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How Do I Become a Private Investigator?

Working as a private investigator can be a very rewarding experience. While it may not have the same level of drama as what you find in fictional works, this doesn't mean it can't be a great experience for you.

A sizeable number of people who work in private investigation started off in an apprenticeship or working as law enforcement officials. However, if you don't have a similar history or experience, this doesn't mean you cannot get started in this industry.

There are ways in which you can attain the qualifications needed to become a licensed private investigator.


Where Can You Work When You Become A Private Investigator?

Many people still see private detectives in the way they are portrayed in works of fiction. This means the private detective:

  • Works in a small agency
  • Takes on cases involving infidelity and/or missing persons
  • Carries out investigations on their own etc.

Although there are many examples of professional investigators who fit this depiction, you shouldn't assume that you're limited to this scope.

Private investigators work in many other different fields, fulfilling many other functions. Some of the career paths you could take as an investigator include:

  • Working as a claims investigator for an insurance agency
  • Working as an internal fraud expert for a financial services company
  • Working as a computer forensics expert
  • Working as phone forensics expert etc.

As you can see from the examples above, working as a private investigator doesn't have to mean working with spy cameras, carrying out lie detector tests or something else along those lines. However, if that is the type of professional investigation you're interested in, you can still pursue that career path.


How Do Private Investigators Find Out Information?

The primary role of any private detective is information gathering. When you become a private investigator, how you will be uncovering information will be determined by the area you're working in and the type of private investigations you do.

A few examples of how different types of investigations require different methods of information gathering are:

  • Missing person investigation: You may need to go through personal and professional records, interview witnesses and/or acquaintances, carry out surveillance of individuals or locations etc.
  • Auditing insurance claim: The information gathering process will depend on the specifics of the case and may mean carrying out surveillance, interviewing witnesses or simply going through technical data.
  • Computer forensics: In such an investigation, you'll likely have to go through lines of software code and extract information to find out what you need to know.
  • Infidelity investigation: Surveillance is the commonly used information-gathering tool but interviewing people and going through records can also provide great inside or even actionable evidence.

Regardless of how you gather the information, report writing skills will be essential for writing a final report detailing all the clients will need to know about the case. However, it's also important to ensure the information is gathered lawfully. Information gathered by breaking the law is inadmissible in court and could lead to prosecution.


Contact Us For More Information

If you need further information on how you can become a private investigator, you can reach out to privateinvestigator.co.uk for more information. We are a professional team of investigators with years of experience.

We can advise you on what you need to know when you're considering private investigation as a career path including:

  • Where to study to attain the required qualifications
  • How you can be licensed by the Security Industry Authority
  • Which postgraduate education opportunities can further your career etc.