How to Become a Private Investigator

If you can seriously envision yourself undertaking investigative law services then you should know how to become a private investigator. Private investigators are said to be among the highest paid in the criminal justice field. However, this advantage will come through hard work and time.

What is a Private Investigator?

A private investigator is a person hired by an individual, company, or agency to carry out investigatory work as guided by law for the purpose of ferreting out the truth specifically in criminal and civil cases. They are seen in a variety of work environments such as in law firms requiring investigative support for handled cases, insurance companies to check suspicious claims, investment companies who wish to perform due diligence before investing, or in their own detective agencies accepting assignments of varying natures such as spousal infidelity or fund embezzlement.

Featured Undergrad Programs
1. Ashford University – BA – Social and Criminal Justice
2. Liberty University – BS – Criminal Justice – Forensics
3. Post University – BS – Criminal Justice

Featured Master’s Programs
1. Grand Canyon University – MS – Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement
2. St. Leo University – MS – Criminal Justice – Forensics
3. Virginia College – MS – Criminal Justice

The services of private investigators in civil cases relating to infidelity remains to be one of its most popular roles whether they are to be used in courts or merely for confirmation. Licensed private investigators are preferred over unlicensed ones so that clients may be assured that they will not get involved in legal complications that can be brought upon by acts of private investigators that are contrary to law.

Many private investigators have previous experience as police officers, law enforcement agents, spies, military personnel, body guards, or security guards. Private investigators do not have police powers although they can investigate criminal matters. They can perform other functions such as process serving, tracing, technical surveillance, and protection of trade secrets.

Education and Training

Educational records of existing private investigators would reveal that there are different academic foundations that could suffice as basis for general education requirements. Former policemen, agents, military personnel, and others may make a smooth shift to the private investigation profession with minimal additional academic requirements. The most common route is to get a degree from a criminal justice school.

Some investigation firms require their hired investigators to possess post-secondary degrees while states require private detectives to have licenses. There are many private detective training schools that can facilitate proper training. Requirements for getting a license may vary.

Becoming a Private Investigator

After acquiring the necessary academic foundation, aspiring private investigators should
consider on-the-job-training in private investigation agencies to have actual experience on the field. Novice investigators should not be afraid to take in seemingly redundant duties such as writing a report since writing and noting details are some of the most important skills any private investigator can have.

A full-pledged private investigator should have at least three (3) years of compensated investigative work and a license to work in such capacity. Individuals who are aiming for this job have to take utmost care to maintain a clean police record. Conviction of even the most minor or petty felony can spell the end for dreams to become a private investigator. Investigators can choose to concentrate in a specific area such as financial investigation especially when putting up their own agency. Concentration is usually equated to expertise. So that is how to become a private investigator.