Some people want to know how to become a private investigator because of the independence. They want to work without having a supervisor looking over their shoulder. They’re looking to get away from the cubicle or office grind. They want to set their own hours and make their own rules.
Get a related degree or diploma
Working as a private investigator has its ups and downs. Each day can be very different from the one before. You need to make sure though that you have the skills needed for the job. For that, you need to seek out relevant training.
Some places offer degrees or diplomas for private investigators. You need to learn how to collect fingerprints and evidence, and use online resources for tracking. You need to understand how to conduct an organized and efficient investigation. You’ll also need to learn how to put up an agency, if that’s your plan.
Get work experience
It might be difficult competing with other investigators if you’re still new. One way to build up your work experience is to find related jobs. For example, you can apply for work as an assistant at a law firm. This could expose you to how investigations are done and how evidence is collected.
You could also apply for work at an insurance company. These companies will usually need to investigate some of the claims made by customers. Working there can give you an inside view of how they research people. You’ll also learn what qualities they look for in an investigator.
Practice your investigative skills
Your reputation will be very important when you work as an investigator. Potential customers will want to know if you have a good track record. The training you received will be helpful, but it won’t be enough. You’ll need to actually apply those skills.
So, spend some time to practice following and observing a person. See how well you can do this without the person noticing you. Practice taking notes and taking photos or video. Practice other skills as well on a regular basis so you can improve.
Practice your social skills
As a private investigator, a lot of your work will involve interacting with people. For instance, can you find a way to learn the truth about something indirectly? Can you elicit information without raising suspicion or defensiveness? Can you go about your investigation while still keeping a low profile?
You’ll also need social skills for finding and keeping clients. That’s the business side of running your own agency. You need to be able to impress clients so they’ll come back. You have to be able to deal with clients who have different personalities.
The life of a private investigator can be a difficult one. Days range from exciting to utterly boring. But it does have its rewards. Keep these tips in mind and keep on working at it.