Texas Private Investigator Training Course

We offer a one-to-one, fully immersive investigation training course for qualified individuals looking to become Licensed Texas Private Investigators.

"My career didn't really start until I took OSINT, and then a whole new world opened up." - Mary T.

Texas Private Investigators License Training


STRIDER PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TRAINING Course (aka “SPIT”) is a series of 1-3 day, fully immersive training programs for those looking to become licensed private investigators in Texas.

The courses include lectures and field training. STRIDER’s definition of field training is “live exercises and actual casework”. This combination provides the steepest learning curve; hands-on training combined with theory. The initial course is 2.5 days and focused on surveillance. Following this, students can participate in additional field training either with a local PI or with STRIDER. While field work is not required, we recommend 100-200 hours to build experience and knowledge in how things actually work. It’s up to you.

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Strider Private Investigator Course Elements:

• Practical Lectures
• Online Training
• Practice Missions
• 1-1 Mentoring
• Final Exercise

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texas private investigator license training

The fastest learning curve will come from a combination of lectures, field training, and watching TV.

Can you see the trainee in our rural surveillance training? And if you can spot the trainee, what else can you see? Check each picture, then look for the answer near the bottom of this page.

can you see our agent 1
surveillance training
outdoor surveillance training

Our goal is to help you break into the PI industry by hands-on learning with SURVEILLANCE and OSINT, and then moving to CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS and UNDERCOVER if you desire. After completing your Texas Private Investigator License Training - we will help you get certified.

Private Investigators License Training

Through our PI training program, you will add new PI courses to your resume, experience real cases, and participate in field training to practice your skills. “Field Training” is a combination of live exercises and casework. It is what differentiates us from nearly every other private investigator school in Texas.

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“SPIT” Training includes two initial tracks for you to choose from SURVEILLANCE (“SURF”) and COMPUTER INVESTIGATIONS (“OSINT”). For private investigator licensing in texas, these are foundational courses and with one or both, you will have your foot in the door as a private investigator.

At some point, all investigators choose a niche or two. There are literally hundreds of them from insurance investigations to criminal defense to missing persons to homicide to fraud to kidnapping to oil rig measuring devices!

Each PI Training Course has two primary elements:

THE 1-3 DAY COURSE: We offer all modules via one long weekend with a maximum of 5 students per instructor. It takes up to four weeks to finish the required background check, so be sure to sign up early and claim your spot.

FIELD TRAINING: You choose the time to show up and join with any case or exercise we are working at the time. Exercises and casework compliment the modules so you’ll get experience in surveillance, photography, computer investigations, report writing, and more. Field training is the best kind of private investigator training, because it’s real and live.

Field training must be completed within two months after finishing the 3-Day Course. The number of field hours can be added to your certificate upon request. Strider’s private investigator training will give you the skills needed to get started and that includes experience. We recommend 100-200 hours of field training per private investigator school.

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private investigator license training license course

Lectures + Practice = Best way to learn!


In order to “beat the squeeze” (a term you’ll soon learn), Texas Private Investigators need quality equipment that they can rely on.  STRIDER specifically recommends and trains on the following equipment because it is practical, cost-effective, and gets the job done.

  • Canon Rebel T3 (refurbished is okay)
  • 75-255/300 Zoom Lense
  • Red Tactical Light
  • Smart Phone
  • Tripod
  • Photo Processing Equipment
  • Laptop (not included)
  • Time-Stamp App (free at app store)
  • LP Monocular
  • Black Screen or Netting

You can complete our private investigator course without the above, but you will need at least a smart phone and a laptop.

Private Investigator Field Training Example

10-11: Review case folder
11-12: Plan the operation
1-8: Surveillance / OSINT / Criminal Investigation
8-9: Report Writing

private investigator license training

Private Investigators License Training

private investigator license training

Trainee on a “Static” surveillance mission


This course gives applicants the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of surveillance via lectures, 1-1 discussion, and live exercises.
Subject areas will include:
1. Surveillance Principles
2. The Surveillance Mission
3. Mobile, Foot, Static, and Rural vs. Urban
4. The Follow
5. Vehicle Set-Up
6. 10-2, LOS, and more
7. Being “Made” vs. being “Blown”
8. Primary, Secondary, & Tertiary Parties
9. The “Grey Man” / “Grey Woman”
10. Team Surveillance
11. Undercover Ops
12. Surveillance Reporting


This course introduces the student to the fundamentals of computer investigations which includes everything from social media to court records to special databases and more.
Subject areas will include:
1. The OSINT Tree
2. Preliminary Backgrounds (IDI, TLO, etc.)
3. Counties, States, and USGOV
4. Social Media
5. Undercover Ops
6. Privacy & Pudding
7. OSINT & Surveillance
8. Licenses and More
9. Setting up an OSINT computer
11. “Fish Ponds and Deep Dives”
12. OSINT Reporting

private investigator license training

The computer is your primary OSINT tool.  Its use is not without some danger.  That's why we start with "OSINT-D" (OSINT Defense).

private investigator license training


This 3-day private investigator training is available only to those who have finished both SURF and OSINT school.  The only criminal investigation work available to private investigators is criminal defense, with the exception of bounty hunting which includes making arrests.  Criminal defense is normally done in partnership with a court-appointed or private attorney.  Criminal Investigator 301 includes:

  1. Crime Scenes
  2. Robbery/Theft
  3. Fraud / White Collar Crime
  4. Sex Crimes
  5. Homicide


It is recommended that students intern with a criminal defense private investigator, a criminal defense law firm, or a law enforcement agency.  We can help.


Only a few private investigators embrace the work of an undercover operator, yet this kind of PI can bring game-changing results to a case. Any PI seeking undercover work should have at least 200 hours of field training and prior experience or training in other foundational skills.
Students will have the opportunity to learn about covers – how to develop and maintain them. Undercover Operators also need basic acting skills, disguise, UC operational principles, surveillance combined with UC, subject assessment, team UC Ops, and much more.

Criminal Investigator 401 includes:
1. The Art of Covers
2. Creating Covers
3. The 3 Types of Disguises
4. Acting 101
5. Props and More
6. UC Planning
7. UC Team Ops
8. Leadership of UC Teams
If you are interested in Strider Private Investigator Training, please contact us by phone or email or by filling out our contact form here (link)
Phone: 512 410 9136
Email: Operations@StriderPI.com

private investigator license training

“UNDERCOVER OPERATOR” is only open to students that have completed both SURF and CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR SCHOOL (or the equivalent).

recommended books private investigator license training

Some Recommended Reading

Some recommended books.  Required are: Surveillance Tradecraft and Open Source Intelligence Techniques.

To become a licensed Texas PI the following must happen:

a. pass the STRIDER background check ($50)
b. pass the DPS criminal background check
c. follow STRIDER safety, confidentiality, and team protocols during training
d. be selected to work cases as a Strider PI

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Strider PI is not currently an accredited school and our classes cannot be used for annual CE credits.  However, that is coming soon!  You will receive a certificate of completion and the courses should be listed on your PI or Public Safety resume.

Answer to rural surveillance course question above:
1st pic (on the left): one trainee, one instructor and a car
2nd pic (middle): one trainee
3rd pic (on the right): nothing, just trees!


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