Skillful interrogation is the systematic questioning
and persuasion of a suspect to reveal his
involvement in crimes, even when it is against his
self-interest. DTI will teach you how to convince
the suspect that he will experience more pain by
remaining silent than he will by confessing.
1. WHAT IS DISTANCE EDUCATION?
Distance education — also known as e-learning, online
learning, home study or correspondence study — is
enrollment and study with an educational institution
that provides learning materials for study at the
location and time of student’s choosing. With
the student mails, faxes or e-mails examinations and
assigned field exercises as they are completed for
correction and grading by the Student Services
staff. Corrected examinations are returned to the
student via mail or email.
2. ADVANTAGES OF DISTANCE EDUCATION
Distance education is especially suited for busy
people who wish to become private
investigators. With distance education, you do not
have to give up your job, leave home or lose income.
You learn as you continue to earn. DTI comes to you.
You receive individual attention and can work at
home, at your own pace. Students usually take three
to six months to complete their training, but they
have up to 24 months to complete the program.
3. HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE THE CHARACTERISTICS AND
TRAITS NECESSARY TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR?
Surveys have shown that successful PIs share many of the same characteristics
and traits. The findings: a) Even at an early age,
they had a deep desire to become a private
investigator; b) They had a burning passion and
always knew they would be good investigators if
given the opportunity; c) They are curious, are able
to figure things out on their own, and are able to
use clever ploys to draw out the truth, but they are
deeply honest and want to see justice done; d) They
have the capacity to dig deep to solve problems and
can recognize and look past the deception of others;
and e) They like to work with people, travel, do
research and search for the truth, and they are
enthusiastic students of human nature.
When individuals with these characteristics and
traits are coupled with the proven and respected
training program, they most often become excellent
4. FOR WHOM IS THE DTI COURSE INTENDED?
The DTI course is designed for:
a). People who want to get into the profession but
who have no investigative background or training.
Experience has shown that employers and detective
agencies are much more inclined to hire someone who
has completed a qualified training course, such as
DTI’s program, than they are to hire untrained
b). Employees of security companies who want to
upgrade their skills and learn the latest in private
investigation techniques. Their goal may be to move
up within the company or prepare for the state's
Private Investigator Exam and become a licensed
PI. (For more about state exams and licenses refer
to the PI Licensing page)
c). Licensed investigators seeking continuing
education or who want to improve their career
advancement. Today’s PI profession is changing
rapidly, with new technologies, new ways of doing
business, new opportunities, and new regulatory laws
and threats to the profession. Its essential to
keep a close eye on the cutting edge—the key trends,
technologies, and regulations that are creating the
d). Retired law-enforcement personnel or civil
servants seeking a new career in the second half of
life that enables them to use many of their past
skills and experiences. The possibility of part-time
employment with top pay all add to the attraction
and satisfaction of finding new meaning as a private
5. ARE THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS IN THE PRIVATE
ABSOLUTELY NOT! There is a need for private
investigators of all ages.
Students between 17 and 25 who exude enthusiasm and
seek excitement most often excel in the physical
aspects of the job. They are most successful
conducting surveillance, tracking fugitives for bail
bondsman, repossessing cars, serving papers, etc.
Students between 25 and 40 make up the majority of
DTI trainees. They have work experience and are
looking to change jobs now that they have more
clarity and focus regarding their preferred careers.
They are seeking job satisfaction and fulfillment,
and they want to apply the unique blend of
investigative skills and talents they always knew
they had, but never acted on. They can fill a
variety of investigative positions because of their
maturity and good communication skills.
Men and women between 40 and 65 perform an important
function in a detective agency. They have much
wisdom and can clearly think through problems from
many perspectives, which gives them an advantage in
solving difficult cases. They are excellent at
locating missing persons, performing telephone
pretexts and establishing vital contacts using good
6. IS DTI AN APPROVED SCHOOL?
In March 2012, California law changed and
stated that schools with tuition costs under $2500
were exempt from authorization that labeled schools
as approved or not, and DTI is in that category.
However, DTI previously underwent an intense and
thorough examination of its educational and
administrative operations by the California Bureau
for Private Postsecondary Education and was
authorized to operate in all states.
7. DO PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS REALLY ENGAGE IN THE
KIND OF "ACTION ASSIGNMENTS" SEEN ON TV?
