What is a Private Detective or Investigator?
Private Detective or Investigator Job Description Gather, analyze, compile and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.
Daily Life Of a Private Detective or Investigator
- Conduct private investigations on a paid basis.
- Obtain and analyze information on suspects, crimes, or disturbances to solve cases, to identify criminal activity, or to gather information for court cases.
- Warn troublemakers causing problems on establishment premises and eject them from premises when necessary.
- Conduct personal background investigations, such as pre-employment checks, to obtain information about an individual’s character, financial status, or personal history.
- Apprehend suspects and release them to law enforcement authorities or security personnel.
- Question persons to obtain evidence for cases of divorce, child custody, or missing persons or information about individuals' character or financial status.
Qualities of a Private Detective or Investigator
These are the skills Private Detectives and Investigators say are the most useful in their careers:
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Types of Private Detective or Investigator Jobs
- Loss Prevention Associate
- District Agent
- Background Investigator
- Certified Legal Investigator
- Store Detective
Private Detective or Investigator Employment Estimates
There were about 41,400 jobs for Private Detective or Investigator in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,400 new jobs for Private Detective or Investigator by 2026. The BLS estimates 4,500 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Private Detective or Investigator are Utah, Tennessee, and Iowa. Watch out if you plan on working in Nebraska, Montana, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Salary for a Private Detective or Investigator
Private Detectives and Investigators make between $29,310 and $89,200 a year.
Private Detectives and Investigators who work in Nevada, District of Columbia, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Private Detectives and Investigators in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$72,190|
Tools & Technologies Used by Private Detectives and Investigators
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Private Detectives and Investigators may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Data entry software
- Email software
- Computer imaging software
Becoming a Private Detective or Investigator
Are there Private Detectives and Investigators education requirements?
What work experience do I need to become a Private Detective or Investigator?
Where Private Detectives and Investigators Work
Below are examples of industries where Private Detectives and Investigators work:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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