We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Private Detective Schools?

By S. Mithra
Updated Jan 26, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Private detective schools teach high school or college graduates the skills needed to be a non-governmental detective, primarily through on-line or mail courses. Students learn essential knowledge about data bases, fingerprinting, internet research, surveillance technology, and legal issues. Some private detective schools are licensed through the state and therefore issue certificates of graduation that show the student has fulfilled basic requirements.

Many private detective schools teach students on the internet and/or through mail. This means there is no physical campus, but the school provides lesson plans, assignments, training, and feedback. Instructors interact virtually with the students, rather than in person. For instance, the instructor may grade papers by e-mail, conduct phone conferences, and run a message board on which a class can discuss their questions and receive guidance. Therefore, courses are structured but add a degree of flexibility to let the detective-in-training to continue their current employment.

Most of these programs through private detective schools can be completed in 6-9 months, but allow up to two years with their adaptable schedule. Their courses prepare students in research that might aid in repossessing property, locating missing persons, tracing people through credit history and state records, confirming suspicious behavior such as infidelity, and filing legal reports. Therefore, private detective schools provide materials on surveillance equipment, conducting undercover investigations, security, records on birth, death, marriage, taxes, and incarceration, DNA samples, basic legal principles of privacy, and sometimes firearms safety.

Some graduates of private detective schools are concurrently enrolled in a university, seeking a degree in Criminal Justice or similar field. However, someone who graduated from a reputable private detective course is prepared to pass a state's Private Investigator Exam where they are certified as a licensed private detective. This allows them to work in a security company as a bodyguard, a legal firm as a researcher, various levels of law enforcement, or at their own small investigator business working with individual clients as a private eye. Most private detective schools recommend additional education in firearms use and safety so graduates can be licensed to carry and use a firearm for protection.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon76401 — On Apr 10, 2010

I wanted to study to be a private detective. i am 28 years old and i need information on detective courses to study in a distance course.

By anon12601 — On May 10, 2008

I want to be the greatest detective on Earth!!! please help me in getting a scholarship! I am still 16 but being a detective is what I want to do.

By mallorierich — On Dec 31, 2007

Where can I take, as you described, a "reputable private detective course"? What would make one course more reputable than the other?

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.