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Many fans of mystery movies and books dream of going to detective school and training to become a detective. There are two types of detectives: private and law enforcement. A private detective typically works for a detective agency, or has his or her own business providing detective services. Law enforcement detectives work for public agencies such as the police force and are responsible for investigating crimes. Both career options require the completion of detective school, but the programs themselves are quite different.
People who want to become a private detective or investigator can select a detective school that is available to the public. Candidates who work for law enforcement agencies and want to become a detective typically attend a detective school that is only available to candidates working within the law enforcement community. For example, detective training programs for police officers are not available to the general public.
There typically are three things to look for when selecting a detective school: accreditation or reputation, cost of the course, and expertise of instructors. It is important to note that detective training schools are available in almost all major city centers, but rarely are found in smaller towns or suburbs. Be prepared to move locations to be near a school that meets your needs. There are an increasing number of detective schools that offer an Internet-based program. It is important to investigate the credentials of these programs with care, as many may not be a legitimate school.
The first thing to investigate when looking for a detective school is the accreditation or reputation of the school. There are several international detective schools that are well known for providing excellent training programs. Take the time to review the background and reputation of the different schools with former students, graduates, and employers. Both reputation and longevity are important when selecting a school, as future clients may ask about training before signing a service contract.
Total cost of the training program should clearly be provided along with a list of all the courses available, practical skills covered, and any equipment or materials required. Avoid any detective school that is unable to provide a detailed list of tuition fees for different programs and an explanation of what those costs include. Look for information on payment plans and acceptable methods of payment.
Many detective schools provide a short biography on their instructors in the promotional material. Find out what type of work experience and academic credentials the instructors possess. It is important to note that work experience usually is more important than scholastic achievement in this career, but many private detective instructors have held similar positions in law enforcement agencies and should have the academic credentials required.