How To Become A Private Investigator In Texas


Whether you plan to open a new Private Investigation Agency (PI) or work for an already existing one in Texas, this article will guide you with vital steps to take and things to consider. The increasing request for private investigators can be as a result of: 

  • Rapid investigations into cases of marital infidelity
  • Fraudulent insurance claims and other related issues

The Texas Department of Public Safety/Private Security Bureau (PSB) oversees the regulation of private investigation agencies, agency owners, and Investigators working for these agencies. 

A private investigations agency can comprise of just the agency owner working alone.  It can also be a collaboration with several other private investigators. 

Basic PI Registration Requirements

Below are some of the fundamental requirements you must possess to be able to register as a PI in Texas:

  • The U.S. military must never have dishonorably discharged you
  • You can’t register if you are a known sex offender
  • You must never have been diagnosed with a mental disorder
  • No current charges with a Class B misdemeanor
  • Not under any current indictment of a felony
  • You are at least eighteen years of age
  • You have no conviction charges for the past five years
  • You need to be an American citizen and submit a copy of your government ID to PSB
  • You have to pay a small licensing fee
  • Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or any related field
  • You must be able to communicate in English

Where do Private Investigators Work?

The duty of a private investigator cut across various fields.  According to recent reviews, 78% of PI’s work with attorneys and law firms. Another 55% serve individuals, while 41% work with privately-owned companies. Insurance firms also require the services of private investigators, with about 37% engagements.

Private Investigators Come from Which Background?

Private investigators come from various backgrounds. Some come from a family with the prior knowledge and training necessary to become a PI. On the other hand, some people love the profession. 51% of PI’s are ex-law enforcement personnel.

Steps Taken To Become A Private Investigator

Step #1. Acquire education and experience required

To apply for registration as a PI, you must be sponsored by a private investigation agency registered in Texas. To own your private investigation agency, you must meet certain qualifications, which include:

  • Three years of PI experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or any related field
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field and six months of investigative experience
  • Associate degree in criminal justice or related field with a year of investigative experience
  • 200 hours minimum of specialized private investigator training

Step #2. Register with an existing agency

To work for a private investigation company, the employer takes your data and urges you to complete the original registration application supplement. Log in to the online application system to apply. PSB also includes your fingerprints.

Ninety days within the application, make sure to write and pass the manager exam. Using the Certificate of Liability Insurance Form, show proof of liability insurance.

Step #3. After Registration 

Make sure to renew your registration online every year.

Take courses as either the manager or employee whose company is below 15 years (18 hours) and 12 hours respectively if the company is more than 15 years. Other courses include 2 hours in the review of the Texas private security act. You are also required to take courses specific to ethics (2 hours) and 14/8 hours related to investigations. 

Online private Investigation Courses

Private investigation courses are available online. Ensure that the institution is certified by the appropriate body before applying.

Things You Need To Learn To Perform Texas Investigations

  • Video framing and quality
  • Navigating through buildings
  • Desk investigation techniques
  • Corroborated and circumstantial evidence
  • Evidence documentation, security, and structure
  • Investigators Mind-set
  • Using Google as an investigative tool
  • Daily gear protocol, clothing, and props
  • Data analysis
  • Setting up surveillance systems
  • Communication protocol
  • Clients perspective
  • Skill vs. luck and circumstances
  • Risk vs. reward
  • Subject identification
  • Traffic conditions, driving and tailing methods


There are numerous opportunities for private investigators in Texas, and their duty is in almost every sector. Becoming a private investigator can be tasking and requires a lot of dedication and training. Ensure you are fit for the challenge before applying for the position of a private investigator. 


William Richmond
William Richmond
A Born Texan! Who loves to write about Texas. By profession, he is the owner of a big ranch having 4 children and a gorgeous wife.


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