The Utah Department of Public Safety Private Security Bureau licenses qualified individuals as private investigators in the state. Private investigators work all across the state in cities and towns including (but not limited to) Provo, Salt Lake City, West Valley City and West Jordan. The Utah Department of Workforce Services projects that between 2010 and 2020, job opportunities for licensed private investigators statewide will increase by 3.6 percent each year.
The process of becoming a private detective in Utah includes:
|Meet Basic Utah Licensure Prerequisites|
|Meet Education and Experience Requirements in Utah|
|Submit Utah Application and Necessary Documentation|
|Now that you’re a Licensed Private Investigator in Utah|
Step 1. Meet Basic Licensure Prerequisites for Private Investigators in Utah
Before you embark upon a course of action to become a licensed private investigator in Utah, make sure that you meet these basic prerequisites:
- You are 21 years of age or older
- You are a legal resident of the state of Utah
- You are of good moral character
- You have the financial ability to post a surety bond
- You have the proper experience (see Step 2)
Step 2. Meet Education and Experience Requirements for Private Investigators in Utah
You must have a minimum of 2000 hours of investigative experience in order to apply for licensure to become a private investigator in Utah. Some applicants choose to apply as an Apprentice in order to gain this experience. To do so, you must have a firm offer of employment from a licensed private investigation agency in Utah. Use the application for licensure mentioned in Step 3 below, and follow the instructions.
No formal education is required of private investigator applicants in Utah. However, holding a college degree in criminal justice or a related discipline can be beneficial to you, not only when you apply for licensure but also as you seek job opportunities in private investigation. Examples of helpful degrees for private investigators in Utah include:
- Associate of Science-Criminal Justice
- Associate of Science – Paralegal Studies
- Associate of Applied Science- Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Science- Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Business Administration- Legal Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Step 3. Submit an Application and Supporting Documentation for Licensure as a Private Investigator in Utah
The next step in your quest to become a licensed Utah private investigator is to submit a license application to the Department of Public Safety. Use the Application for Private Investigator Licensure. Make sure to complete the application in its entirety and sign it, and to attach all necessary supporting documentation. You must submit with the application:
- $100 for a private investigator registrant or apprentice license via credit card or check or money order payable to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification
- $16.50 FBI fingerprinting/criminal background check fee via credit card or check or money order payable to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification
- A recent passport-sized color photo of yourself taken in the last 90 days
- A photocopy of your driver’s license/state identification card
- One completed fingerprint card (pick one up at the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification, or have your local police department or sheriff’s office assist you)
- A copy of the required surety bond for $10,000 (this is required for both private investigator registrants and apprentice applications)
- Verification of Investigative Experience form documenting 2000hours of investigative experience
Mail or bring the above information to Bureau of Criminal Identification, 3888 West 5400 South, Taylorsville, UT 84129. It may take the Bureau 90 days to process your application, which includes conducting a thorough background investigation and review by the Private Investigator Hearing and Licensure Board.
Step 4. Now That You’re a Licensed Private Investigator in Utah
Congratulations! You now hold a Utah license to work as a private investigator! Make sure to keep your license current by renewing it annually on schedule. Use the Renewal Application for Private Investigator License and include a $50 renewal fee. You must also provide proof of a $10,000 Surety Bond.
Opening a Private Investigation Agency in Utah
Now that you’re a licensed private investigator in Utah, you might want to consider working for yourself by opening your own licensed private investigation agency. You cannot do so, however, until you have 10,000 hours of documented investigative experience. You must also get a certificate of workers’ compensation insurance to submit with your Application for Private Investigative Agency license form. In addition, you must send:
- $200 application fee via check or money order payable to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigation
- Passport-type color photo of yourself taken in the last 90 days
- Photocopy of your driver’s license or state ID card
- Completed fingerprint card
- $16.50 fingerprinting fee (via check or money order to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigation)
- Proof of liability insurance in the amount of $500,000
Mail all of the above to Bureau of Criminal Identification, 3888 West 5400 South, Taylorsville, UT 84129.
Private Investigator Salary Information for Utah
Utah’s Department of Workforce Services gave a four star rating to the occupation of being a private investigator or private detective in the state in 2013. The highest possible rating was five stars. This occupation was given its high ranking because there are relatively high wages and a good employment outlook in Utah for private investigators.
The average annual salary for private investigators in Utah in 2012 was $41,540 with experienced PIs in the top tenth percentile making $73,030 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Provo is a particularly lucrative city in which to be a private investigator. This metropolitan area has the ninth highest level of salaries for PIs of any metropolitan area in the country. The occupation of private investigation is ranked among the top 100 paying jobs in Provo.
Salary data from the BLS by city is provided below:
The Department of Workforce Services projects annual growth in this field to be 3.6% a year. Due to the influx of law enforcement and military retirees into this occupation, the state projects entry-level positions in detective agencies to be the most likely places for jobseekers to find work.
Utah’s Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) requires a license to become a private investigator in the state. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and undergo a thorough background check.
The BCI has several requirements for those who apply to be private investigators in Utah. Individuals must have liability insurance in the form of a $10,000 surety bond and at least 2,000 hours of experience as an investigator.
Detailed information on the salaries of private investigators who worked in Provo and Salt Lake City in 2012 is available from the BLS and is show below.
Private Investigator Salaries in Utah