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How Much Does It Cost to Become a Private Investigator?

In order to become a professional private investigator, you'll need to undergo training, get certified and then get licensed by the Security Industry Authority.

As you'd expect, you will incur certain costs in doing all this. Luckily, the costs associated with all this are not prohibitive. This, therefore means that it's possible for you to cover the costs of becoming a private detective without putting too much strain on your finances.

Before starting the process, you may want to ensure that no other technicality will stand in your path to becoming a private investigator that's licensed by the Security Industry Authority. This means you should ensure that you:

  • Are 18 years or older
  • Have a right to work in the UK
  • Have a clean criminal record (other cases will be assessed individually)
  • Be of sound mind

Cost Of Private Investigator Courses

The cost of courses you can take to become a private investigator varies from one institution to the next. Another factor that can also create a variation is whether you're enrolled full-time, part-time or to a distance learning. Another factor that could affect the cost of the course is whether it's affiliated with professional associations such as the Association of British Investigators. Such an affiliation would mean the institution is recognized as providing a high-quality education in private investigation.

On average, the costs of private investigator courses are priced at several hundred pounds. The cost may also be affected by additional courses. You'll also need to factor in the cost of registering to take the IQ Level 3 examination. This is only an administrative fee and it's currently £35.50 (exclusive of VAT).

Cost Of Private Investigator Licenses

Private investigator licenses are only provided by the Security Industry Authority. These are only offered to individuals who possess an IQ Level 3 Certificate for Private Investigators.

The SIA license typically costs £220 and is valid for a period of three years. After this duration, it has to be renewed.

Cost Associated With Setting Up As A Private Investigator

Setting up as a private investigator can be initially expensive. Especially if you're just fresh from training.

The costs that will come with such a venture include:

  • Business registration costs
  • Cost of renting premises plus overhead costs
  • Cost of registering under the data protection act
  • Cost of buying investigative equipment

Of all these costs, the cost of renting premises and buying the investigative equipment is likely to be the most significant.

Cost of buying private investigative equipment will vary depending on the type of equipment you need and the quality. To get your hands on good quality equipment, you should be prepared to thousands of pounds. You can start small and build on your successes or you can start by working for an established agency.

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