Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

How to Become a Private Investigator in Washington State

Private investigators play an important role in the criminal justice system. They are often called upon to investigate cases, gather evidence, and provide expert testimony in court. If you’re interested in becoming a private investigator in Washington State, there are a few requirements you must meet. This guide will provide you with the information you need to get started.

Licensing Requirements

In order to become a private investigator in Washington State, you must first obtain a license. To qualify for a license, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • You must have at least two years of investigative experience in a related field.
  • You must pass a criminal background check.
  • You must complete a state-approved training program.

Once you have met all of the requirements, you can apply for a license. The Washington State Department of Licensing oversees the licensing process and will review your application before issuing a license.

Training Requirements

In addition to the licensing requirements, you must also complete a state-approved training program. This program will teach you the skills and knowledge necessary to be a successful private investigator. You will learn about criminal law, investigation techniques, interviewing, surveillance, and evidence gathering. You will also receive instruction on the proper use of firearms and other security equipment.

Once you have completed the training program, you must submit a certification of completion to the Department of Licensing. This will demonstrate to the department that you have met the training requirements and are eligible to receive your license.

Continuing Education

Private investigators in Washington State must complete continuing education credits every two years in order to maintain their license. The courses must be approved by the Department of Licensing and cover topics such as criminal law, investigation techniques, evidence gathering, and ethics.

Finding Work

Once you have obtained your license and completed the necessary training, you can begin looking for work as a private investigator. You can start by contacting local law enforcement agencies, private security companies, or private investigators to inquire about job openings. You can also visit job websites or attend career fairs and networking events to find potential employers.


Becoming a private investigator in Washington State requires meeting the necessary licensing and training requirements. Once you have obtained your license, you can begin looking for work as a private investigator. With the proper training and experience, you can make a successful career out of private investigation.