Sometimes. But it depends on what area you
specialize in. Some assignments involve more
physical activity than others. For example,
surveillance, bounty hunting, auto repossession,
criminal arrests, work related narcotics investigations,
undercover assignments and process serving sometimes
involve danger, arrest and use of physical force. On the other hand, activities
such as record searching, interviewing witnesses and
reconstructing accident scenes generally do not.
8. CAN I CARRY A GUN AFTER I GRADUATE FROM THE DTI
Possibly! Private investigators do not normally
carry guns. However, if you specialize in bodyguard
work you may be required to carry a gun but will
need to first obtain a gun permit issued by your
local police or sheriff's department. Carrying a gun
and badge can create the illusion of power and
superiority so DTI encourages new PIs to
focus on building solid investigation skills and
strong professional ethics.
9. DO I NEED A LICENSE TO WORK AS A PRIVATE
Refer to the PI Licensing page.
10. DOES DTI GUARANTEE JOBS UPON GRADUATION?
No ethical resident school or college guarantees
jobs upon graduation. However, DTI does have
an excellent reputation in the industry and
frequently receives calls from investigative
agencies throughout the U.S. requesting the names of
our top graduates in their cities or towns.
Investigation firms prefer to hire our graduates
because they come highly trained in many areas of
private investigation, which eliminates the
employer’s need to train new investigators in-house.
Note: Be sure to complete as many Detective Field
Exercises in your course as possible. They are the
exact assignments that you’ll be conducting on real
assignments and will increase your marketability to
Additionally, a DTI
diploma can give you an advantage in the hiring
process because you can show the prospective
a) The investigative subjects you covered in the
course, your scores on course exams and the field
assignments you completed.
b) That you took the initiative to enroll, pay and
graduate from certified PI course and are a
self-motivated individual who can finish what you
11. CAN DTI HELP ME GET STARTED SOONER ON MY OWN?
Yes, there are number of businesses you can start
immediately during your training. These are related
to private investigation and they do not require
licensing. Possibilities include conducting
surveillance, serving legal papers, tracking down
missing persons for process service, installing
hidden video equipment (for example, to protect
children from abusive baby sitters), etc. These will
give you the opportunity to work closely with
licensed investigators, clients, attorneys and the
courts. Thus, you can immediately begin building
contacts that will be very important later in your
career. Plus, you may be able to apply this
experience to your state's experience requirement so
you can become licensed faster and easier.
12. HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SCHOOL
Since an Internet search for
private investigator training courses will yield
hundreds of choices, including so-called private
investigator “schools,” “courses,” and “unions,” how
do you choose? The following information will help
you make an informed and educated decision about
your career, and, please note: We are not
discrediting any qualified or reputable schools, and
we believe that competition is healthy in an honest
and ethical environment, but we encourage students
to verify a school’s credentials before enrolling.
Although we dislike making disparaging remarks about
any of our competitors, we have an ethical
obligation to protect students from dishonest
business practices. Take the time to review these
facts and to conduct your own research and
investigation so that you feel confident that you
made the right decision.
JOB SEARCH WEBSITES
Be leery of any
private investigation agency that advertises job
openings that require job seekers to either pay to
join a non-existent, phony private investigators
“union” (IPIU) or to pay to take their in-house
training program. There is no such PI union and
employers do not charge new employees to train
PI EDUCATION AND PI TRAINING WEBSITES
Although these sites appear to be schools and will
expose you to a variety of books, videos, manuals,
and other online training aids, they are not state
approved schools that provide a well designed
curriculum with specific learning objectives,
practical field exercises and a comprehensive
examination of the material. Nor, do they have a
faculty or student services that can provide timely
feedback and answers to your questions. In essence,
these sites may expose you to a broad range of ideas
for potential improvement but you won’t build the
necessary investigative skills you will need to
become a qualified private investigator.
LOCAL COLLEGES & VOCATIONAL
Are local college and
vocational rehabilitation schools the way to go?
That depends on your particular needs. There are
some fine local colleges and vocational rehab
schools that do an excellent job of teaching private
investigation, and DTI supports their efforts. These
traditional schools have qualified instructors who
can answer your questions in person.
LARGE ONLINE/HOME STUDY
Schools such as Penn Foster,
Kaplan, Harcourt, and Allied offer a wide variety of
courses ranging from completing a high school
diploma to studying interior decorating, childcare,
small-engine repair, real estate appraising, and
private investigation. Be aware that the people who
run theses schools have never owned or operated a
private investigation agency, nor do they have
qualified investigators on staff. They offer only a
generalized curriculum that teaches the bare basics
of private investigation. They entice students to
enroll by offering a low down payment and then
require students to sign a legal and binding
contract to pay for the entire course even if the
students want to switch schools or decide that a
career in private investigation is not for them.
