What Does A Private Investigator Do?

There are more than 41,000 people in the U.S. working in the field of private investigations. If you are not familiar with the career, here’s a look at some of the little known things about the profession.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a great job-source site, explains that “private detectives and investigators search for information about legal, financial, and personal matters. They verify people’s backgrounds and statements, find missing persons, and investigate computer crimes.

According to the BLS, the 2018 median pay is $50,090. Entry-level PIs need a high school (or equivalent) diploma, and many enter the field after gaining experience in related fields.

The job requires moderate on-the-job training. (A good Career Certificate program is always a plus!) Job outlook through the year 2026 is estimated to grow by 11 percent.

A Day in the Life
While there is no real “typical” day for many Private Investigators, there are a set of tasks that many PIs become familiar with. According to the BLS, these duties may include:

  • Interviewing people to gather information
  • Searching online, public and court records to uncover clues
  • Conducting surveillance
  • Collecting evidence for clients
  • Checking for civil judgments and criminal history

And more!

The field can offer numerous opportunities to work in a variety of industries and with a number of different types of professionals. According to the BLS, the industries that hired the most Private Investigators include

  • Investigation, guard or armored car services
  • Self-employed workers
  • Government
  • Finance and insurance

Private Investigators can work from an office or from home. The job can be so diverse that many types of individuals might find the role of a Private Investigator is a good career fit. Learn more by visiting the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, or by visiting some of the training programs available, including PDI’s Certificate of Professional Private Investigations program.

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