How to Become a Private Investigator

There are many career choices that are presented to individuals on a daily basis. If one wants to become a Private Investigator (PI for short), here are some useful tips on how to be a private investigator.

First however, we need to explain what is a Private investigator.

“A private investigator or private detective provides surveillance, investigative, research and interviewing services to the public, attorneys or businesses.”

What You Will Need

To be a private investigator, one will need a keen attention to detail. PIs normally have to delve through detailed information so one has to be able to recognize and analyze intricate details. One should try to take courses in criminology and law to get the required background.

Many private investigators have college educations in criminal justice or police science, and taking classes like this can help one to perform better as a PI. About 34 percent of private investigators have a bachelor’s degree, while approximately 18 percent have only a high school diploma or GED. There are private investigator training courses and schools that can also be beneficial, although they are not required. While attending these schools, students will very likely participate in real private investigator work and take part in hands-on activities. While there is often a hefty fee for private investigator schooling, it can be worth it to individuals who are serious about the career.

The process of becoming a licensed private investigator varies from state to state but there are two primary ways of going about becoming a private investigator. The first consideration is licensing; all but only a handful of states require a state-issued license to be a private investigator. Each state has different background, education and experience requirements that may vary from simply attending a state-approved training course to pre-licensing education, exams, years of work experience and obtaining a sizable professional liability insurance policy with “errors and omissions” coverage. To make matters just a little more confusing, there are some cities that require private investigators to either register or obtain a municipal license in states that do not otherwise require them.

The second consideration is training. Private investigation specific training is the most important investment that can be made in one’s self! Since most new PIs don’t have the ability or are not ready to start up their own investigations company you will most likely be looking for employment with an established agency. As an owner of an established and well respected detective agency, I get resumes all of the time; the first thing I look for before considering a candidate is to ask the question, “How has this person invested in themselves before asking me to invest in them?”

Again these are the basics on how to become a private investigator. The detailed procedure varies from state to state.

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