Private Investigator School

The need for private detectives is growing at a very rapid rate. There are several of these so-called private investigator schools and courses that offer licensed and approved training. There are many fine local colleges and vocational rehab schools that do an excellent job of teaching private investigation.

Some level of investigative knowledge and skills that successful private investigators possess is a must-have to gain entry in any one of these schools. The training includes knowing the rules and regulations of the industry, including licensing regulations, where and how to obtain information, how to properly gather and document evidence, how to interview people and how to properly report the results of their work.

Some vital matters and rock-solid facts are necessary to actually become a successful private investigator. As a private investigator moves through a career, he or she has to specialize in various fields, requiring more specific education in certain areas. Investigation schools offer courses that cover many basic and vital topics such as private investigator licensing requirements, types of private investigation work and services, role of the private investigator, rules and regulations of private investigation private investigation ethic, criminal investigations, civil investigations, support investigations, trial support services, special investigative services, case file preparation and investigation planning

Many schools also have a very targeted syllabus and teach the individuals how to plan an investigation. A successful business school prepares their candidate in many ways Surveillance tricks, conducting undercover operations, realizing the importance of information, differentiating between circumstantial and direct evidence, information documenting methods, investigative report writing, preservation of evidence, successful tips on starting and running ones own private investigating agency and much more.

Becoming a private investigator demands many skills. Continued success depends on the investigator’s ability to get things done with competence and in compliance with the law and the applicable regulations relating to private investigation services.

The courses are thus designed to provide practical tips, techniques and solutions one may need for investigative success without incurring the hard knocks that come from on-the-job learning.

What Is Involved In Private Investigator Training?

Once you have made the important decision to be trained as a “Private Investigator”, it will not be a purely academic undertaking, however, the “academic aspect” is highly desirable and strongly recommended, and, in certain jurisdictions, possibly required to a limited extent.

But the reality exists that the primary “training” will come by working for (and with) another “seasoned Investigator” in order to gain valuable knowledge by “doing and following”. One (1) of the results of this approach goes to realistically and practically showing you whether or not you in fact truly have the “knack” for investigative work.

At some point, and, most assuredly “early on”, you must further your “self-analysis” to realistically determine… “why do you want to become a Private Investigator?” Different people decide to follow a career in “Private Investigation” for different reasons. Perhaps you have been entranced by what you have seen on television or in the movies.

Possibly you are departing a career in law enforcement and are “weighing all of your options”. Or, maybe you are simply seeking a complete career change and think that a career in the “Private Investigation industry” would be ideal for you.

Whatever your motivation, Private Investigation is a highly interesting career that requires a multiplicity of skills that most people never get the opportunity to realize or utilize. Although, the industry is not nearly as exciting and intriguing as television and the movies would suggest, it is in fact a career that fosters pride and a wealth of opportunities provided you are willing to “do what it takes” to reach that goal.

Additionally, you will have a higher opportunity of success if you are able to combine your desire to become a Private Investigator with some of your existing talents, your background and experience, and, an eventual decision to specialize.

Whatever the respective requirements of your particular State or Province, suffice it to say that it will take you on average two (2) to three (3) years of active “hands-on” apprenticeship before you are prepared to take the Licensing Exam (which is required in virtually every jurisdiction).

Make certain however, prior to “commencing your career”, that you thoroughly check with the appropriate Governmental Authorities in your respective jurisdiction in order to make absolutely certain as to their particular academic and/or apprenticeship requirements, et al.

As we previously touched upon (but requiring further clarification here because of its importance), many students inquire as to whether or not they should, from the very onset of their studies and training, focus heavily upon becoming a certain “type” of Private Investigator.

At the point you first enter the business, it is strongly advised that you do NOT attempt to ascertain or heavily focus upon any specific “type” or specialty-area of investigation, but instead take a “generalist” approach during your training and apprenticeship.

It will naturally occur, during that process, by mere “evolution”, that you will develop certain likes, dislikes, interests and self-knowledge of any special “talent” in order to lead you properly to your “best-case” career. It is advisable however to become fully aware of the possible areas of specialization, and, begin to establish those interests and “leanings” early on.

Always remember, in the “Private Investigation industry” or otherwise… once you find what it is you “like to do”, and, you find that you “do it well”, assuredly move in that direction… the clientele, reputation, credibility and economic rewards will follow in natural fashion because of your (collective) positive attitude, self-confidence, high principles and gained expertise.

Concurrently, as you proceed through your private investigator training and “apprenticeship”, you will learn how to investigate many different forms of assignments and cases, and, will be exposed to many, varied investigative techniques, technological equipment and “hands-on” skills utilized by today’s professionals.

This process will inherently provide you the opportunity to ascertain your true “professional likes and dislikes”, as well as to objectively self-assess your strengths, weakness, talents and skills. Your private investigator training period then will be highly influential in your eventual decision as to what “field” or “specialty” you will follow… be it in a corporate environment, legal venue, within an insurance company, an investigative agency, or, independently.

While not a pre-requisite as a “mandatory condition” to becoming a Private Investigator, many who select the Private Investigation venue for a career will have a background in law enforcement, insurance, military or government investigation, or, even the intelligence community. Similarly, many Private Investigators are retired civilian or military police officers with specialized training in criminal and civil investigative techniques.

