Private Detective Career Field

private detectivePrivate detectives or private investigators help individuals, lawyers, and businesses by finding information and analyzing it. They often help to connect clues regarding personal, financial, and legal matters. They may also provide personal protection for celebrities and important people. They also may investigate computer crimes like identity theft, harassing emails, and the downloading of illegal and copyrighted materials. They perform a great deal of their work on computers. They may recover deleted emails and documents. They may also perform database searches and look for information regarding individuals they are researching.

Education Requirements

Associate’s Degree in criminal investigation/computer forensics (2 years of college)
Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or Computer Forensics (4 years of college)
Private detectives actually don’t need any formal education to start working. Corporate investigators, hired by businesses and organizations to do investigational work, generally need a degree in business, accounting, or criminal investigation to get hired. Many private investigators own their own businesses. For private detectives doing computer forensics work a computer science associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree is generally required just to have the skills necessary to do investigative work on computers.


Background Checks
Undercover Assignments
Insurance Fraud
Testifying in Court
Insurance Investigator
Corporate Investigator
Legal Investigator in a law firm
Process Server serving legal papers
Accomplish Internet database research
Install hidden video cameras
Conduct surveillance
Find missing persons

Employment Trends

Job Availability of private detectives as of May 2008: 45,500
Projected Employment of private detectives in 2018: 55,000
Average Annual Salary for private detectives in U.S. in 2008: $41,760

Top Colleges

University of Phoenix
Liberty University Online
Kaplan University
American InterContinental University
Ashworth College

Related Jobs

Bill and account collectors
Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators
Police and detectives
Security guards and gaming surveillance officers

Article Reference:Bureau of Labor Statistics

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