Known as the “Land of Lincoln”, Illinois is a state whose more than twelve million residents couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. In addition to being a fantastic place to live, Illinois is also one of the very few states where the profession of bounty hunting is illegal. This is because the state does not possess a private bail bond system. However, Illinois does allow for similar professions, such as private investigation.
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Becoming a Private Investigator in Illinois
There are several steps to becoming a private investigator in Illinois. Before you can begin working as a private investigator in Illinois, however, you must meet certain requirements.
- Education: You can apply for a license based on education. You should have a bachelor’s degree in an area related to private investigation, such as law enforcement or business.
- Age: Private investigators in Illinois must be at least 21 years-old.
- Citizenship: There are no citizenship requirements.
- Experience: For experience based applicants, you must have three years of work experience as a full-time investigator. This experience can be working for a detective agency, for an attorney, for a company with more than 100 employees or for the military. You can also work as an investigator for a public attorney’s office, a law enforcement agency or as a detective in another state.
- Health: You must be free from physical or mental illnesses.
- Criminal History: Illinois private investigators cannot have been charged with a felony in the past ten years.
- Substance Abuse: You cannot be addicted to drugs or alcohol.
- Fingerprint: You must submit a fingerprint and undergo a criminal background check.
- Examination: Illinois investigators must take a 70-question exam and pass with a score higher than 70. The exam costs $298.
Steps for Licensure
To become a private investigator in Illinois, you will need to file an application with the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR). If you want a license from another state recognized, you will need to submit a Certificate by Licensing form.
Before licensure, you will need to provide the IDFPR with any necessary documents and pay a $298 application fee. If you are applying based on application, you will need to provide a certification of education form and a Verification of Employment form. Those applying based on experience only need to provide the Employment form. Your license will need to be renewed every three years for $150.
Any degree that relates to law enforcement will be helpful to a private investigator. Subjects like criminology, psychology and methods of investigation are particularly useful.
The most similar career to a private investigator is that of a law enforcement officer. Working as a process server also has similar responsibilities.
Major Cities in Illinois
The most famous city in Illinois is Chicago, which is the home of the Willis tower. However, Peoria is the state’s oldest town. Springfield is actually the state’s third capitol. The first two were Kaskaskia and Vandalia.
Duties of a Private Investigator
Private investigators have very similar duties to that of law enforcement officers. They employ evidence and investigate crimes. However, generally, private investigators are employed by private citizens and companies.
Number of Private Investigators in Illinois
It is estimated that 850 private investigators are currently working in Illinois. 630 of those investigators, as recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, work in the Chicago area. The career of private investigation is expected to grow by 11%.
When working as a private investigator in Illinois, you can expect to earn an average yearly salary of $46,140.
Read more about becoming an Illinois private investigator.