Detective Careers

Careers for detectives and private investigatorsCareer Overview

Detectives, also known as private detectives or investigators, generally work with businesses, individuals, and attorneys in obtaining important information. They put different clues and facts together regarding legal, financial, and personal situations. Private detectives can offer protection services, pre-employment verification, and background profiles and checks. They may also investigate computer crimes like identity theft and online harassment. They can also help with criminal and civil liability cases, insurance claims, fraud cases, child and custody situations, missing person cases, and premarital screenings.

More than 20 percent of private detectives are self-employed. Their hours can be irregular depending on case and client needs. Many people want these types of jobs due to Hollywood glamorization, creating a lot of competition for these positions. The work can be dangerous. Those working in the field generally have some college education or previous investigative work.

Education Requirements

Detectives aren’t required to have a degree. Corporate investigators must have a bachelor’s degree in a business field. Computer forensics detectives usually need a computer science or accounting degree.

Licensure

Most states have licensing requirements for private detectives that vary. The following states have no licensing requirements: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Wyoming. All states require detectives carrying weapons to have proper permits.

School Recommendations:

ITT Technical Institute
DeVry University
American Public University
Kaplan University
Broadview University

Employment Trends

Average Salary for Detectives in 2008: $41,700
Jobs in 2008: 45,500
Projected Employment Openings between through 2018: 55,500

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Article Reference: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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