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How to Become a Private Investigator in Texas: Unlocking the Secrets

This post covers everything you need to know about how to become a private investigator in Texas.

Are you interested in becoming a private investigator in Texas?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics Texas is one of the states with the highest employment level of Private Investigators.

With the growing demand for private investigators in the state, it’s a great time to start your journey to becoming one.

However, the process can be confusing and overwhelming.

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I’ve done extensive research and gathered all the important information you need to kickstart your career in this fascinating field.

Whether you’re aspiring to be an investigator or just curious about the profession, this article is your go-to resource, backed by thorough research and practical insights.

Here I’ll take you through

  • the steps you need to take to become a licensed private investigator in Texas,
  • the education and training requirements
  • Texas licensing process
  • the skills and qualifications you’ll need to succeed.
  • etc.

Let’s get started

Read also: Private Investigator and Detective: Who Does What and How?

How to Become a Private Investigator in Texas

To become a private investigator in Texas, you must meet the state’s education and training requirements, pass a background check and fingerprinting, and obtain a license from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma or GED, however, many employers prefer applicants with some college education or a degree in a related field.

Training options include on-the-job training, vocational schools, and college programs.

Additionally, obtaining additional certifications can enhance your chances of getting hired.

Once licensed, you will work on a variety of cases and you must possess good communication skills, attention to detail, and analytical thinking skills.

The following is how you can sail through the process

Meet education and training requirements

To become a private investigator in Texas, you will need to meet certain educational and training requirements.

The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma or equivalent.

However, many private investigators have completed some form of post-secondary education, such as a vocational program or college degree.

This can be in fields such as criminal justice, law enforcement, or psychology, which can be useful in understanding the criminal mind and how to investigate crimes.

In addition to that education, you have to complete at least 40 hours of Level III or Level IV training from a school approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Useful link: Training school Search

Some of these programs provide a certification upon completion, which can be beneficial when looking for a job or when trying to advance your career.

Another way to gain specialized skills and knowledge is to obtain additional certifications or degrees, such as a certified fraud examiner, forensic interviewer, or forensic computer examiner.

Additionally, professional associations such as the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators (TALI) offer educational opportunities and resources for Private Investigators to stay current on industry developments and best practices.

This can help you stand out in a competitive job market and increase your earning potential.

REMEMBER while obtaining a degree in a related field can be beneficial, it is not a requirement for becoming a private investigator in the state of Texas.

However, having a degree or other additional qualifications can make you a more competitive candidate for employment and may also provide you with a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system and investigative techniques.

Possess relevant skills and qualifications

Skills and qualifications are essential for a successful career as a private investigator in Texas.

The job of a private investigator involves conducting investigations, gathering evidence, and providing clients with detailed reports.

To be successful in this role, you will need to possess a certain set of skills and qualifications.

Strong communication skills

One of the most important skills for a private investigator is good communication skills.

As a Private investigator, you will often need to interview people, gather information, and present their findings in a clear and concise manner.

Strong verbal and written communication skills are crucial for being able to effectively report your findings to clients.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is another important skill.

As a private investigator, you will be responsible for collecting and analyzing a large amount of information.

The ability to pay close attention to detail and pick up on important clues is essential for success in this field.

Analytical skills

Analytical thinking is also crucial.

As a private investigator, you must be able to analyze and interpret the information you gather and make sense of it.

You must be able to think critically and make logical conclusions based on the evidence you have collected.

Physical fitness

Physical fitness is also an important aspect of the job, as private investigators, you may have to follow suspects or gather evidence in various locations.


Prior experience in a related field can also be valuable.

For example, those with experience in law enforcement, the military, or other fields that require surveillance or investigation experience will have an advantage when it comes to becoming a private investigator.

Obtain Licence

The state licensing process is an essential step in becoming a private investigator in Texas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for issuing private investigator licenses in Texas.

The following is how you can obtain a license

Pass background check

Once you have met the education and training requirements, you will need to pass a background check and fingerprinting.

This is to ensure that you have no prior criminal convictions that would disqualify you from becoming a private investigator.

You will also need to provide proof of liability insurance, which is required by the state to protect clients and the public from potential damages.

Submit your application

Next, you will need to submit your application to the DPS.

Along with the application, you will need to provide documentation of your education, training, and experience, as well as any other relevant certifications or degrees.

You will also need to pay the application fee and the fingerprinting fee.

Useful links:

Review of your application

After your application is received, it will be reviewed by the DPS.

If your application is approved, you will be issued a private investigator license.

Once you have received your license, you will be required to renew it every two years.

To renew your license, you will need to complete a certain number of continuing education hours, as well as pay the renewal fee.

Useful Link:

It’s important to note that the licensing process and requirements may change over time, so it’s recommended to check with the Texas Department of Public Safety for the most up-to-date information.

Basic Licencing requirements

To ensure your application is approved, check off these essential qualifications for licensing as set forth by Texas Occupations Code 1702.113

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • You have a clean criminal record, free from any felony convictions
  • You have not been convicted of a Class B misdemeanor within the past five years in any jurisdiction
  • You are not currently facing charges for a Class A misdemeanor or felony
  • You are not currently charged with a Class B misdemeanor
  • You have not been declared incompetent by a court due to a mental defect or disease
  • You are not required to register as a sex offender in Texas or any other jurisdiction
  • You have never received a dishonorable discharge from U.S. military service

By meeting these requirements, you can ensure a smooth registration process and pave the way for a successful career as a private investigator in Texas.


Becoming a private investigator in Texas is a challenging but rewarding journey.

By understanding the education and training requirements, navigating the state licensing process, and developing the necessary skills and qualifications, you can unlock the secrets of becoming a private investigator in Texas.

The job outlook for private investigators in Texas is positive, with a growing demand for their services, and a career as a private investigator can provide a good earning potential.

The job duties of a private investigator in Texas include a variety of cases and challenges, but also rewards.

I hope that this guide has provided you with the information you need to take the first step toward a career as a private investigator in Texas.

Remember, it’s important to stay informed and to always follow the laws and regulations in the state of Texas.

Best of luck on your journey to becoming a private investigator in Texas!

Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Isack Kimaro, a lawyer, Creative Writer and self-taught SEO expert has been a prominent author of law-related topics since 2017. Through hard work, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge, Isack has successfully navigated the legal industry by providing valuable and easy-to-understand legal information to 500,000+ individuals of all levels of understanding.