- High Quality - meaning of a high standard measured against similar things or actions - indicating a high degree of training, skill, and personal achievement being required as part of the job description.
- Legitimate - meaning legal, conforming to laws or rules - indicating that a PI job candidate needs to be highly ethical. They will do what's right for their employers or clients, in spite of being presented with easier unethical options. It also means the necessary training and licensing (if applicable) should be achieved.
- Investigative - meaning the systematic inquiry into something or someone - which indicates an applicant needs to be of a rational inquisitive nature. They should have a high ability to confront and to inspect and to see what is there, rather than what someone says is there.
- Service - meaning an activity or skill provided for another - indicating having something to offer that someone else wants or could benefit from. This would be a job skill or ability. Skills can easily be developed through job-training to allow you to offer quality of service.
The following is a summary of a private investigator's job description you can expect as part of your duties when you apply for an investigation job.
- Contribute to the effectiveness of investigation teams
- Advise clients on the viability and consequences of carrying out investigations
- Interview witnesses to support investigations
- Interview suspects to collect information
- Carry out physical searches to obtain evidence
- Plan and co-ordinate investigations
- Investigate sources of information and develop intelligence for investigations
- Handle evidence arising from investigations
- Manage surveillance operations
- Take part in surveillance operations
- Trace or locate missing people
- Enter and integrate data, and present information using a computer system
- Maintain understanding of legislation, regulation and codes of practice relevant to investigation
- Present evidence in court and at other hearings
- Promote a healthy and safe culture in the workplace
- Communicate effectively with others
- Develop productive working relationships with colleagues and clients
- Provide leadership for your team
- Ensure compliance with legal, regulatory, ethical and social requirements
- Manage your own resources and professional development
- Develop a culture and systems that promote equality and value diversity
You can learn more about what a private investigator is; the qualities, the requirements, and the skills needed for this profession in this article: What Is A Private Investigator.
The options of whether to work for yourself as a private investigator, or in a well established agency, is not entirely a matter of choice for some.
Unless you already possess a PI license, or work in a State or country where one is not required, you will have to start your private investigator career as a trainee with another agency. New people searching for investigator jobs, in order to qualify to the position of a licensed investigator, have the hurdle of gaining some form of private investigator work experience first.
Although some agencies do take on investigator trainees it will usually be expected that you would have had some form of related work experience or training, such as in the military, law enforcement, legal training, or security work. However, not having this work experience doesn't prevent you from entering the private investigator career path.
Entry level investigator jobs are not that easy to come by for those that have no related experience, or haven't even attempted to educate themselves. To get the best shot at a private investigator internship you will have to take the iniative to put yourself through some form of private investigator training school.
Taking a course prescribed by your State or country's licensing laws will put you way ahead of others when applying for private investigator trainee jobs and work experience. You can find more information here on how to become a private investigator.
For those who already have a livelihood working as an investigator, the options are wide open. You have the option of working for an agency or for yourself.
A detective job working in an agency is perfect when you have just gotten your license and want to continue to build on your skills, by following seasoned investigators. You also don't have to worry about finding clients, or the headache of business administration. There are many benefits of being an employee.
One of the downsides to working for an agency is obviously pay. You won't earn half as much being an employed investigator.
It can be said that working for yourself is both tough and very rewarding. If you are adventurous and want to build your own private investigator business, earn more money, and be your own boss, then becoming self-employed is for you.
Most investigation businesses are small, usually made up of one or two investigators in partnership. If you plan on setting up on your own it's good to network with other agents you can rely upon. You will need reliable assistance from time to time.
All private investigators during their career will encounter a whole spectrum of investigation work. From tracking down debtors, to number crunching a financial crime, to murder cases gone cold; the job of an investigator is sweepingly diverse.
Despite the general population of investigators doing a little of everything, there is a place for different types of special investigation jobs. Some investigators prefer to specialize in one particular field and become expert in that field.
Some of these types of investigation jobs are:
- Criminal Investigator Jobs
A Criminal Investigator usually works for a government agency, whether locally or at a State level. These Special Agents are sworn law enforcement officers with the authority to investigate and enforce state and federal criminal laws. Special Agents conduct criminal investigations including, violent crime, drug violations, conspiracies and organized crime.
- Background Investigator Jobs
A Background Investigator's function is to look into someone's past and verify their identity and credentials. This type of job will usually be office-based asking questions over the phone, doing internet research. There will also be times of making door to door enquiries and searching public records in Court Houses.
- Legal Investigator Jobs
A Legal Investigator's occupation is primarily working with law firms, lawyers and attorneys. The purpose of the legal investigator is to work with the legal team, finding and reviewing evidence of cases objectively. The job of a legal investigator will include locating witnesses, conducting interviews, and fact gathering tasks.
- Fraud Investigator Jobs
A Fraud Investigator's job is to uncover and investigate deceptions resulting in some form of loss to the victim. The Fraud investigator will be tasked with uncovering false representations made to deceive and may include searching through financial records, uncovering an identity thief, or corporate scam.
- Criminal Defense Investigator Jobs
A Criminal Defense Investigator's task is to assist the defendant in a court case who has been accused of a crime. The defense investigator will have the duties of reviewing the police reports for accuracy, and (similar to the Legal Investigator) will be required to find witnesses, gather evidence and prepare court exhibits.
- Crime Scene Investigator Jobs
- Corporate Investigator Jobs
- Insurance Fraud Investigator Jobs
- Computer Forensic Investigator Jobs
- Financial Investigator Jobs
Good luck in finding you career-path, and if you get stuck search here for your ideal investigator job.