The Knowledge Nook

The Texas PI Licensing Exam: What Is It?

Posted by Tami Russell on Apr 25, 2016 3:47:12 PM


In many professional licensing processes, it’s not uncommon to have to pass a qualifying test to demonstrate you’ve mastered the necessary knowledge for that profession. Becoming a Private Investigator in Texas is no exception – it also involves passing a licensing exam.  Having to take a test can be pretty intimidating, especially if you haven’t been in school for a while.  Knowing what to expect and how the test fits in to the licensing process can help prepare you.

When can you take the exam?

Fortunately the test isn’t the first step in the licensing process. You can take the qualifying exam after you’ve submitted your application, fulfilled the experience requirement and paid the application fee.  The test itself is offered 3-5 times per month in Austin, so there are multiple opportunities to take the test over the course of a year.

What does the test cover?

The Private Security Manager’s Exam is an open-book exam comprised of 140 T/F and multiple choice questions, and you’ll have 2 hours to take the exam. The test itself covers the legal issues, the board rules and the state law that govern the private security industry in Texas.  If you pass the test with a score of at least 70, then you’ll satisfy the exam requirement of the licensing process.

How do you study for the exam?

There are multiple ways to prepare for the test.  The first is to study and be extremely familiar with the test material, which can be found online: Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1702 and the Private Security Administrative Rules.  This is the material upon which the test is based.  Additionally, there are study guides available for sale in the marketplace which can be another source of support. Finally, any education program that fulfills the requirements for the experience portion of the licensing process should include a test review component.

Once you’ve taken the Private Security Manager’s Exam, you’ll receive your results within 30 days.  If you’ve done your study, preparation and education, you’ll be one step closer to your Private Investigator license.

 Overview of the PI Profession

Topics: private investigations

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