An investigator takes photos from the front seat of a car

Professional Private Investigator - Certificate

If you have an interest in starting your own business or working as a private investigator, the growing field of private investigations is for you. Private investigators are used by law firms, corporations, insurance companies and other private and public entities. You will learn skills such as how to locate people using open sources of information, conduct investigations, constitutional law application, background checks and current investigative practices to prepare you to succeed in careers such as private investigator, corporate and private security, process service and insurance claim investigator. This certificate will give you a great foundation to go on and earn your private investigator's license and be a successful private investigator.

Program Code: 615047
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Program Costs & Financial Aid

See costs of tuition, books, and supplies.

Contact an NWTC admissions advisor to find the best way to pay for this program.

Estimates based on in-state residency. Learn more about tuition and fees.

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Follow Your Path

All credits from this certificate provide a pathway into the Justice & Community Advocacy Associate Degree.


  • Day
  • Full-time
  • Online
  • Part-time

‘Rewarding Experience’: Student who recently completed the certificate shares her thoughts

I would like to sincerely thank the instructors and commend them for their dedication and passion for teaching. They truly made the class a rewarding experience, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from them. The instructors supplemented the material with relevant case studies and real-life examples. This approach helped me understand the practical application of the knowledge I gained throughout the course. They also fostered a positive and inclusive online class environment where students felt comfortable asking questions and participating in discussions. I wholeheartedly recommend the Private Investigation Certificate program to any student interested in pursuing or expanding a career in this field.

Tisha P.

Private Investigation Certificate graduate

How do I get started in this program?

Requirements for Certificate Entry

  • Apply at
  • Enroll in classes

What are my courses?


The courses included in the Professional Private Investigator Pathway Certificate will help prepare students for a career as a private investigator.

Total Credits 9

Certificate Outcomes

  • Gain a career as a private investigator
  • Own and operate a private investigation business
  • Prepared to take the Wisconsin Private Detective License Exam

What careers are in my future?

Professional Practice Experience

Credits from this certificate can be applied for continuing education requirements for private detective licensing.


Classes wherever you have an internet connection. 

  • An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
  • Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
12 or more credits per term.
Fewer than 12 credits per term.