop, it is no basic entry requirement.
How do I find someone who is a private investigator?
To find a private investigator, contact registered private investigation companies in your area. Or request a private investigator from your County Clerk Office.
Private investigation is an interesting job to do. However, you need proper guidance to become a licensed PI.
In Pennsylvania, the requirements to become a Private investigator is not so demanding. You can easily obtain your license if you meet the PA private investigator’s license reuirements.
And, this article from the World Scholarship Forum compiles the requirements, how to apply, and where to apply correctly to obtain your PI license. Just read through to get started.