What Type of Jobs Are Available in Private Investigation?

Criminal justice students and those studying similar topics often look at the types of jobs available in private investigation. They dream of spending long hours in their cars and in private offices, tracking down criminals and helping wronged parties bring others to justice. The private investigation field actually refers to a number of different jobs that require strong research skills and the ability to spend long hours working on your own for your clients.

Private Detective

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the median pay for private detectives and investigators is $45,740 and that the job outlook for this career is on par with the national average estimated rate of growth across all jobs in the country. Private detectives often work on their own or for small agencies and help clients with their needs. They might run searches with police departments to find missing people or identify bodies found in different places, or they might use digital cameras to capture audio and video evidence of an unfaithful spouse, a criminal breaking the law or even an employee stealing from a company.

Background Investigator

Background investigator is one of the jobs available in private investigation. Many companies now make employees go through a background check before handing over a job offer, and those companies save time doing those checks themselves by hiring an investigator to do the job. A background check often looks at an individual’s criminal history, but it may also look into an individual’s credit history. You need to know how to use computers to research court records and public transcripts. Investigators will also run credit checks through computer programs that give them a complete record of a person’s credit history.

Computer Specialist

Even the best anti-virus software in the world can’t stop all computer threats. As soon as it stops a hacker from breaking into the system, the hacker finds another entrance point. Computer specialists work with individuals and companies to identify criminal acts that take place over the Internet and with computers, and they help those clients find evidence of the crime and bring the criminal to justice. Depending on your level of computer skills, you may even work with a smaller police department that cannot afford its own computer specialist on cases involving drug trafficking, financial crimes and cyber bullying.

Bounty Hunter

If you want to know more about the jobs available in private investigation, you might find yourself drawn to the world of bounty hunting. When an individual commits a crime and goes to court, the judge can grant that individual bail. Bail bonds companies pay the bail with the agreement that the company will get its money back later. When a person skips court and the bail bondsman needs the money back, a bounty hunter tracks down that individual. Also known as bond enforcement agents, bounty hunters typically earn a percentage of the bail when they bring back a criminal. Some states require that you go to school first, and other states require that you pass a background check and state licensing exam.

Related Resource: US Marshal

Not all private investigators use high powered cameras and track cheating spouses. Those working in the field today work with major corporations and private clients. The jobs available in private investigation include positions as private detectives, computer specialists, bounty hunters and background investigators.