Becoming a Private Investigator in Utah | Exploring the Field

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
Last updated: 
WebinarCare offers informative content for educational purposes only, not as a substitute for professional legal or tax advice. We may earn commissions if you use the services we recommend on this site.
WebinarCare is led by Steve Bennett, a seasoned expert in the business world. He's gathered a team that's passionate about giving you reliable advice on everything from starting a business to picking the right tools. We base our tips and guides on real-life experience, ensuring you get straightforward and proven advice. Our goal is to make your business journey smoother and more successful. When you choose WebinarCare, you're choosing a trustworthy guide for all things business.
Utah Private Investigator

Suppose you’ve always been intrigued by the world of investigations and have a knack for unraveling mysteries. In that case, a career as a private investigator might be the perfect fit for you in Utah. Private investigators play a crucial role in assisting individuals, businesses, and even law enforcement agencies in gathering information, uncovering facts, and solving cases. In addition to learning the ins and outs of investigation techniques, it is important to understand the legal aspects of running your own private investigation business.

Establishing an LLC in Utah is popular for many private investigators as it provides legal protection and facilitates smooth business operations. This article will outline the steps you need to take to Become a Licensed Private Investigator in Utah.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge through thorough research and market study. Before becoming a private investigator in Utah, all the steps in this article must guide you.

What is a Private investigator?

A private investigator in Utah is a professional who conducts investigations, gathers information, and performs surveillance for individuals, businesses, and legal professionals. In Utah, private investigators must be licensed by the Utah Department of Public Safety – Bureau of Criminal Identification to operate within Utah legally. They often work on various cases, including civil matters, insurance fraud, background checks, infidelity, missing persons, etc. These professionals use their skills and expertise to collect evidence, analyze information, and provide their clients with valuable insights to help them make informed decisions or resolve disputes.

Embarking on a journey to become a private investigator in Utah is like entering a maze of possibilities where every corner holds a potential clue. As you uncover the secrets tucked away in the shadows, remember to secure your own path by learning how to start an LLC in Utah. Establishing a legal entity shields you from liabilities and empowers you to navigate the investigative landscape with professionalism.

WEBINARCARE EDITORIAL TEAM

How to Become a Private Investigator in Utah

Suppose you’re considering becoming a private investigator in Utah. In that case, it’s essential to understand the steps and requirements involved in obtaining your license and starting your professional journey. This step-by-step guide will walk you through becoming a private investigator in Utah.

Step 1: Research The Requirements

Each state has its own set of requirements and regulations for becoming a licensed private investigator. The agency responsible for regulating private investigators in Utah is the Utah Department of Public Safety – Bureau of Criminal Identification. Familiarizing yourself with the specific requirements for obtaining a private investigator license in Utah is important.

Some common requirements for obtaining a PI license in Utah include:

  • Age: Utah requires individuals to be 18 or 21 to apply for a Private Investigator license.
  • Citizenship: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents.
  • Education: Utah requires a high school diploma or GED, while others may require a degree in criminal justice or a related field.
  • Experience: Utah requires years of experience in law enforcement, security, or other related fields.
  • Background Check: Applicants will likely need to pass a background check, which may include fingerprinting and a criminal history check.
  • Licensing Exam: Utah requires applicants to pass a licensing exam that tests their knowledge of state laws, regulations, and general investigative techniques.

Becoming a private investigator is ideal if you want to start an LLC for your security company in Utah. We recommend these LLC Formation Services in Utah if you plan to form one.

LLC Service

Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More

#1 Recommendation

$0 + State fee

  • Free LLC Formation

  • Legal Support

  • Highly Reputed Company

$299 + State fee

  • Single LLC formation package

  • Flat price for all services

  • Legal consultation

Step 2: Obtain Education and Experience

As mentioned earlier, Utah requires a certain level of education and experience to become a licensed private investigator. There are several educational paths you can pursue to prepare for a career as a private investigator, including:

  1. Degree Programs: Some Utah colleges and universities offer associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, forensic science, or a related field. These programs typically cover criminal law, investigation techniques, and crime scene analysis.
  2. Certificate Programs: Utah community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate programs in private investigation or a related field. These programs generally take less time to complete than a degree program and focus on specific skills and knowledge needed for a career in private investigation.
  3. Online Courses: Numerous online courses and training programs cover various aspects of private investigation. These courses can be a convenient and affordable way to gain knowledge and skills in the field.

