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Private Investigator


Duties and Responsibilities of a Private Investigator.
  • Assist in civil liability cases.
  • Investigate insurance fraud.
  • Conduct background checks.
  • Work undercover.
  • Take detailed notes of investigations.
  • Verify the background of people.
  • Do various types of searches.
  • Locate witnesses.
  • Conduct investigations for corporations.
  • Collect evidence for clients.
  • Recover lost property.
  • Investigate infidelity in divorce cases.
  • Conduct surveillance.
  • Use cameras and video equipment.
  • Find people who are missing.
  • Investigate company fraud or theft.
  • Collect evidence for court.
  • Serve legal documents.
  • Verify employee loyalty.
  • Be alert and ready for any situation.
  • Protect property from theft and fraud
  • Search for heirs of an estate.

Private Investigator Job Description. 

Private Investigators are also called Private Detectives.  Their main objective is to evaluate information, gather facts and assemble evidence concerning financial, personal and legal investigations.  They offer their varied services to individuals, lawyers, insurance firms and corporations.

The services offered by an investigator are determined by the needs of the client.  The tools they use in an investigation can be as minor as taking pictures, to recovering lost data from a computer.  Lately, social media and the use of skip-tracing software have become additional tools for the private investigator.

When working on a case, one must always know the law.  Privacy laws, along with local, state and federal laws have to be upper most in any investigator's mind.  It is not uncommon for an investigator to work undercover for gathering information, or to just keep an eye on a suspect.

Corporate clients may require an investigation for company espionage, theft, fraud or to observe if there is drug use in the workplace.  Recent investigations have uncovered fraudulent billing by suppliers and stolen inventory by employees.  The Private Investigator looks for information and facts that the police cannot pursue.

Some of the work assignments call for being a bodyguard to a corporate executive or celebrity.  In some of these jobs you are required to carry a weapon.  Most of these cases the weapon is never used, but an investigator must know how to fire a gun and be licensed to carry.  There are private investigators who spend the majority of their time in the office on the phone, or computer, while others are in the field most of the time.

To put the job description in simple terms, the private investigator is a person who is paid to gather facts and eliminate the fiction from those facts.  Their job can be a simple as gathering the true facts on a cheating spouse to investigating a major corporate fraud case.


What it takes to become a Private Investigator.

The majority of investigators are required to obtain a state license and there are many ex-law enforcement people who enter this career.  You can also join this field by enrolling into a program with a formal private investigator school.  You could also complete an associate or bachelors degree in criminal justice.

The key is to get hired with one of the large private investigation firms.  New agents must learn how to gather information and this is where the large firm can really help you.  You will learn all the latest techniques, tools, contacts and secrets to become successful in this career.  The learning process is never ending, because technology is always changing and there are so many different types of cases to solve.

Most private investigators work on an hourly fee basis.  When one enters this field the hourly rate can run from $20 to $40.  Once you have gained experience and have a few completed cases under your belt, your hourly rate can move to around $70 per hour.  Senior investigators earn an average of $ 70,000 per year, but this can vary based on the cases assigned and what state you are located.  To move into the $200,000 and above income bracket will probably require that you own a detective agency.

With Private Investigator online training there is a lot of emphasis placed on logical thinking, leadership skills, communication and strategic training.  In addition, you learn how to complete the state license test.  The minimum age to be a private investigator is 18 years old, no criminal background, physically fit and mentally competent.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median income for private investigators in 2010, was $ 42,870.00.  They also report that this career field is one of the fastest growing from 2010 to 2020.

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