Deep Dive into the December 2023 PI Industry Survey

Deep Dive into the December 2023 PI Industry Survey

Insights from the December 2023 Private Investigation Industry Survey

The December 2023 Private Investigation Industry Survey presents a thorough analysis of the current state and evolving trends in private investigation. This detailed review is essential for professionals within the field to understand the dynamic nature of their profession.

Detailed Findings:

Professional Backgrounds: 41% of private investigators have a background in law enforcement, highlighting the traditional roots of the profession. Additionally, nearly half of the PIs (49%) have pursued a college education in criminal justice, illustrating the importance of academic grounding in this field.

Multi-state Licensing and Education: A significant number of PIs (35%) are licensed in more than one state, indicating the geographical flexibility of the profession. Furthermore, over half (53%) work in states that require continuing education, reflecting a commitment to ongoing professional development.

Experience Levels and Community Engagement: The survey shows a wide range of experience, with 17% of PIs having 1-5 years of experience, and 20% with over 31 years, demonstrating the profession's appeal across generations. The high membership rate (77%) in state associations underscores a strong sense of community and networking within the field.

Income Diversity and Primary Source of Income: The income spectrum of PIs is quite broad, with 25% earning under $50k, and 32% earning between $50k-$100k, reflecting the varied financial success in this sector. Importantly, 61% of PIs rely on their PI business as their main source of household income, underlining the profession's viability as a primary career.

Operational Practices: A majority of PIs (67%) do not use a case management program, and 64% do not use an outside payroll processing company, which may indicate a preference for traditional methods or a potential area for industry modernization. Furthermore, 47% have an office outside their home, suggesting diverse operational models within the industry.

Subcontracting Trends: Subcontracting is a notable aspect of PI work, with 53% offering discounts between 5%-30% to other private investigators. This trend highlights the collaborative nature of the industry and the importance of professional networks.


The December 2023 PI Industry Survey provides a comprehensive look at the private investigation sector, highlighting key aspects such as backgrounds, income levels, and business practices. This data is invaluable for industry professionals and those considering a career in private investigation.

Download the Full Report:

For a full report and in-depth analysis, download the complete December 2023 PI Industry Survey PDF. Click here to access the report.



Mark Carroll

4 months ago

Hi Kelly, Happy New Year to you! What’s the source of the data? Can you make the article downloadable?


Dennis Eberly

4 months ago

Thanks for diving into some important issues within our PI industry. It is interesting to see some benchmarks and assess where you are in relation to others in the profession. Any consideration for repeating with a larger sample size?


Kelly Riddle

4 months ago

Yes we already have a survey in the works that will be expanded and will go out to more than 25,000 investigators. Stay tuned!

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