What is a private investigator?

Hired by a private group or an individual, a private investigator (or private detective) provides investigative services.

What should I look for in an online private investigator school?

The best online private investigator schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online private investigator schools based on:

  • The school’s name and status
  • The school’s history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online private investigator school for you, you should consider the following factors:
  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online private investigator programs are available?

The following levels of private investigator degree online programs are available:

  • Online Private Investigator Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Private Investigation
  • Online Bachelor in Private Investigation
  • Online Masters in Private Investigation
  • Online PhD in Private Investigation

How long does it take to get an online private investigator degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online private investigator degree depends on the level of private investigator degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Private Investigator Certification Programs – 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Private Investigator Associates Degree – 2 years
  • Online Private Investigator Bachelor Degree – 4 years
  • Online Private Investigator Masters – 2 years
  • Online Private Investigator PhD – 2 to 5 years

What are some examples of online private investigator courses?

Any curriculum in the best online private investigator degree programs includes these online private investigator courses:

  • Private Investigation and the Law
    This course explores the intersection of private investigators and the legal system, covering allowable evidence in courts, insurance, state, and federal law, investigator-attorney relations, the criminal justice system, and ethical issues.
  • Criminal Investigation and Investigative Techniques
    Students examine the techniques of the investigator. The course details how to plan and organize an investigation, interact with civilians and police, conduct interviews, investigate a crime scene, handle court testimony, and maintain professional ethics.
  • Civil Investigation
    This course introduces civil investigative areas including death, insurance, and fraud.
  • Legal Principles and Requirements
    Students become acquainted with the law and principles which govern private investigators, including constitutional amendments and Supreme Court cases that pertain to private investigators.
  • Sources of Information
    Students will learn how to classify resources of investigative information while understanding the Internet’s role, differences between private and public records, field investigation, and computerized databases.

What areas of private investigator specialization are available?

Students will acquire much the same education obtained by many law enforcement agents, but online private investigator certificate programs enable them to work privately and specialize in careers like:

  • Corporate Investigation
  • Forensic Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Computer Forensics
  • Fraud Investigation

What can I do with a private investigator degree?

Some potential employment possibilities for graduates of accredited online private investigator schools include:

  • Police Investigator
  • Private Investigator
  • Corporate Investigator
  • Digital Forensic Investigator
  • Legal Investigator
  • Financial Investigator

What is a private investigator?

Private investigators provide professional investigative forensic and surveillance services to private parties.

What does a private investigator do?

The details of private investigators’ work will depend on their specialty and the case at hand. Often, much of a private investigator’s work is conducted on the computer where they search for deleted documents and emails, survey sites, and verify facts. Private investigators will also conduct interviews, and even go undercover if requested by clients.

How much does a private investigator earn?

A private investigator’s annual mean salary is $41,760. Forecasted growth is faster than the average compared to other occupations, at an expected 22 percent. Heightened concerns with security, litigation, and protection of property and confidential information all create demand for private investigators.

How do I become a private investigator?

Students interested in how to become a private investigator should know that in addition to applicable education and professional experience, most States require private investigators to be officially licensed. Licensing requirements vary between States. However, completing an online private investigator degree program will provide graduates with the expertise they need to begin a career in private investigation, and may prepare them for licensing examinations.

Private Investigator Schools (Campus)