In addition to formal education, gaining practical experience in a related field can be invaluable for aspiring private investigators. Some possible avenues for gaining relevant experience include:

  1. Law Enforcement: Working in law enforcement, such as a police officer or detective, can provide valuable experience in investigation and surveillance techniques.
  2. Military Service: Military personnel, particularly those in intelligence or security roles, often develop skills that can be transferred to a career as a private investigator.
  3. Security Work: Working as a security guard or in corporate security can provide experience in surveillance, risk assessment, and incident response.
  4. Legal Field: Paralegals and legal assistants often conduct research and investigations for attorneys, which can provide a foundation for a career as a PI.

Here is the breakdown of the education and practical experience in becoming a licensed private investigator in Utah.

EducationExperience
Degree ProgramsLaw Enforcement
Certificate ProgramsMilitary Service
Online CoursesSecurity Work
Legal Field

Step 3: Apply For a Private Investigator License

Once you have met the education and experience requirements in Utah, you can begin applying for a private investigator license in Utah. This typically involves applying to the Utah Department of Public Safety – Bureau of Criminal Identification and any required documentation, fees, and proof of insurance.

In Utah, the application process may include the following steps:

1. Complete the Private Investigator License Application

Obtain and complete the PI license application from the Utah Department of Public Safety – Bureau of Criminal Identification. Be sure to provide accurate and complete information, as any discrepancies could result in delays or denial of your application.

2. Submit the Required Documentation

Along with your completed application, you must submit various documents, such as proof of education and experience, a copy of your driver’s license, and any required affidavits or forms.

3. Pay Application and Licensing Fees

There may be fees associated with the application and licensing process in Utah. Be sure to include these fees when submitting your application. The usual fee for the application and licensing process for the Utah private investigator costs $125.

4. Obtain Liability Insurance

Utah doesn’t require obtaining liability insurance when you become an Utah private investigator, but it is safe for you to have it.

5. Pass the Licensing Exam

If required in Utah, you must pass a licensing exam that tests your knowledge of state laws, regulations, and general investigative techniques.

6. Background Check and Fingerprinting

As part of the application process, you will likely need to undergo a background check and submit fingerprints to the Utah Department of Public Safety – Bureau of Criminal Identification.

Step 4: Maintain Your Private Investigator License

Once you have obtained your private investigator license in Utah, it is important to maintain your license in good standing. This may involve completing continuing education requirements, renewing your license periodically, and adhering to any regulations and ethical standards set forth by the Utah Department of Public Safety – Bureau of Criminal Identification. When you become a fully-fledged Utah private investigator, it is best to consider other certifications for your career development.

Below are two professional credential options that private investigators can pursue.

Certified Legal Investigator

The Certified Legal Investigator (CLI)® is a professional certification program offered by the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI). It is designed for private investigators who specialize in legal investigations and wish to demonstrate proficiency and expertise in the field.

NALI

To become a Certified Legal Investigator (CLI)®, candidates must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having a minimum of five years of investigative experience and a certain number of those years working on legal investigations. Candidates must also pass a written examination that covers topics such as legal ethics, civil and criminal law, evidence collection and preservation, and witness interviews.

By earning the CLI certification, investigators show they have high competency and professionalism in legal investigations and adhere to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. The legal community recognizes the certification and can help investigators gain credibility and recognition in the field.

You can visit NALI’s CLI requirement page for the most up-to-date certification requirements.

Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)®

The Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)® is a professional certification program offered by ASIS International, a global association for security management professionals. The certification is designed for private investigators and security professionals conducting corporate, government, or non-profit investigations.

ASIS

To become a Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)®, candidates must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having a minimum of five years of investigative experience and a certain number of those years working in a supervisory or management role. Candidates must also pass a written examination that covers topics such as investigation planning, case management, evidence collection and preservation, and legal and ethical considerations.

By earning the PCI certification, investigators show they have high competency and professionalism when conducting investigations and adhere to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. The certification is recognized by employers, clients, and industry peers and can help investigators advance their careers and gain credibility in the field.

