Maine is a truly singular state. First, it is the only state to share its border with one other state. Secondly, Maine is the only state whose name is one syllable. Maine is also one of only a handful of states without a private bail bond system, so there is no need for bounty hunters in Maine. This is why many people in Maine who are interested in becoming a bounty hunter decide instead to work as private investigators.
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Becoming a Maine Private Investigator
- Education: Maine requires that you have at least a high school diploma or GED for private investigation work.
- Experience: You can meet the experience requirements in three ways. First, you can become an investigative assistant and complete 60 college credit hours. Second, you can earn 60 college credit hours towards an associate’s degree related to private investigation. Finally, you can have three years of investigative experience working for the government or a law enforcement agency.
- Age: You must be 21 or older.
- Citizenship: There is no firm citizenship requirement.
- Concealed Carry Permit: Although not required, many Maine private investigators choose to carry a firearm. You should learn about Maine’s concealed carry permits.
- Exam: You must pass a 50-question Professional Investigators exam before being licensed. A passing grade is considered to 76%.
- Insurance: You will need a Commercial General Liability policy before you can work as a private investigator. You will also need $10,000 professional surety bond if you’re a Maine resident and a $50,000 surety bond if you are not. The insurance policy must cover $10,000 in property damages, $100,000 for death or injury and $200,000 for multiple deaths or injuries.
How to Receive Your License
To receive your license, you will need to submit an application with the Special Investigations Unit of the Maine Police, which costs $450. You will need to authorize the release of your personal information, particularly related to your psychiatric history. In addition, you must provide documentation that demonstrates you have complied with the educational and experiential requirements.
After you’ve submitted the necessary information, passed your exam and obtained your surety bond and insurance, you will receive your private investigator’s license.
Private Investigator Education
Education is the foundation of any career, including private investigation. A two or four-year degree in criminal justice is the typical path people take towards working in private investigation. However, you could also receive education in similar disciplines such as security management.
Careers Related to Private Investigation
Working as a private investigator is similar to working in law enforcement or as a process server. Private investigators must be trained in law enforcement techniques, particularly those related to locating people.
Cities in Maine
The Maine city of Eastport is the easternmost city in the country. Portland was the birthplace of famed poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Maine is also the home of best-selling novelist Stephen King, who lives in Bangor.
Responsibilities of a Private Investigator
Much like a police officer, a private investigator investigates crimes. This can include gathering evidence and tracking the actions and movements of a person. Private investigators can work independently or for a company.
Finding Work as a Private Investigator
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 590 private investigators were working in Maine in 2015. Because positions in this field are projected to remain stable through 2022, positions will be available, albeit competitive.
Pay for a Private Investigator
Those working as private investigators in Maine can expect an average annual salary of $65,830. This amount will generally be higher for anyone working in Metropolitan areas.