The modern day private investigator is not what you see on television, they usually work for private citizens, corporations or attorneys. They act of behalf of their clients to either uncover or get to the bottom of some type of suspicious activity, unlike television there are no car chases involved. Here are some of the tasks that the modern day private investigator actually does for their clients.
Jobs of a Private Investigator
One of the more common jobs of a private investigator is investigating divorce cases, they look for evidence of infidelity or other behavior that is used in court during divorce or custody proceedings. They also do background checks, skip tracing, process serves and they look for missing persons. While there are many branches of investigation many agencies will specialize in one branch, for instance some might specialize in fraud investigations, personal security or forensic accounting.
A private investigator rarely has a set schedule and 9-5 is not often part of the job. Some investigators spend hours away from the office doing things like surveillance while others spend many hours behind a computer doing research or forensic accounting. Personal security is also a big part of the job and that involves working hours around the clock. If the job requires carrying a handgun or firearm bear in mind that the investigator will need a license from the proper authority.
Licensing and Experience
Almost every state will require that a private investigator be licensed, and there are still strict laws that regulate the industry. There are only seven states without any licensing requirements at all. The remaining states requirements vary from fairly lax to extremely rigid. There are a number of states that have mandatory training programs, for example the California Department of Consumer Affairs states an investigator must be over 18, have an education in political science, criminal law and justice. They must also have more than 6,000 hours of experience along with passing a criminal background check and pass a two hour written exam.
Many come with degrees in criminology, from backgrounds in law enforcement, military, insurance investigations, government auditing and even accounting. All the skills you can learn from these careers transfer easily into the field of private investigation. Corporate investigators are even better educated with bachelor’s degrees in related fields.
The modern day private investigator is a long way from what you see on television and the job is nowhere near as glamorous. They are highly educated and well trained professionals ready to help you with your case.