Do You Have What It Takes to be the Next Sherlock Holmes?

Deerstalker hat and magnifying glassFrom Sherlock Holmes to Magnum PI, private investigators have captured the hearts of many people worldwide. While being a private investigator in real life may not be as glamorous as the lives of these fictional characters, this profession is an ideal career option if you are looking to be a part of the criminal justice system.

What Private Investigators Do

Private investigators or PIs work for various clients from many different backgrounds. Depending on the specific private investigator programs they completed, they could specialize in one specialized area like forensic accountancy or they could offer general investigative work. As an overview, however, the majority of PIs work to find facts and gather information through fieldwork (usually undercover), surveillance, interviews, and computer searches. They might perform follow-up investigations of cold cases or criminal cases that have already been closed. They might likewise be tasked with investigating cases of worker’s compensation or insurance fraud. In cases like these, PIs would need to spend ample time investigating suspects to try and catch them in the act and/or gather solid evidence to help prove their guilt.

Education Requirements and Skills

While you don’t necessarily need to have a college or university degree to become a private investigator, previous experience in a related field, such detective or police work, loss prevention, or any other kind of profession in law enforcement, might be required and/or could prove beneficial for career advancement. However, it’s crucial to note that majority of states mandate that PIs be licensed. Each state has its own licensing requirements, but these usually include a permit to carry concealed weapons and completion of a private investigation program, as could tell you.

Aspiring PIs should also be capable of evaluating, interpreting, and reviewing evidence. They must also have solid interpersonal communication and writing skills, and should likewise be capable of thinking quickly and solving problems. And, while a degree of higher education is not necessarily required, having one may be beneficial in providing the foundational skills for learning proper investigative skills and legal procedures.

Is a Private Investigator Career Ideal for You?

If you’re looking to work again after working in law enforcement or if you simply like investigative work, becoming a private investigator might be an excellent career path for you. This career option could likewise be a good opportunity to break into detective or police work. Check with your state’s requirements to help you get started.