Private investigators in Montana earned an average annual salary of $43,900 in 2012 based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More experienced investigators earning top salaries earned $70,460 a year on average in the state.
To become a private investigator or private detective in Montana, the state requires a license from the Montana Board of Private Security Patrol Officers and Investigators. Applicants must be at least 21 years old. They will have to submit proof that they have 5,400 hours (three years) of investigative experience and that they have liability insurance.
An examination is also required to become a PI in Montana. Private investigators that want to be armed have to complete a firearms training program that has been approved by the Board.
Slightly more than a third of private investigators are self-employed. Those who work for companies often work for state and local governments, along with the following services:
- Investigative and security
- Business Support
The types of work carried out by private investigators includes:
- Conducting background checks for law enforcement agencies
- Helping insurance companies or lawyers with cases such as insurance fraud or personal injury
- Investigating people in divorces that are being disputed
- Investigating schemes such as billing fraud for corporations
- Gathering financial data about companies or people
- Preparing loss prevention reports for store managers
- Helping defense attorneys prepare their cases
- Investigating if employees are stealing from retail stores or large firms