Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceCareers & Employment · 1 decade ago

in the state of iowa do you have to go to school to be a private eye?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    According to the Iowa Dept of Public Safety:

    In Iowa, you can either work for yourself or work for a licensed private investigation agency.

    Iowa does not have any educational or experience requirements for a private eye.

    Each person employed by and engaged in the business of a licensed bail enforcement, private

    investigative or private security agency must obtain an employee ID card from the Department of Public Safety of Iowa.

    Do you have to be a resident of Iowa to be a private eye? No. Is there an Exam? No.

    If you want a license for yourself, here is the Iowa Private Investigator Licensing info:

    Here's the checklist of what you have to fill out before you have completed the Iowa licensing process:

    To get your fingerprints rolled, you can contact most law enforcement agencies, they will roll finger prints. Call ahead for an appointment. You may expect to pay a pay a processing fee.

    Can you use your ID card to work for more than one licensed agency? No. Your ID card is issued under the name of a particular agency. Therefore, it is only valid while working for the agency that is named on the card.

    Can you work for more than one licensed agency at the same time? Yes. The Iowa Code and the Iowa Administrative Code do not prohibit this; however, some agencies do have rules that address working for more than one licensed agency. You must obtain an ID card from each agency from whom you are employed.

    According to the US Dept of Labor:

    Job Outlook:

    Despite faster-than-average employment growth, keen competition is expected because of the large number of qualified people who are attracted to this occupation; the most opportunities will be found in entry-level jobs with detective agencies or in stores that hire detectives on a part-time basis.

    Former law enforcement officers, military investigators, and government agents, who are frequently able to retire after 25 years of service, often become private detectives or investigators in a second career. Others enter from such diverse fields as finance, accounting, commercial credit, investigative reporting, insurance, and law. These individuals often can apply their prior work experience in a related investigative specialty. A few enter the occupation directly after graduation from college, generally with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice or police science.

    Skills needed:

    For private detective and investigator jobs, most employers look for individuals with ingenuity, persistence, and assertiveness. A candidate must not be afraid of confrontation, should communicate well, and should be able to think on his or her feet. Good interviewing and interrogation skills also are important and usually are acquired in earlier careers in law enforcement or other fields. Because the courts often are the ultimate judge of a properly conducted investigation, the investigator must be able to present the facts in a manner that a jury will believe.

    Where do they work?

    Private detectives and investigators held about 43,000 jobs in 2004. About 26 percent were self-employed, including many who held a secondary job as a self-employed private detective. Around 27 percent of jobs were in investigation and security services, including private detective agencies, while another 15 percent were in department or other general merchandise stores. The rest worked mostly in State and local government, legal services firms, employment services companies, insurance agencies, and credit mediation establishments, including banks and other depository institutions.


    Median annual earnings of salaried private detectives and investigators were $32,110 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $24,080 and $43,260. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,260, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $58,470. Earnings of private detectives and investigators vary greatly by employer, specialty, and geographic area.

    Good luck!

  • Jo
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Some Private Eye places won't hire anybody unless they have Law enforcement experience.Years ago,I tried to get into the PI business and a retired PI told me that it doesn't really make any money,and it can be boring at times.Also,I didn't have any Law Enforcement experience.Check the Iowa regulations and see if they require school.

  • 4 years ago

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