Become a Private Investigator or Detective

What is a private investigator?

Private investigators and detectives, using techniques such as surveillance, searches, interviews, and background checks, gather evidence and verify facts about individuals or companies.

What do investigators and detectives do?

Private detectives and investigators may provide assistance in civil liability and personal injury cases, insurance claims and fraud, child custody and protection cases, martial infidelity cases and premarital screening. They also offer pre-employment verification and executive, corporate, and celebrity protection. Detectives may make phone calls or visit a subject's workplace to verify facts. In missing persons and background check cases, investigators often interview people to gather as much information as possible about an individual.

What kind of training will I need to become a private investigator or detective?

While there are no academic requirements for this field, a two-year associate’s program or a four-year bachelor's program in a criminal justice-related area is helpful to aspiring private detectives and investigators. Most corporate investigators must have a bachelor's degree and some corporate investigators have master's degrees in business administration or law. Corporate investigators hired by large companies may receive formal training from their employers on business practices, management structure, and various finance-related topics.

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