To serve as a private investigator in Wyoming, you must take the following steps:
|Complete Education and Training Requirements in Wyoming|
|Fill Out the Applicable Forms (for Cheyenne applicants)|
|Apply for Jobs in Wyoming with Investigation Agencies or Start Your Own Agency|
In the state of Wyoming private investigators are subject to the same jurisdictional laws to which other law enforcement personnel are subject. As such, you should have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the laws and regulations that will be affecting you in performing your job. Private investigators can work in any number of areas of investigation but many specialize in a specific area such as pet detection, workers compensation claims, or personal injury defense. You should be prepared to work in any area of investigation but should have in mind a particular area in which to specialize based on your background or interests.
Although there is no state licensing requirement for private investigators in Wyoming, It should be noted that a license issued by the City of Cheyenne is needed to operate as a private detective within Cheyenne city limits.
Step 1. Complete Education and Training Requirements in Wyoming
Private investigating is an extremely rewarding but also extremely challenging profession. Since it is also a very competitive profession, in order to be awarded the highest paying cases you must build a reputation as being the best at what you do and diligently promote yourself.
The best way to excel in private investigations is to establish a solid foundation of knowledge upon which to build your career. Many people who get into this particular line of work are ex-military or former law enforcement officers and as such already have a significant advantage. It is highly recommended that applicants who do not have experience in law enforcement obtain as much formal education as possible before starting out.
There are a number of criminal justice and legal studies programs offered at universities and community colleges in Wyoming as well as online. Check community colleges in your area, as well as online colleges and universities, to see if they offer any courses that would be beneficial to your career as a private investigator.
It is strongly recommended that you take on an apprenticeship role with an experienced, and preferably licensed, private investigator or investigation agency in Wyoming before applying for a license.
Step 2. Fill Out the Applicable Forms (for Cheyenne applicants)
You can find the applicable application form online.
You will also need to make an appointment to have your fingerprints taken. In Cheyenne, the hours for fingerprinting are on Tuesday from 8:30AM until Noon and 1:00PM until 5:00PM and on Thursday from 8:30AM until Noon. When getting your fingerprints taken you must have your completed application form, a valid photo I.D., the $15.00 city fee for fingerprints and ID cards, and the $15.00 state fee. Payments for the latter are only accepted in cash. Call 307-637-6535 or 307-637-6508 to make an appointment.
Step 3. Apply for Jobs in Wyoming with Investigation Agencies or Start Your Own Agency
Search for investigation agency jobs in your area. Some of the top agencies in Wyoming include:
- Associated Investigation LTD – Laramie
- SJ Miller Associates LLC – Statewide
- Day and Night Process Serving LLP – Cheyenne
- Black Hills Security – Gillette
If you live in a bigger city the jobs may be easier to find than if you live in a rural community. If you believe, however, that there is a demand for private investigative services in a smaller town, or if you would like to compete with established agencies in Wyoming’s major cities, then you may consider starting your own agency.
Private Investigator Salary Information for Wyoming
According to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (WDWS), the employment of private investigators in the state is expected to grow by 20.4% from 2012 to 2022.
While employment in the Cheyenne metropolitan statistical area is projected to drop, job growth is expected to increase by the following amounts in other parts of Wyoming:
- Northwest region: 21.3%
- Southwest region: 10.4%
Based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary of private investigators in Wyoming in 2012 was $55,300 annually. Experienced professionals in the top 10th percentile of their field earned $82,500 a year.
Wyoming is one of the few states that does not require a license to start work as a private investigator or private detective.
Many different types of industries employ these professionals. The WDWS projected the growth in the job rate of PIs in different industries in the period from 2012 to 2022. The industries listed below are expected to provide an increasing number of jobs for private investigators:
- Public administration: 21.8%
- Administrative and support and waste management and remediation: 15.7%
In contrast, the number of jobs in the retail trade industry is expected to shrink by 7.8% over that time period.
A substantial number of private investigators are self-employed. They can work for a variety of clients. Individuals frequently hire PIs to find missing relatives or friends or to spy on a spouse they suspect of infidelity. They also hire private investigators to verify that investment firms or brokers are ethical and not likely to abscond with their money.
Attorneys are another source of potential clients. Defense attorneys frequently hire private investigators to find information that might help to exonerate a client.
Other private investigators work for high-tech firms such as medical device or aerospace manufacturers.