How to Become A Private Investigator

Private investigators are professionals who work in various organizations and cases, collecting evidence and solving crimes. It may seem a simple job, but these individuals require immense training and years of experience. From providing simple investigative services to even going under cover, the job can be very demanding. Over the years, the field of private detectives has undergone many changes. Now private investigators are being hired by large multinational organizations and detective agencies to help reduce crime. In some cases, private detectives can be seen working with police officers and other law enforcement agents. For those who want to join the criminal justice field, becoming a private detective can be a suitable choice.

Becoming a Private Investigator

Investigator jobs are among the few law enforcement careers that do not have any formal educational requirement. But this does not mean a high school diploma will qualify you as a detective. You need to get into college and at least earn a bachelor degree in a relevant field such as criminal justice or political science if you plan on directly entering the professional field. By enrolling in a criminal justice degree, you will acquire an in-depth understanding of how the criminal justice system functions in the United States. You will also study a wide range of subjects that will familiarize you with legal terminology and concepts such as juvenile crime, investigative procedures, state and federal courts, business and corporate law, and financial fraud. However, it is not necessary that you pick criminal justice as a specialization area, you can also go for areas such as business administration and homeland security. A college degree may not answer your question of how to be a private investigator . Further on-the-job private investigator training is required and is a crucial part of becoming an investigator. You can apply for an entry level job in many different organizations, depending upon your area of specialty. For example, if you want to pursue a career as an investigator in financial fraud, you can work with many renowned insurance companies and law firms. This experience will help you understand how corporate finance is handled in the real world.


Licensing is one of the main requirements of becoming a private investigator. Each state has its own licensing requirements for such occupations. You can apply for a license if you meet the minimum requirements. It is also important to remember that the requirements will also depend upon which field of investigation you want to enter. For example, if your job demands the use of firearms, there may be some additional requirements for getting a license. On the other hand, certification can also be a great way to boost your career as an investigator. Organizations such as the National Association of Legal Investigators and the ASIS International offer professional certification.

Private Investigator Salary

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income of investigators in 2010 was $42. 000. These professionals can be found working in a variety of organizations ranging from law firms to labor unions.


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Q:Is becoming a private investigator easy?

A:Private investigators are often found working alongside police officers, some also offer private services to individual clients. There is no exact degree offered in this field. Most of the training is acquired on-the-job. However, it is still recommended that you complete your college education and build necessary skills for such a career.

Q:How to become a private investigator in my state?

A:Private investigators are professionals who help resolve cases. These professionals can specialize in certain types of cases or provide general investigative services. To become a private investigator, you need to have certain skills such as analysis skills and an eye for detail. Apart from this, it is recommended that you complete your college education and have at least a bachelor degree in hand.

Q:What private investigators do on the job?

A:Private investigators look into various cases and search for evidence or clues. These professionals are hired by various individuals and organizations to handle cases. From gathering information, analyzing data, and concluding evidence, investigators perform a variety of tasks while on the job. The requirements to be an investigator may vary from state to state.

Q:What can private investigators do legally?

A:Private Investigators are trained professionals who help individuals and organizations in discovering facts for all kinds of cases. Their assistance can be required for litigation cases as well as private cases. Gathering data, photographing evidence, searching through databases, and working undercover are a few of the jobs duties of investigators.

Q:What can you do with a private investigator license?

A:With a license or a certification in hand, one can initiate a career as an investigator. One can work in insurance companies, work privately, or even join federal law enforcement agencies. The licensing requirements will vary slightly from state to state. You will have to complete training and complete the minimum educational requirements in your state to qualify for a license.

Q:How do you get a private investigator license?

A:Every state in the US has separate requirements for issuing private investigator licenses to individuals. You must find out first about the license requirements in your state. In most states, you must clear a board examination, complete training, and get a college degree for this license. To find out more, go through our page.

Q:Can you tell me about the private investigator fees and costs?

A:The income level varies greatly in this field. Those working under an authority or in an organization may be earning a fixed sum every year. While those offering private investigative services to individuals may charge according to the type of case they take up. You can visit our page to find out what level of income is usually offered to investigators.

Q:Is the outlook of private investigator jobs positive?

A:Private Investigators are in demand by many firms that work with federal agencies or run privately. Due to the growing business activity, the risk of fraud and theft is at an all-time high. These professionals help resolve cases by seeking facts and evidence. If you like challenges, and puzzling cases, this career may be suitable for you.

Q:Where can I get private investigator training from?

A:Although there is no specific educational route towards becoming an investigator, it is always recommended to go through a formal training program. Some federal agencies provide training to individuals interested in becoming an investigator. There are also a number of online schools offering investigator courses. On the other hand, many entry level private investigators go through on-the-job training and learn by working with senior investigators.

Q:How much is the private investigator salary?

A:The income level of these professionals will depend upon a number of factors. Some private investigators work with firms (federal or private), and are earning a fixed income. On the other hand, some private investigators are working individual, offering services to those in need. The fee they charge may vary from case to case.

Q:What types of private investigators are there?

A:There are many types of professional private investigators that take on different kinds of cases. Some of these have been mentioned here: surveillance investigator, insurance investigator, corporate investigator, domestic investigator, skip tracing investigator, criminal defense investigator, private investigator and more. To find out more about this field, browse through our page.

Q:How to become a private investigator for an insurance firm?

A:The demand for private investigator is rising steadily. You can find such investigators in a number of specialization areas such as insurance. Those interested in becoming a private investigator mush have a college education along with formal training. Much of the training takes place on-the-job. Having a qualification in finance or insurance can help you prep for the field.

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