So You Want to Be a Private Investigator?

Photo of author

( — April 15, 2019) — So you want to be a private investigator? Awesome! A job as a private investigator can be very rewarding. You can help people solve cases especially when the law enforcement agency cannot give them the justice they deserve. A private investigator can help a family find a missing person or track a stolen item. There are so many ways you can help people with a job as a private investigator.

Forget about what you may have seen in Hollywood movies, a job as a private investigator is not all about flashy cars and guns. It takes a lot of training before you can become a private investigator. Not everyone who wishes to become a private investigator has what it takes to qualify as one.

What Can I Do As a Private Investigator?

Becoming a private investigator is very different from becoming a policeman or a law enforcement agent. Thus, you won’t be fighting crime anytime soon, at least, not actively. As a private investigator, it is not your job to confront criminals. This is why detective agencies work with law enforcement agencies. When they discover a crime, they report it to the police in order for the police to serve justice.

A job as a private investigator usually include:

  • Conducting surveillance
  • Conducting counter-surveillance
  • Conducting research
  • Conducting background checks and running credit reports
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Process serving
  • Performing due diligence and debt recovery

What Do I Need To Study In College To Become A Private Investigator?

Interestingly, you won’t need any formal qualifications academically to become a private investigator. It is possible you can become a private investigator even with only high school education.

Nevertheless, we envisage a situation in the future while The Security Industry Authority (SIA) may require you to get official licensing. Thus, studying certain programs in the university or colleges can give you an advantage even when you are searching for a job as a private investigator. Some universities courses that can give you lots of edges include criminal justice, criminology, computer forensics, business, psychology, and political science.

How Much Can I Make As A Private Investigator?

A private investigator is a lucrative job in the UK. According to, a private investigator earns £12.90 per hour on average in the UK. This amount is about 17% above the national average. On average, you can earn between £20,000 and £25,000 per year. It is possible to earn between £50,000 and £100,000 per year when you become an expert at the highest level. Your title in this career includes private detective, private eye or private investigator.

How Do I Become A Private Investigator?

A lot of detective agencies are hiring private investigators. To become a private investigator, you need to ensure you have no criminal record. In the United Kingdom, there is currently no requirement to become a private investigator. Thus, all you need to do is search for a detective agency that is hiring in your area and submit your application.