You can visit ASIS’ eligibility requirements page for the most up-to-date information regarding PCI certification requirements.

Recommended: Begin your journey to become a private investigator with the first bold step by using Legalzoom’s LLC formation services. When you start an LLC with Legalzoom, you’re not just making a business transaction, you’re carving out a future in the security industry. Even making your own security company, it is best to hire an LLC services. That’s why we recommend –

LegalZoom ($0 + State Filling Fees)

How Much Does a Private Investigator Make?

The salary of a private investigator varies based on experience, location, and type of work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of a private investigator in the United States is $50,510.

FAQs

How do I become a licensed private investigator in Utah?
In Utah, you need to be licensed by the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) in order to work as a private investigator.
What are the basic requirements for becoming a private investigator in Utah?
To become a private investigator in Utah, you must be at least 21 years old and have no felony convictions on your record.
Do I need a college degree to become a private investigator in Utah?
No, a college degree is not a requirement for becoming a private investigator in Utah.
What kind of experience do I need to become a private investigator in Utah?
Utah doesn’t have any specific experience requirements for becoming a private investigator, but experience in fields such as law enforcement or security can be helpful.
What kind of training do I need to become a private investigator in Utah?
Utah doesn’t require any specific training, but completing a private investigator training program or becoming a certified investigator can improve your credentials.
How do I apply for a private investigator license in Utah?
You can apply for a private investigator license in Utah by filling out an online or print application provided by the Utah DOPL.
What kind of fee do I need to pay to apply for a private investigator license in Utah?
The fee for a private investigator license in Utah is $213 for a two-year license.
What documents do I need to submit with my application for a private investigator license in Utah?
You’ll need to provide a photograph, fingerprint card, and proof of legal residency or citizenship with your application for a private investigator license in Utah.
How long does it take to process a private investigator license application in Utah?
Utah’s DOPL can take up to 8 weeks to process a private investigator license application.
When does a private investigator license expire in Utah?
Private investigator licenses in Utah expire every two years on the licensee’s birthday.
How often do I have to renew my private investigator license in Utah?
Private investigator licenses in Utah must be renewed every two years.
Do I need to complete continuing education courses to renew my private investigator license in Utah?
No, Utah doesn’t have any continuing education requirements for private investigators.
What kind of liability insurance do I need to have as a private investigator in Utah?
Utah requires private investigators to carry a minimum of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence liability insurance.
Can I work as a private investigator in Utah with a criminal record?
It depends on the type and severity of your conviction. In Utah, some misdemeanor convictions may not disqualify you, but felony convictions generally will.
Do I need to have a driver’s license to work as a private investigator in Utah?
Yes, a valid driver’s license is required to work as a private investigator in Utah.
Can a private investigator carry a gun in Utah?
Yes, private investigators in Utah are allowed to carry a firearm as long as they meet the requirements for a concealed weapons permit.
Can I work as an independent contractor or do I need to work for a private investigation agency in Utah?
In Utah, you can work as an independent contractor or for a private investigation agency.
How much can I expect to earn as a private investigator in Utah?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, private investigators in Utah earn an average annual salary of around $55,760.
Are private investigators allowed to use GPS tracking devices in Utah?
Yes, private investigators in Utah are allowed to use GPS tracking devices as long as they have the legally required credentials and follow all state and federal rules.
How can I find a reliable private investigation agency to work for or contract with in Utah?
You can research and review private investigation agencies online or ask for referrals from other licensed private investigators in Utah.
Are private investigators required to maintain confidentiality in Utah?
Yes, private investigators in Utah must maintain confidentiality about their clients and cases in order to protect their clients’ privacy and interests.
Can private investigators be called to testify as experts in court cases in Utah?
Yes, private investigators in Utah can be called to testify as experts in court cases related to their investigative work.
How do I get started as a private investigator in Utah?
Start by reviewing and understanding Utah’s requirements for private investigators, then gain relevant experience and work towards obtaining licensing and insurance.
What are some common types of cases that private investigators in Utah handle?
Private investigators in Utah may handle cases related to infidelity, fraud, corporate investigations, missing persons, and more.
Can private investigators in Utah operate across state lines?
Yes, private investigators in Utah can work on cases in other states, but they must comply with the licensing and regulatory requirements of those states.
How can I report illegal or unethical behavior by a licensed private investigator in Utah?
You can report illegal or unethical behavior by a licensed private investigator in Utah to the Utah DOPL or to law enforcement.
Can private investigators in Utah detain or arrest suspects?
No, private investigators in Utah cannot detain or arrest suspects. That is the role of law enforcement.
Do private investigators in Utah need to be armed to do their job effectively?
No, most private investigators in Utah do not carry firearms on the job, but some may choose to do so for certain cases or situations.
Can private investigators in Utah get involved in cases related to child custody or abuse?
Yes, private investigators in Utah can help gather evidence related to child custody or abuse cases, but they cannot remove children from homes or intervene in cases on their own.
