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Understanding the Purpose and Benefits of on-the-job
Experience of Internship Requirements
Now that you understand that licensing boards strive to ensure the public’s safety and interests when hiring PIs, let’s take a look at experience requirements. State licensing boards realize that certain investigative skills and professional development is not possible without hands-on job training experience from working on real case assignments in an actual private investigative agency. To ensure this, most states now require 36 months of on-the-job experience, also referred to as an internship or apprenticeship, as a prerequisite to qualify for state licensing.

To a lesser degree, states enacted the work experience requirements so that seasoned and experienced private investigators can pass on skills to succeeding generations and help maintain a skilled and productive workforce.

You should view this internship as positive in that it strengthens areas where a new PI may be lacking skills, knowledge, and experience. Look upon this work experience or internship period as an opportunity and not as an obstacle as it offers a new PI an opportunity to train with a more experienced PI mentor who leads and guides by example and who can provide additional training, advice, support, and encouragement.

The benefits of working as an intern are many:
  • Is a starting point to build a successful PI career
  • Provides incentive for self-improvement and builds self-confidence
  • Offers a chance to practice your new investigative skills on the job while you are learning
  • Provides full or part-time time employment to earn while you learn from a seasoned PI
  • Teaches the inside knowledge, techniques, and business side of running a PI business, including dealing with clients, advertising, using confidential contacts, and searching using PI databases
  • Offers the potential of licensing upon completion of internship
  • Helps you amass experience that you can take from one employer to another and from one state to another

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