Jobs

How To Get A Job As A Private Investigator

How To Get A Job As A Private Investigator
A private investigator (also known as a private detective or private eye) carries out enquiries or investigations on behalf of clients to confirm facts or obtain information. Their clients usually include solicitors, lawyers, insurance agencies and the general public. Potential cases could include everything from fraud, identity theft, and suspected theft to tracking down missing persons or investigating cheating spouses.

Typical duties for private investigators



  • Conducting research and interviewing witnesses

  • Process serving

  • Debt recovery

  • Taking pictures

  • Compiling evidence

  • Surveillance and counter-surveillance

  • Running credit reports and conducting background searches

  • Investigating commercial piracy


Steps for becoming a private detective



  1. Attend a diploma or degree program or gain experience in related fields

  2. Interview with a PI agency

  3. Submit to a background check

  4. Be hired as a PI

  5. Receive on-the-job training once hired


Although there are no formal education requirements to become a private detective in most jurisdictions, a degree in criminology may be beneficial. Sometimes former law enforcement officers use experience in law enforcement to pursue a career as a private investigator (PI). Moreover, aspiring PIs must have no criminal record. If you plan to obtain and carry a weapon, you must obtain this.

Other helpful skills



  • The ability to make rational decisions quickly

  • Sound judgment

  • Patience and perseverance

  • Honesty and integrity

  • Self-confidence


Paralegals, former law enforcement officers and military officers, actors, librarians and photographers may find their knowledge and experience useful when starting a career as a private investigator.