Private Investigator Qualifications
While private investigators generally learn their skills on the job, most investigators have completed some college education. Some private investigator jobs may have no educational qualifications or require no more than a high school diploma. Others will require applicants to have earned an associates or bachelors degree. College courses in criminal justice and political science are often beneficial to those looking to become a private investigator. Much of your educational qualifications will depend on the industry you will be working with. Corporate investigators typically require coursework in finance, accounting, and business. Computer forensics investigators should have a background in both computer science and criminal justice.
Inquisitiveness and problem-solving skills are both important attributes for private investigators. You must be diligent, resourceful, and skilled in research techniques. A private investigator must also have excellent communication skills, able to listen carefully and effectively interview individuals that may be important to a case. Additionally, a private investigator must maintain a high level of honesty and integrity. You may be party to confidential information or need to establish your credibility in a court of law.
Private investigators typically have previous work experience related to criminal justice or the industry which they will be investigating. Investigators many have worked in insurance or collections companies, law offices, or in finance and accounting. Retired law enforcement, military, or federal intelligence employees often become private investigators.
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