Private Investigator Job Facts

Landing a private investigator job can provide you with an exciting career for the future. Private investigators are utilized in a number of different situations and perform a variety of duties. Here are the basics of being a private investigator and what you can realistically expect out of the job. 

Becoming a Private Investigator

There is no specific educational requirements in order to become a private investigator. However, many private investigators have at least a bachelors degree in criminal science or criminal justice. If you are planning on getting involved in corporate investigation, it would be helpful to have some type of a business degree as well. In addition to education, it can help to have some experience in investigation through a police force. Depending on where you live, you will most likely have to pass a written exam in order to become licensed as a private investigator. Some states require you to have a certain amount of experience in order to apply.

Basic Tasks

Private investigators will utilize a number of different strategies in order to obtain information for their clients. A private investigator will frequently interview others in order to obtain important facts. Many private investigators will also frequently work on a computer and do detailed searches. Private investigators must be very proficient with computer skills as they will often try to locate deleted e-mails and messages.

Private investigators will typically do a lot of work in the field. However, some private investigators can also conduct business from their office. Investigators will often help with criminal investigations in whatever way they can. However, they will also frequently work with individuals in order to help them obtain important information. For example, they might be called on to help prove that a spouse has been unfaithful. Investigators also do a lot of work for corporations. This might involve investigating a fraud case or a serious theft in the company. Investigators frequently perform surveillance activities for many of their jobs.

Work Schedule

A private investigator's work schedule will vary from week to week. Many private investigators work for themselves and therefore, they will take the cases that they want to take. If a case calls for them to stay up all night on a surveillance project, that is what they will do.


The average private investigator makes approximately $41,000 per year. The more experienced private investigators will make as much as $60,000 per year.

Opportunities for Advancement

Since many private investigators work for small companies, there is typically not much room for advancement within their own companies. However, they can advance in other ways. For example, if you frequently work in corporate investigation, there is a chance that you can eventually move up to a head of security role. Many private investigators also decide to move on and start their own companies. In order for a private investigator to advance in some way, they will need to display an exceptional ability to complete their cases successfully.

Finding a Job

If you are looking for a job as a private investigator, be sure to check out They have a great job board as well as additional information about becoming a private investigator.