Private Detectives and Investigators

Gather, analyze, compile and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.

Median Annual Wage: $44,570

Education: Bachelor's degree (38%); High school diploma or equivalent (25%); Associate's degree (16%)

Projected Growth: Average (8% to 14%)

Related Job Titles: Investigator; Loss Prevention Officer; Loss Prevention Detective; Private Investigator; Loss Prevention Agent; Loss Prevention Associate; Loss Prevention Investigator; Asset Protection Detective; Field Investigator; Special Investigator

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Private Detectives and Investigators.

More Protective Service Careers

  • Conduct private investigations on a paid basis.
  • Search computer databases, credit reports, public records, tax or legal filings, or other resources to locate persons or to compile information for investigations.
  • Conduct personal background investigations, such as pre-employment checks, to obtain information about an individual's character, financial status, or personal history.
  • Expose fraudulent insurance claims or stolen funds.
  • Question persons to obtain evidence for cases of divorce, child custody, or missing persons or information about individuals' character or financial status.
  • Testify at hearings or court trials to present evidence.
  • Obtain and analyze information on suspects, crimes, or disturbances to solve cases, to identify criminal activity, or to gather information for court cases.
  • Observe and document activities of individuals to detect unlawful acts or to obtain evidence for cases, using binoculars and still or video cameras.
  • Confer with establishment officials, security departments, police, or postal officials to identify problems, provide information, or receive instructions.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Private Detectives and Investigators.

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Private Detectives and Investigators.

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