School Certificate Associates Bachelors Masters PhD
University of Phoenix-Online Campus
3157 E. Elwood Street
Phoenix, AZ, 85034
http://www.uopxonline.com
X X
Houston Community College
3100 Main Street
Houston, TX, 77266
http://www.hccs.edu
X X
Lone Star College System
5000 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX, 77381
http://www.lonestar.edu
X
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
1400 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA, 98195
http://www.washington.edu
X
Tarrant County College District
1500 Houston St
Fort Worth, TX, 76102
http://www.tccd.edu
X
College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV, 89146
http://www.csn.edu
X
Austin Community College District
5930 Middle Fiskville Rd
Austin, TX, 78752
http://www.austincc.edu
X X
Florida State University
211 Westcott Bldg
Tallahassee, FL, 32306
http://www.fsu.edu
X
Valencia Community College
190 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL, 32801
http://valenciacc.edu
X
Riverside Community College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA, 92506
http://www.rcc.edu/
X X
Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X
East Los Angeles College
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park, CA, 91754
http://www.elac.edu/index.htm
X X
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94112
http://www.ccsf.edu
X X
George Mason University
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA, 22030
http://www.gmu.edu
X X
American Public University System
111 W Congress St
Charles Town, WV, 25414
http://www.apus.edu
X X X
Santa Ana College
1530 W. 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA, 92706
http://www.sac.edu
X X
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Dr
San Marcos, TX, 78666
http://www.txstate.edu
X
Mt San Antonio College
1100 N Grand Ave
Walnut, CA, 91789
http://www.mtsac.edu
X X
Cuyahoga Community College District
700 Carnegie Ave
Cleveland, OH, 44115
http://www.tri-c.edu
X
Columbus State Community College
550 E Spring St
Columbus, OH, 43215
http://www.cscc.edu
X
El Paso Community College
919 Hunter Drive
El Paso, TX, 79915
http://www.epcc.edu
X
Oakland Community College
2480 Opdyke Rd
Bloomfield Hills, MI, 48304
http://www.oaklandcc.edu
X
Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA, 90808
http://www.lbcc.edu
X X
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA, 2115
http://www.northeastern.edu
X X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
X X
El Camino Community College District
16007 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA, 90506
http://www.elcamino.edu
X X
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA, 95822
http://www.scc.losrios.edu/
X X
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL, 60137
http://www.cod.edu
X X
San Jacinto Community College
8060 Spencer Hwy
Pasadena, TX, 77501
http://www.sjcd.edu
X X
Hillsborough Community College
39 Columbia Drive
Tampa, FL, 33606
http://www.hccfl.edu
X
Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA, 91106
http://www.pasadena.edu
X X
Montgomery College
40 W. Gude Drive Suite 220
Rockville, MD, 20850
http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu
X
Washington State University
French Administration Building
Pullman, WA, 99164
http://www.wsu.edu/
X X X
Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ, 85202
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu
X X
University of Akron Main Campus
302 Buchtel Common
Akron, OH, 44325
http://www.uakron.edu
X
Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA, 95401
http://www.santarosa.edu
X X
Fresno City College
1101 E. University Ave
Fresno, CA, 93741
http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu
X X
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA, 95014
http://www.deanza.edu/
X
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
http://www.gwu.edu
X X
Collin County Community College District
4800 Preston Park Blvd.
Plano, TX, 75093
http://www.collin.edu
X X
Suffolk County Community College
533 College Rd
Selden, NY, 11784
http://www3.sunysuffolk.edu
X
Macomb Community College
14500 E Twelve Mile Rd
Warren, MI, 48088
http://www.macomb.edu
X
San Antonio College
1300 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, TX, 78212
http://www.alamo.edu/sac/sacmain/sac.htm
X X
Central Texas College
6200 West Central Texas Expressway
Killeen, TX, 76540
http://www.ctcd.edu
X
The Community College of Baltimore County
7201 Rossville Blvd.
Baltimore, MD, 21237
http://www.ccbcmd.edu
X X
University of Toledo
2801 W Bancroft
Toledo, OH, 43606
http://www.utoledo.edu/
X
Weber State University
3848 Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT, 84408
http://www.weber.edu
X
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
One HACC Dr
Harrisburg, PA, 17110
http://www.hacc.edu
X X
Fullerton College
321 E Chapman Avenue
Fullerton, CA, 92832
http://www.fullcoll.edu
X X
Rio Hondo College
3600 Workman Mill Rd
Whittier, CA, 90601
http://www.riohondo.edu
X X
Des Moines Area Community College
2006 Ankeny Blvd
Ankeny, IA, 50023