As such, some States / Provinces either require (or are initiating) training protocols that mandate specific education, a criminal background check and the successful completion of a written exam, et al. Again… check with YOUR respective jurisdiction at the onset of your efforts in order to avoid unnecessary “future issues”!

During the course of his / her duties, a Private Investigator may face confrontational circumstances and situations, so he / she must be both assertive and a quick thinker. Similarly, the duties of a Private Investigator will assuredly require interrogation and interviewing, thus good communication skills are necessary.

Other Investigators perform background or pre-employment checks, investigate computer crimes including piracy, e-mail harassment and identity theft, all of which requiring superior “detail-orientation” skills.

For the most part, it is safe to generalize that Private Investigators perform a disproportionate amount of work at irregular hours, such as early mornings, nights, weekends and holidays. However, specialized assignments involving computer searches and phone calls may be performed at an office during normal working hours. And, Investigators perform most of their work duties, especially surveillance and interviewing, alone.

Some Private Investigators are licensed to carry a firearm, although that is not necessary in most cases. In “real life”, most work performed by Private Investigators is no more glamorous or dangerous than a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles or Tax Assessor’s Office.

5 Tips For Hiring a Private Investigator

You never know when you will require the services of a Private Investigator. In this article we will provide you with 5 tips for hiring the very best. The ‘P.I.’ as they are sometimes referred to offer multi-functional support for a variety of problems and situations. When most people think about private investigators they think about the many characters they have come to love on television like Jim Rockford from the old series “Rockford Files”, and Tom Selleck in the series, “Magnum P.I.”

Of course there is more to being a private eye than what Hollywood has presented. It takes skilled professionals to perform the job of private detectives. It takes hours of training and an abundance of experience to deliver upon the needs of an investigator in today’s high tech world. The investigator is typically associated with following around a spouse to see if their cheating in a marriage but that is only a small glimpse of the private investigators capabilities. There are so many missions a private investigator can perform so it is vital that you know how to hire one so that you can choose the right one for your situation. Here are those 5 tips for hiring a private investigator:

#1. Make sure the private investigator you are hiring is licensed. Licensing is required in most states (with the exceptions of Colorado, Minnesota and Idaho to name a few) this requirement is for a good reason, to protect the consumer. This stops people from waking up one day and saying” Today, I think I will be a Private Investigator” and jumping into a critical case and jeopardizing the results. Most people will only need a private investigator once in their life and this one time will be the most important.

In the state of Florida for example, one must be an intern for two years, that is two solid years of 40-hour workweeks. That equals about 4000 hours of supervised training. This intern/training program is under the direct supervision of a C licensed private investigator. Thus insuring that a competent, trained private investigator is taking on your case.

#2. Make sure the private investigator agency has insurance or they are bonded. The agency requirements vary from state to state but regardless of the state you are in they usually require their investigation agencies to be insured. A properly insured or bonded agency will insure and protect you in case anything happens. Whether it be negligence, errors or omissions or even damage to one’s property, a properly insured or bonded agency will protect both you the consumer from lawsuits and the agency from liability.

#3. Ask about the agencies/investigators experienced on your type of case. A lot of Private Investigation Agencies specialize in a certain aspect of investigations, while others specialize in many different segments of private Investigations. Make sure the PI you are hiring is well versed the type of investigation you require. Having your case become “Training Day” is likely to have aspects of the case overlooked.

#4. Understand the charges and payment arrangements before you hire the investigator. A private investigation agency should be able to give you a close estimate to the charges that will be involved with your case. Just as with a painter giving an estimate on your house a PI firm should give you an estimate on your case. The painter already knows how long it will take him to paint the house. How does he know? He knows because he has done it before. The same holds true with private investigations. They know that the average spouse cheating case takes about xx days and that a background check takes xx hours to complete.

Once you understand the charges involved you can understand the billing involved. The billing varies greatly with every investigation agency from an upfront retainer, to a fixed hourly rate, to progressive payments. Knowing the payment arrangement upfront will help you determine if this is the right private investigator for your budget or not.

#5. What equipment does the PI have? In today’s ever-changing high tech world, having the latest technology can mean the difference in winning and losing a case. The technology that the private investigator and/or private investigation agency has at there disposal can vary greatly. Are they a low tech, old-fashioned PI that relies on his handy dandy notebook and “street smarts”? Or, is the investigator you are going to hire equipped with the latest laptops with mobile broadband, satellite photography software, and members of large Internet databases? Having the right equipment to do the job is important when your case is on the line.

As you can see there are many, many tips for hiring a PI. The important thing is finding the one that can satisfy your expectations. With so many to choose from it is vital that you follow these tips and put in the research time required to make a comfortable choice. In today’s world the private investigator wears many hats. They can assist attorneys with case investigation, companies with security/information gathering and the individual with an assortment of possible problems. In addition, the investigator can help insurance companies as well. If you have a situation that calls for the services of a private investigator do not hesitate to seek out a professional that will fulfill your expectations. We have provided you with 5 ways to do it right the first time. For more information on hiring a private eye, visit