Criminal Justice, Law & Security
Private Investigation

If you grew up idolizing Sherlock Holmes and want to spend your life hunting down clues, interviewing victims, interrogating assailants, and discovering the answers to the question everyone is asking, a degree or certification in Private Investigation may be the perfect fit for you.

Types of Degrees

Private Investigation students typically pursue an associate degree (2 years) or certification program prior to entering the industry. Most states require Private Investigators to pass an exam and receive licensure before they can practice professionally. In this field, prior experience in law enforcement is common.

Admission Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is required, with a strong academic background and experience in law enforcement helping applicants obtain acceptance into their desired school. Each school has its own specific requirements, making it important for you to explore several options before settling on a particular school.

Career Opportunities After Earning A Private Investigation Degree Or Certification

Given the narrow, concentrated instruction of certification programs and the specialized skill set necessary in the Private Investigation field, graduates of a Private Investigation degree or certification program typically go on to become Private Detectives or Investigators.

Post Graduate Salary Information

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for Private Detectives and Investigators was $50,510 in 2019. (1)

Note that the average salary varies widely not only depending on career chosen, but on geographical location and employer. Conditions in your area may vary.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Careers associated with these educational opportunities often require additional degrees and certifications not offered as part of the educational opportunities presented by this website.

Information based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.