How to Get a Job in Private and Public Investigations


If you’re interested in working at a job that is involved with private and public investigations, you will likely be working as an investigator who works with individuals, businesses, prosecutors, defense attorneys or police departments. Your job tasks may include conducting interviews with the accused, victims, witnesses or family and friends who are involved. You have a choice of working for the accusing party or the accused, and the interviews that you conduct may help to discredit the case of an opponent.

Responsibilities And Job Duties

As an investigator, you may be asked to conduct a background check on an individual. This may be part of your job at a corporation or you may be hired to do this type of investigative work for a small business that is involved in a sector dealing with high-security clearance. In addition, your job may also entail conducting surveillance of an accuser or accused. You may have to take photographs or record video clips to help strengthen your investigative work.

In some cases, you may work in a job that requires you to specialize in computer forensics. Your tasks may require you to attempt to acquire information from seized or damage computers. You may even need to have experience that allows you to trace the activity of an employee on the network of a business.

Salaries Associated With Private And Public Investigation Work

The salary associated with a private investigator will vary. It is dependent on geographic location, rates that are charged, the type of case and current caseload. Salaries for this type of work can range from $25,000-$75,000.

If you work as a public investigator, your salary will likely depend on the agency that you work for. You will probably be employed by a federal, state or local agency. The average salary for a public investigator is about $75,000. If you are employed as a local investigator, you might expect to make around $62,000-$65,000. As a state investigator, the average salary is around $53,000, and federal investigators earn about $95,000 on average per year. Of course, these salaries will vary depending on experience.

Job Requirements For Private And Public Investigators

As a private detective, your education may be as high as a high school diploma. For this line of work, your experience is the most important factor. It’s a field where on-the-job training is the best course of action. This is why experienced private investigators have the ability to charge more for their services.

If you desire to work as a computer forensic investigator, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in data analysis or computer science. Minoring in criminal justice is also a good idea.

To become a public investigator, you will need to check the local, state or federal department that hires for these positions. They will provide the education requirements that are needed. In most cases, it’s advantageous to have a degree or certification that is associated with forensics or criminal justice.