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Become a Private Detective through Training and Certification in Rhode Island

If you wish to become a private investigator in Rhode Island, you need to follow these steps:

Meet Rhode Island Requirements to Obtain a License
Obtain the Necessary Education and Training in Rhode Island
Submit your Rhode Island Application
Start Work as a Private Investigator in Rhode Island

The state of Rhode Island defines a private investigator as a person who has been hired to conduct investigations involving the following:

  • Clandestine surveillance
  • Inquiries into unsolved crimes
  • The search for stolen or lost property
  • The search for missing persons

Private investigators in this state must be licensed by the local authorities where their places of business are located.

 


 

Step 1.  Meet the Rhode Island Requirements to Obtain a License

There a number of requirements that you must meet before you can apply for a license to be a private investigator in Rhode Island.  They include the following:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Not have had any previous PI license revoked or have been denied a license
  • Not have been declared incompetent by reason of mental disease or defect
  • Be of good moral character
  • Not suffer from narcotics or alcohol addiction (ok if sober and recovery period completed)
  • Have one of the following:
    • Five years experience as a law enforcement investigator or police officer
    • A criminal justice degree from an accredited university or college
    • Five years of employment as an investigator for a private detective
    • Equivalent training or experience

 


 

Step 2.  Obtain the Necessary Education and Training in Rhode Island

If you are not already a law enforcement official, you will need to have either a criminal justice degree or a substantial amount of experience working in the field of private security.  You can obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from schools in cities such as Providence, Warwick, or East Greenwich.  Another option is to seek training from of the online schools that offer this type of education.

In addition to fulfilling a requirement, formal training in criminal justice should help you as you navigate the legal system and improve your analytical skills.

 


 

Step 3.  Submit Your Rhode Island Application

You will have to contact your local city or county to find out the particulars of submitting an application in your jurisdiction.  The state of Rhode Island requires that you provide the following along with your application:

  • $150 license fee
  • A surety bond for $5,000

 


 

Step 4.  Start Work as a Private Investigator in Rhode Island

Once your license has been granted, the licensing authority will send you an identification card to carry as you go about your work.  You may want to join the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Rhode Island.  They offer informational meetings and opportunities to network with fellow private investigators throughout the state.

There are a number of different types of jobs available to a licensed private investigator.  Some PIs work for individuals, while others work for insurance companies to investigate suspicious claims.  Yet others work for criminal or civil attorneys to assist them with their cases.

Your license will expire in one year, and you will have to renew it at least thirty days before its expiration date.  There is a $150 fee to renew it.  You will be able to keep working while your renewal is pending.

The occupation of private investigation is expected to grow over 20% nationally in the period from 2010 to 2020.  The average annual salaries for these professionals in Rhode Island are available from Indeed.com for September 2013.  They are listed below:

  • Private investigator:  $39,000
  • Private detective:  $26,000

 


 

Private Investigator Salary Information for Rhode Island

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has provided 2012 salary information for the Norwich-New London area.  The annual mean salary was $44,880, while experienced professionals made $78,550 a year.

As with most states, a license is required to work as a private investigator in Rhode Island.  In contrast to most, though, licenses are issued at the county or municipal level.  That state does require that applicants have liability insurance in the form of a $5,000 surety bond.

The state of Rhode Island requires a substantial amount of experience or training to be able to apply to be a private investigator.  One of the following is required:

  • Being a law enforcement officer or investigator for 5 years
  • Having a criminal justice degree
  • Being employed as an investigator for a private detective for 5 years
  • Having equivalent training or experience

Once a license has been obtained, it is good for one year.

 


 

Private Investigator Salary Information for Rhode Island

There are a number of types of jobs available for licensed private investigators in Rhode Island.  While a substantial amount of PIs are self-employed, most work for firms that specialize in investigative and security services.  State and local governments employ a number of private investigators.

The other major employers of private investigators are legal and management services.

A detailed breakdown of annual and salary percentile wages is available from the BLS for the Norwich-New London area and is show in the following table.

Private Investigator Salaries in Rhode Island

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Norwich-New London CT-RI
Estimate not released
44880
Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA
40
Estimate not released

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