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Can Anyone Become a Private Investigator?

Considering the expectations that come with the job of a private investigator, you might be curious if you have what it takes to become a private investigator.

In the UK, it's not yet a legal requirement to be licensed in order to work as a private investigator. Therefore, in theory, it's possible for almost anyone to become a private detective. However, with a little bit of effort, it's actually still possible for individuals who wish to become licensed private investigators to achieve the same.

As a licensed private detective, you will be able to operate with more credibility and also be ready when the rules change.


What Skills Do You Need As A Private Investigator?

As a private investigator, there are certain skills that you will need to call upon in different situations. Some of these skills can be taught when you undergo private investigation training. However, there are other skills that will need to be honed through experience in the field.

Some of these skills that you'll need as a private investigator include:

  • Communication skills: Useful when consulting with clients and also when interviewing people
  • Analytical skills: These will be needed to make sense of the information gathered
  • Observation skills: Being able to spot small details will be important
  • Computer skills: There is plenty of information online that can help during an investigation
  • Presentation skills: In case you're needed to present evidence in court

Although you may already have some of these skills, you may need time to hone others e.g. the confidence to present information in a court.


What Type Of Person Is Likely To Become A Private Detective?

Despite the fact that almost anyone can become a private investigator, careers in professional private investigations usually appeal to certain types of people more. This is usually because there is an overlap between this career and a field in which they might have experience.

Typical private investigators tend to be:

  • Police officers or people who've served in various roles in law enforcement
  • People who've served in the armed forces
  • Individuals who've previously worked as security guards

However, it's not necessary to have worked in such fields for you to want to become a private investigator.

Usually, any person with the following characteristics can become a private investigator:

  • Likes to analyze and solve problems
  • Determined and able to persevere
  • Patient
  • Lots of self-motivation
  • Confident and friendly
  • Honest
  • Strong sense of justice
  • Tactful