What are the requirements to become a private investigator in Utah?
To become a private investigator in Utah, applicants must be at least 21 years old, pass a background check, and submit proof of 5,000 hours or two years of investigative experience.
Is a license required to be a private investigator in Utah?
Yes, private investigators in Utah must have a license issued by the Utah Department of Public Safety.
What education or training is required to become a private investigator in Utah?
There are no specific education or training requirements to become a private investigator in Utah, but it is helpful to have a degree or background in criminal justice or a related field.
How do I obtain a private investigator license in Utah?
To obtain a private investigator license in Utah, applicants must submit an application, certifying documents, and fingerprints to the Utah Department of Public Safety.
How long does it take to obtain a private investigator license in Utah?
It typically takes several weeks to a few months to obtain a private investigator license in Utah, depending on the time for background checks and processing of paperwork.
What is the renewal process for a private investigator license in Utah?
Utah private investigator licenses must be renewed every two years with proof of continued education, updated documents, and a fee.
Can I work as a private investigator in Utah with a felony on my record?
Utah private investigator licensing regulations do not automatically ban those with a felony conviction from obtaining a license, but each application will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
What kinds of cases do private investigators in Utah handle?
Private investigators in Utah can legally handle a wide range of cases, from surveillance and skip tracing to tracking down missing persons and investigating fraud.
What laws should private investigators in Utah be familiar with?
Utah private investigators must be knowledgeable about state and federal laws related to privacy, stalking, surveillance, and other investigatory procedures.
Are private investigators in Utah allowed to use hidden cameras or audio recording devices?
Use of hidden cameras or audio recording must abide by Utah and federal laws on privacy and surveillance and should be limited to instances with explicit consent or legal permission.
Can private investigators in Utah carry firearms on the job?
Private investigators in Utah are not allowed to carry firearms unless they hold a separate concealed carry permit and have a reason to carry the firearm related to the case at hand.
How much does a private investigator in Utah typically make?
Private investigators in Utah can earn anywhere from $30,000-$100,000 per year depending on experience, business location and reputation, and case workload.
Are private investigators in Utah required to hold liability insurance?
Utah private investigator licensing does not explicitly require investigators to hold liability insurance, but it is a smart practice.
Can I start a private investigation agency in Utah without prior experience?
Prior experience in the field is not technically required to open a private investigation agency in Utah, but success is more likely with experience and expertise in the industry.
What rights do private investigators in Utah have in conducting investigations?
Private investigators in Utah have the rights to obtain records, surveillance, and information under the scope permitted by relevant laws, but must operate within legal and moral frameworks.
Do private investigators in Utah require specialized software or equipment?
Having modern and specialized software tools can be beneficial to private investigators in Utah, especially in conducting computer forensics and tracking cases in a swift and organized manner.
Can private investigators in Utah conduct investigations outside the state?
Utah private investigators are eligible to conduct cases outside the state, but must not have a physical presence in a state where they are not licensed.
What should I look for in a private investigator in Utah before hiring them?
It is best to look for a licensed private investigator in Utah with appropriate experience in the industry, trustworthy reputation, and adherence to ethical standards in all investigations.
When should I consider hiring a private investigator in Utah?
Individuals may consider hiring a private investigator in Utah for circumstances including insurance fraud, employee background checks, fraud, infidelity, and missing persons cases.
How do private investigators in Utah typically charge for their services?
Most private investigators in Utah charge by the hour, though certain specialized services such as computer forensics casework may require flat fees.
What is professional conduct for private investigators in Utah?
Utah private investigators should operate with a high degree of discretion and ethical behavior, always act within legal boundaries, and provide full report to clients following each investigation.
Will my identity as a client be protected while working with a private investigator in Utah?
Utah private investigators are legally obliged to maintain confidentiality of their client and investigation to protect their privacy rights.
Are private investigators in Utah allowed to wiretap or eavesdrop on someone’s communication without their knowledge?
Utah law dictates such practices are illegal and can lead to jail term.
Does Utah have continuing education requirements for private investigators’ licenses?
Continuing education courses are required through Utah licensing, places like Allied Schools can help you find what’s right for you.
How can I report unethical behavior related to a private investigator in Utah?
If you believe unethical practices have been enacted by a Utah-domiciled private investigator, contact the PI licensing department within the Utah Department of Commerce.
Are there any pre-licensing course-work requirements to become a private investigator in Utah?
Utah does not require any courses prior to examination for a PI license.
Does obtaining a Private Investigation qualification (PIQ) make me eligible to become a private investigator in Utah?
Qualifying for a PIQ in other states is often irrelevant to qualifying for a license in Utah.
Can private investigators in Utah run Unauthorized practice of law?
Private investigators in Utah cannot answer legal questions, conduct legal research but attorney should handle those rather than the private investigators.

