Books and movies have done an excellent job solidifying in our culture the image of a Private Investigator: long trench coat, hat tipped over the eye, the flash of a match lighting a cigarette that reveals a soft snarl. The hard-boiled detective being approached by vicious mobsters and seductively dangerous women. Cracking murder cases no one else could solve. Dodging bullets and bill collectors all in the same day. These are the romanticized versions of private investigators we share and these, of course, are nowhere near the reality. Find the perfect private investigator school today, research classes below.
Society frequently has the need for police and detectives who can protect us from harm and solve our civil problems. But sometimes we have more personal needs that don't fall under the jurisdiction of the police force. Fortunately, there are smart, street savvy individuals who have the training and experience needed to fill in the gap, serving the community as private investigators. In this profession they can provide individuals with in the information that they don't have time to collect, don't know where to find, or don't have access to.
Although private investigators will work with criminal matters, they are not the same as police. They might be licensed to carry firearms, but the rights and jurisdictions that police officers have do not apply to a private individual who is hired on behalf of a person or group. There are many highly profitable areas of investigation that the private investigators might be hired for.
When hired by an individual, a private investigator could perform routine tasks such as performing background checks on prospective renters, clients, or employees. An investigator might also be hired to look for signs of adultery in that person's spouse; this service is necessary to prove or refute the feelings of a nervous spouse, but is also needed in many divorce settlements since child custody and alimony are important legal matters that fidelity affects. Private investigators also might additionally be hired by a law firm or insurance company to look into individuals' private behaviors. Attorneys in civil cases could need the information that is collected by private investigators, and insurance companies will want to investigate the truth behind certain claims their customers might make. Individuals or companies also seeking to make investments in a highly risky area or business will require a private investigator's services to make sure that they are not about to get scammed.
There are abundant uses for private investigators nearly any time there is a situation of distrust, such as in marriages, corporate interactions, or any other relationship, PIs can help sort the facts from the fears. PIs technological gadgets, such as video or audio surveillance equipment, might help them obtain information that is difficult for others to come by. Frequently, private investigators will open their own independent business and rely on relationships they have with members in the community to obtain jobs. There are many groups of private investigators, however, that might serve in private hirable firms. Other PIs may be hired to work full time on behalf of the government or private corporations.
With the abundant career opportunities for private investigators, it makes sense to obtain the training and education needed to obtain a respectable license. The need for information collecting will only increase as the quantity of information and the amount of distrust increases as well. So put on your hat, practice your half-snarl, and purchase a holster, because once you are licensed you will be empowered to serve your community and get into the action! Go ahead and research any of the private investigator schools below.
One of the most exciting things about a private investigator degree program is all of the really neat things you’ll learn about in class. Below are just a sample of the topics and curriculum you can learn about.
Missing Persons – One of the more challenging areas you might have to deal with as a PI is if you are hired to find a missing person. Sometime families will hire private investigators to investigate other family members or to find a loved one, especially if they feel the police are tasked with other investigations.
Corporate Fraud – The digital age has increased the need for PI’s to investigate corporate fraud. This could mean digital money laundering or stock fraud. Sometimes the actual corporate themselves are the ones who do the hiring or it could come at more of the federal level if the crime is large enough. Private eyes are used sometimes vs. law enforcement in these situations.
Informants – Having good access to informants is key to becoming a good private investigator. Informants are typically paid by PI’s to gather information because they are at ground zero and have access to information that others simply can’t get. Sometimes the informants themselves are criminals but are still able to help both the police and private eyes with cases.
PI Equipment – As a PI you’ll have a wide variety of equipment you’ll need to know how to use. This could including advanced bugging equipment, long range listening devices, lock picking, high resolution photography. You’ll learn how to say out of the public eye and follow individual without them noticing you. A good PI acts like a normal individual and doesn’t bring attention to themselves.
Interviewing Techniques – Being able to communicate and listen are a must if you are interested in this line of work. Being able to talk to people either socially or by interviewing them can mean the difference in your investigation. Do you have the ability to tell if someone is lying to you? Can you tell if someone isn’t divulging the right information or they have more to say than what they are telling you? You’ll need to learn the tricks of the trade in order to filter out fact from fiction.
Working with Law Enforcement – PI’s often have to work with local law enforcement to share information. The goal of course to solve the case you are working on or get the information you were hired to get. Working with local police sometimes can be very useful in learning about things not known to the public.
Self-Employment – Over 80% of all private investigators are self-employed. They are hired to do a job and either they handle the job or they have a team underneath them to handle it. PI’s are not bounty hunters. You can own a business and specialize in certain aspects of the PI industry. Some only deal with insurance fraud where others might focus on marital betrayal or theft.
Private Investigation Resources:
United States Association of Professional Investigators - http://www.usapi.org/
The National Council of Investigation & Security Services - http://www.nciss.org/
World Association of Professional Investigators - http://wapi.com/
World Association of Detectives - http://www.wad.net/