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How Do You Become a Private Investigator?

A lot of people have found themselves in need of professional investigative services. Because many of these cases can't be adequately handled by regular police officers, this creates excellent opportunities for private investigators to step in and help. Becoming a private investigator can be a very rewarding career path for you.

The field of private investigation is quite diverse and there are many different paths you can take.

Although we're all familiar with the typical private investigator running their own agency, private detectives can work in many different capacities in various companies.

Career Paths For Private Investigators

If you want to become a private investigator, you'll also have to consider which exact career path you'd like to take.

As a private investigator, you can work for an agency that specializes in private investigation. These are the agencies that are typically hired to:

  • Locate missing persons
  • Carry out infidelity detection
  • Perform process serving etc.

Most of the clients will not be fulltime and the agency you're working for will only be brought in to carry out a private investigation on an as-needed basis. However, there are organizations in which investigations are part and parcel of what is done on a regular basis.

These include:

  • Insurance companies
  • Financial auditing firms
  • Financial companies etc.

Such companies will need private detectives who are available round-the-clock. Therefore, if you're looking for full-time employment opportunities, such companies can be a good choice.

Training To Become A Private Detective

If you have no prior experience in law enforcement or the armed forces, it is recommended that you undergo private investigator training before you dive into the world of private investigation.

To become a proper private investigator takes more than a spy camera and counter surveillance equipment. You'll need to learn the skills needed and the legal aspects of the job. Additionally, being trained in a recognized institution is necessary if you're to receive an IQ Level 3 Award for Private Investigators. This award is necessary if you're to be licensed by the Security Industry Authority or SIA.

Becoming A Licensed Private Investigator

Receiving a private investigator license from the Security Industry Authority is not yet compulsory for private investigators. However, this license is an important part of the professional investigators' toolkit. It shows the client that you have undergone the necessary training and operate within professional guidelines.

To get a license from the Security Industry governing body, you'll need to have the following:

  • An IQ Level 3 Certificate
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Proof that you're of sound mind

Only individuals over the age of 18 can be licensed by this organization.

Applications for an investigator's license by persons with a criminal record will be considered on a case by case basis.

What Skills Will You Need When You Become A Private Detective

To become an effective private investigator, there are certain skills that you'll need to rely on. Some of these skills include:

  • Communications skills: For talking to clients and interviewing people
  • Analytical skills: To be able to assess the evidence collected
  • Report writing skills: To compile a professional report that can withstand legal scrutiny
  • Quick thinking: Circumstances in a case can change and you may have to adjust quickly

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