A private investigator, or PI, is a professional detective that can be hired to find information for clients. Though almost always private citizens and not officers of the law, private investigators often have training as police officers or intelligence agents. In order to find private investigator jobs, it is important to receive training in the field and establish a professional reputation.
The first step to being able to find private investigator jobs is to learn the trade. This difficult job focuses heavily on investigative skills; in the days of the Internet, understanding of record searches, databases and other online tools can be endlessly useful to a PI. Additionally, private investigators must have good people skills, as interviewing and asking questions is often part of the job. It may be possible to find private investigator jobs as an assistant or receptionist for an established PI. Jobs assisting in private investigation would help build skills and give insider information into the daily life of the job.
There are many different fields where a person could find private investigator jobs. Some investigators work with law firms to build case information by tracking down witnesses and gather testimony. Others may work with parole or bail agents to track down offenders that have skipped town or missed parole meetings.
Another major area of private investigator work is surveillance. This may include following or tracking a person to gather information. A spouse looking for proof that their partner is cheating could hire a private investigator to follow the partner. Insurance companies may also use a PI for surveillance, to check if a claimant is actually injured or disabled or is committing fraud to receive a settlement.
Some find private investigator jobs by opening their own PI firm. This allows them to specialize in whatever area they choose, like surveillance or missing persons. While work may be less steady, self-employed investigators have the luxury of choosing their cases and deciding what type of work they'd like to take on.
There are several good ways to find private investigator jobs online. Many job websites feature a searchable category for this type of work, which allows a private investigator to hunt down jobs. If operating a private investigation business, some may choose to seek jobs through advertising in print, TV, and online media. Another good way to find private investigator jobs is to build relationships with lawyers, bail bondsmen, and the local police, as they may have work that requires a PI.