How to Become a Private Investigator in the State of Oregon

Becoming a private investigator with the state of Oregon requires a license. To apply for a license you must have a high school education and private investigator instruction. There are several ways to obtain the training and instruction required for application. For instance, you may obtain the required experience hours from association seminars or college courses. Because of this, there is some flexibility as to what a potential private investigator must do to enter the field. To get started, decide where you want to obtain your training and learn about any state law updates that affects the profession.

Step 1:

Take a Community Education course at a local college or online institution. Select a school and maintain records of the instruction from the class to provide verification for the state form requirement. Costs depend on the institution and could vary each year. A transcript will be required for submission with the license application. To view a copy of the form to verify instruction time, refer to the PI Continuing Education Form link. Completion times will vary because you could seek an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in a related field, like criminal justice. As an alternative, you could take seminars or college courses at the Community Education Department to fulfill current state requirements. Due to the fact, it could change, it is always best to check on the referenced Oregon state website.

Step 2:

Complete the application for licensing through the state of Oregon and obtain a background check. The background evaluation is included in the application fee and is processed by the state. Fill out the application using the portable document link at Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, Private Security/ Investigator Program website within the resource section. Oregon does not permit anyone with felonies to work in this field, it is very difficult to get around this policy. There could be a proctored exam involved as well. Contact the state via mail or fax to inquire about current rates and ask about an exam. Pay the appropriate fees based on the Oregon Board of Investigators, which is referenced on the E-Investigator website.

Step 3:

Find an active private investigator to gain on-the-job experience required to work in the field before licensing is granted. Also, joining an association to gain insight is helpful in locating a person or agency. An association, such as the Oregon Association of Licensed Investigators is an example of where to start gaining professional expertise and the appropriate connections for professional direction. Having good research skills will come with practice and can be enhanced by using a professional investigator as your mentor.

Things To Obtain:


There are specific continuing education requirements that must be met every two years following licensing. Specifics are in section 703.447 Continuing education. (1)(a) of the Oregon state website Chapter 703 – Truth Verification and Deception Detection; Investigators.

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