Students who do not pay are subject to having their
account transferred to a collection agency, which
could damage their credit rating.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREES
Many colleges and
distance-education schools offer two-year degree
programs in criminal justice. Although their
curricula cover facets of private investigation,
their main emphasis is training in security, law
enforcement, crime prevention, juvenile justice,
military intelligence, airport security,
corrections, homeland security, probation, and
investigation parallels criminal justice to some
degree, but there are some important differences.
For example, in the field of criminal justice, you
are taught from a purely academic approach, giving
you only an historical and a theoretical base.
In contrast, DTI has one course only geared
specifically for the student who wants to become a
private investigator. If private investigation is
your goal, then DTI is the right choice for
you. We offer everything you need to become a
well-trained private investigator, and we go beyond
academics to ensure that students have relevant
real-world experiences as they learn. You'll come
away from your course confident and ready to start
your career immediately.
13. HOW DOES DTI's TUITION COMPARE WITH OTHER
PI TRAINING COURSES?
Comparisons of quality of
training and cost of other courses have rated
the best for giving students more value than any
other school and at an affordable price. With DTI
you receive the Master Detective Course in two three
ring binders containing the six training components
plus full access to our online videos and training tapes. Yes, some
schools charge more and some schools charge less,
but no one delivers such a comprehensive training
program as DTI and at an affordable price.
14. DOES DTI OFFER AN AFFORDABLE MONTHLY PAYMENT
Better yet, DTI has a
Pay-by-Lesson Plan. Payments are easy and
affordable. As you complete each study unit and
submit an examination to the school for grading you
simply enclose payment for the next study unit.
There are no automatic deductions from your credit
card or checking account as with other schools. For
only a small initial payment, you can start an
exciting new career and change your life! That's all
it takes with DTI's easy tuition program.
Research has shown that students who enroll under
Plan A or Plan B, show a greater commitment to their
training and are more likely to complete their
programs and become qualified private investigators.
15. DOES DTI OFFER A SPECIAL DISCOUNT TO
HUSBAND-WIFE TEAMS OR FAMILIES?
Yes, both you and your spouse or members of the same
family may enroll together at a discount. Here’s how
When you enroll, you will get additional courses at
half-price. You must study from one set of manuals,
make copies of your Answer Sheets and Detective
Exercises, and then submit them separately. But, you
will each receive your own separate Enrollment
Package, ID Card, and Diploma.
We have found that couples and family members
working together on field exercises do a much better
job of developing their investigative skills and
overcoming their fears since they have each other to
rely on for support.
To enroll, simply put the second family member’s
name in the Comments or Special Instructions box on
the Application Form and pay 150% for either Plans
A, B or C. You pay only for one shipping plan. For
three or more family members, call DTI for
16. I AM IN THE MILITARY SERVICE AND SUBJECT TO
FREQUENT TRANSFERS. CAN I TAKE YOUR COURSE UNDER
Yes. Hundreds of servicemen and women stationed
throughout the world have enrolled in our course. If
you are planning a career after discharge, now is
the time to prepare during your off-duty hours. We
will send your lessons anywhere.
17. ARE THERE SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FOREIGN
Yes. Because of the high cost of international shipping, students are required to enroll under Plan A
or Plan B plus shipping fees which can be between $100
- $400 depending on the country and delivery time.
Please contact our administrative offices for exact
rates. Payment must be made by cashier’s check
or money order and drawn on a U.S. bank. Credit
cards are accepted from Canada and Europe only.
18. CAN YOU MAIL THE DTI MATERIALS UNDER PLAIN
WRAPPER TO MAINTAIN MY CONFIDENTIALITY IN TAKING
YES! In fact, all correspondence from DTI now
comes under plain label to ensure confidentiality
and privacy from your neighbors, family
and even the postman. All packages are sent
under plain label from DTI Book Club.
19. I WAS ARRESTED YEARS AGO FOR A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.
DOES THIS DISQUALIFY ME FROM ENROLLING IN THE
It all depends. DTI handles each case on an
individual basis depending on the nature and
severity of the offense and how long ago it was
committed. We realize that some of the country's top
investigators committed minor crimes in their past,
but this has not stopped them from being successful
today. When you enroll, you will be required to fill
out a Personal Data Form. Be sure to include all the
facts regarding any offense you committed. Or,
before you enroll, you may contact us at
(888) 425-9338 to discuss your particular situation.