Also Read

How to Save Money While Starting a Becoming Private Investigator in Utah

First and foremost, it’s important to conduct thorough research and gather as much knowledge as possible before diving into the world of private investigation. Invest your time and effort in understanding the practices, regulations, and requirements of the field in Utah. By doing so, you can avoid unnecessary expenses such as penalties for non-compliance or mistakes that may require expensive legal aid.

Once you have a solid understanding of the profession, the next step is to create a detailed business plan. This plan should outline your vision, target market, pricing structure, and financial goals. Having a well-strategized plan will not only provide you with a clear pathway to success but also assist in budgeting and cost-cutting measures. By identifying potential expenditures in advance, you can make informed decisions and avoid overspending.

Another vital aspect of saving money during the initial stages of becoming a private investigator is researching the financing options available to you. Investment in digital tools and equipment is usually necessary, so explore different sources and compare loan options. Several organizations and institutions offer support to entrepreneurs; don’t hesitate to reach out and explore potential government grants or loans under specific business development programs. This financial assistance can help alleviate the initial burden of startup costs, allowing you to focus more on developing your skills and building your client base.

Moreover, networking is an invaluable tool when starting any business venture, including private investigation. Attend local events, join professional associations or online communities, and build connections with fellow private investigators and other related professionals. Creating a supportive network will not only enable you to exchange knowledge and insights but also provide opportunities for cost-saving collaborations. Partnering with others can lead to group purchasing benefits, shared workspace arrangements, or the ability to pool resources and skills.

As you begin taking on cases, it’s crucial to implement both efficient time management practices and cost-conscious strategies. Properly managing your time will not only boost productivity but also reduce wasted hours that could be spent on billable investigations. Optimize your scheduling, document processes, and use technology to automate administrative tasks. Additionally, consider utilizing cost-saving measures such as using software for case management, conducting online research, and maximizing the benefits of social media for marketing.

Finally, never underestimate the power of continuous learning and professional development. Expanding your skill set and knowledge base will enhance your value as a private investigator, leading to a growing client list and increased income. Avoid postponing or compromising on quality training due to financial constraints. Invest in affordable online courses, attend workshops hosted by experienced professionals, and build your expertise step by step. A well-trained and highly knowledgeable investigator will benefit from a reputation that attracts new clients and justifies competitive rates.

In conclusion, starting a career as a private investigator in Utah on a shoestring budget is challenging but entirely feasible with a solid plan and strategic approach. Ensure you have a strong understanding of the industry, invest time in creating a comprehensive business plan, explore financing options, networks, and associations, manage your time efficiently, and continuously invest in your development. By following these money-saving tips, you can pave the way to a successful and sustainable career in private investigation.

Conclusion

Becoming a licensed private investigator in Utah requires meeting specific education and experience requirements, passing a licensing exam, and obtaining a PI license from the Utah Department of Public Safety – Bureau of Criminal Identification. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can be well on your way to a rewarding career as a private investigator in Utah.

Leave a Comment