http://www.dmacc.edu
X
Diablo Valley College
321 Golf Club Rd
Pleasant Hill, CA, 94523
http://www.dvc.edu
X X
Los Angeles Pierce College
6201 Winnetka Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 91371
http://www.piercecollege.edu
X
Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA, 90650
http://WWW.CERRITOS.EDU
X X
Southwestern College
900 Otay Lakes Rd
Chula Vista, CA, 91910
http://www.swccd.edu
X X
College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita, CA, 91355
http://www.canyons.edu
X X
Sinclair Community College
444 W. Third St.
Dayton, OH, 45402
http://www.sinclair.edu
X X
Chaffey College
5885 Haven Ave
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91737
http://www.chaffey.edu
X X
Lansing Community College
419 N Capitol Ave
Lansing, MI, 48901
http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us
X X
Rio Salado College
2323 W 14th St
Tempe, AZ, 85281
http://www.rio.maricopa.edu
X X
Sierra College
5000 Rocklin Road
Rocklin, CA, 95677
http://www.sierracollege.edu
X
Community College of Allegheny County
800 Allegheny Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15233
http://www.ccac.edu
X
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park, KS, 66210
http://www.jccc.edu
X
Grossmont College
8800 Grossmont College Dr
El Cajon, CA, 92020
http://www.grossmont.edu/
X X
San Joaquin Delta College
5151 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA, 95207
http://www.deltacollege.edu
X X
Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W State St
Milwaukee, WI, 53233
http://matc.edu
X
Glendale Community College
6000 W Olive Ave
Glendale, AZ, 85302
http://www.gc.maricopa.edu
X X
Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA, 91401
http://www.lavc.edu
X X
Los Angeles City College
855 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90029
http://www.lacitycollege.edu/
X X
Santa Barbara City College
721 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA, 93109
http://www.sbcc.edu
X X
Tulsa Community College
6111 E Skelly Dr
Tulsa, OK, 74135
http://www.tulsacc.edu
X
Central Piedmont Community College
1201 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC, 28204
http://www.cpcc.edu
X
Community College of Philadelphia
1700 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA, 19130
http://www.ccp.edu
X X
Monroe Community College
1000 E Henrietta Rd
Rochester, NY, 14623
http://www.monroecc.edu/
X X
Modesto Junior College
435 College Ave
Modesto, CA, 95350
http://mjc.edu
X X
Bakersfield College
1801 Panorama Dr
Bakersfield, CA, 93305
http://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/
X X
College of Lake County
19351 W Washington St.
Grayslake, IL, 60030
http://WWW.CLCILLINOIS.EDU
X X
Brevard Community College
1519 Clearlake Rd
Cocoa, FL, 32922
http://www.brevardcc.edu
X
Kirkwood Community College
6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW
Cedar Rapids, IA, 52406
http://www.kirkwood.edu
X
Moraine Valley Community College
9000 W. College Parkway
Palos Hills, IL, 60465
http://www.morainevalley.edu
X
Community College of Rhode Island
400 East Ave
Warwick, RI, 2886
http://www.ccri.edu
X
Mt. San Jacinto Community College District
1499 N State St
San Jacinto, CA, 92583
http://www.msjc.edu
X X
University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK, 99508
http://www.uaa.alaska.edu
X
Blinn College
902 College Ave
Brenham, TX, 77833
http://www.blinn.edu
X
Metropolitan Community College Area
30 & Fort Street
Omaha, NE, 68111
http://www.mccneb.edu
X
Grand Rapids Community College
143 Bostwick Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503
http://www.grcc.edu
X
Miami University-Oxford
500 High St
Oxford, OH, 45056
http://www.muohio.edu
X
Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale
1500 NW 49th St.
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33309
http://www.keiseruniversity.edu
X X
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL, 35294
http://www.uab.edu
X X
Glendale Community College
1500 N Verdugo Rd
Glendale, CA, 91208
http://www.glendale.edu
X X
Delgado Community College
615 City Park Ave
New Orleans, LA, 70119
http://WWW.DCC.EDU
X
Anne Arundel Community College
101 College Pky
Arnold, MD, 21012
http://www.aacc.edu
X X
Madison Area Technical College
3550 Anderson St
Madison, WI, 53704
http://matcmadison.edu
X
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Rd
Paramus, NJ, 7652
http://www.bergen.edu
X
Seminole State College of Florida
100 Weldon Blvd
Sanford, FL, 32773
http://www.seminolestate.edu/
X
Moorpark College
7075 Campus Rd
Moorpark, CA, 93021
http://www.moorparkcollege.edu/index.shtml
X X
Eastern Kentucky University
521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY, 40475
http://www.eku.edu
X X
University of Central Oklahoma
100 N University Dr
Edmond, OK, 73034
http://www.uco.edu
X
Cabrillo College
6500 Soquel Dr
Aptos, CA, 95003
http://www.cabrillo.edu
X X
Harper College
1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL, 60067
http://www.harpercollege.edu
X

Schools by State

Best Cities for Private Investigator Schools