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How Do I Become a Private Investigator?

Criminal justice is becoming an extremely popular field of study for many individuals. Usually, the area of criminal justice that these individuals desire to move into is private investigating. Even though fiction books, crime television shows, and suspense movies can give you a visual image of the life of a private eye, you should understand exactly what a private investigator does and what steps have to be taken when you are trying to learn how to become a private investigator.

Work of a Private Investigator
As a private investigator, you may be charged with completing a variety of tasks. However, within all of these tasks, the main job is to investigate. During these investigations, different legal and personal matters may be looked into. For example, some of the personal matters may simply involve looking into someone’s background. If you work as a private eye in law enforcement, you may be tasked with finding missing persons or investigating cyber crimes. During the course of these investigations, you may have to interview people, do surveillance, or do other types of research in order to collect a wide array of evidence.

Education Requirements
For the most part, private investigators will have some type of higher education; however, there are also lots of investigators who simply learn on the job. Depending on the type of job that you pursue, you will have to get some type of training for that job. For example, if you work for an insurance company, then it will be important that you learn about insurance fraud. For jobs that require a higher education degree, it is important to take lots of courses in criminal justice. In addition to the criminal justice courses, you can also benefit from courses in political science, computer applications, and business. If you are hoping to become a private eye with a corporation, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree. With some states, you must also obtain a license to be a private investigator.

Qualities of a Private Investigator
If you are hoping to learn how to become a private investigator, you should be sure to understand that there are certain qualities that you should possess. One of the most important qualities is good communication skills. As a private eye, you will not only have to be able to speak well, but you must also understand the importance of listening. A second quality needed is honesty. As an investigator, you may often find yourself in court; therefore, it is important that you are always willing to tell the truth even if it is not in the best interest of your client. A final quality needed is problem-solving skills. There will be times in which you have to think quickly; therefore, problem-solving skills will give you the ability to do so.

Private investigating is a rapidly growing career field. Before you decide if this career is right for you, you should consider the daily work of the investigator, the education requirements, and the qualities that an investigator should possess.


Check out our Top Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs for 2015

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One thought on “How Do I Become a Private Investigator?”

  1. I agree with you that if you want to make a good detective, then you should have good qualities for communication to another person, knowledge of everything, understand the importance of listening, honesty, etc.

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