Demystifying Private Investigator Careers

Being a private investigator has always been something that seemed, to most people, to be a little bit mysterious and quite exciting. Due to the very nature of the career, the things that a private investigator does are often secret. That makes it hard for students considering such a job to learn what they need to make a smart career decision. These job details should help you gather clues in deciding if it's the career for you.

Basic Skills

If you look at a job posting asking for a private investigator, you will be surprised by how traditional the qualifications read. The person must be motivated to work on his or her own, but must also be a team player. Candidates must be driven to success and pay attention to detail. These are all skills required on hundreds of thousands of job descriptions for almost any position. A good employee is a good employee, no matter what he or she is doing.

You will also find that a person applying for this type of a position must have good communication skills, both when speaking and when writing. Candidates also need computer and organization skills, to be certain they meet reporting deadlines. Much of a private investigator's time is spent traveling, so a car and driver's license are required, although an employer will provide the car.
What Sets a Private Investigator Apart?

Although the skills needed as a private investigator are common to many careers, one trait sets these professionals apart. Professional private investigators must have specialized knowledge of detective practices. Students can learn these skills through criminology college programs, but many private investigators are actually retired police officers.

The Job Itself
In general, a private investigator is not a person who spends every day chasing hardened criminals through the alleys of Chicago. The movies have made the job out to be more adventurous than it is. While there will be moments of danger and intrigue, this is not the same as being a police homicide detective.

For example, a woman who thinks that her husband is cheating on her may hire you. She will want you to find out for sure. An employer who thinks that some employee is stealing from the company and has no way to prove it may hire you. Your task in both of these cases will be about following the people, observing their movements, keeping notes of what you find and documenting your findings by taking photographs. Once you have proof, you will go back to whoever hired you to show them what you found.

So, if you like getting to the bottom of things, uncovering the truth, and finding answers for people, private investigation may be the ideal career choice. Find out more about private investigator and other criminal justice careers at CriminalJusticeCareerGuide.

Categories: College Life   Tags: criminology college programs, private investigator careers, private investigator