How Do You Become a Private Investigator After Military Service?

Private investigatorsThe years that you spent in the military can prepare you for a number of different career paths, but some former military want to know how they can become a private investigator after military service. You are likely in good shape, understand the way people act and have some familiarity with different types of weapons, which can all help you on the job. While some clients may seek you out simply because of your military background, you will still need to meet all the same requirements and standards for licensed private investigators in your state.

Go to College

You shouldn’t expect to leave the military, walk into your local courthouse and immediately walk out with a license in your hand. Most states require that PIs take some classes on criminal justice first. While you can go to school and get a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, you may look at earning an associate’s degree instead, which can take just two years or less. You’ll want to take a combination of legal studies, criminal justice and research classes.

Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit

Before you become a private investigator after military service, you might look into obtaining a concealed carry permit in your state. A concealed carry permit gives you the legal right to carry a gun with you on the job and in your personal life. While you might think that you’ll never need a weapon, you never know when someone you follow might attack you. Having some type of weapon on you allows you to fight back and potentially save your life or the lives of your clients. You generally need to show that you have experience using a gun, understand gun safety and can successfully pass a criminal background check.

Get a License

Every state in the county has different rules regarding who can obtain a private investigator license. Most states require that applicants be at least 18 years old, have a clean driving record and successfully pass a drug test. If you fail that test, your state may ban you from applying again or let you apply later. You will submit your fingerprints for a criminal background check done by your local police department. Many states ask that applicants have a clean record with no felony or misdemeanor convictions within the last 10 years.

Other Information You Need to Know

You shouldn’t even think about becoming a PI until you have a good understanding of what these professionals do on the job. They essentially investigate cases brought to them by clients. You might work on divorce cases, investigate applicants for a local company or help a business find employees stealing from the company. Before you become a private investigator after military service, you may want to think about how much you can make too. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median pay among private investigators is around $21 an hour or more than $44,500 a year.

Related Resource: Military Degree

Whether you spent four years in the Navy or retired after 20 years in the Army, you still need to meet the requirements of your state before becoming a PI. To become a private investigator after military service, you generally need to attend college and get a license in your state, and you may want to apply for a concealed carry permit too.