If you are asking yourself what to do to become a private investigator, you are probably also asking yourself the following question: “What degree do you need to become an investigator”? Technically, being an investigator does not require an academic degree as such, although you do need to complete private detective training with an investigation academy accredited by the Security Industry Authority (“SIA”). Most academies offer online courses, so that you can gain the relevant industry experience as you study. The courses will provide you with answers to questions like “What do detectives do on the job?” and other issues.
Study Applied Forensics Or Forensic Sciences
However, if you believe that a degree would be the best approach, you can study Applied Forensics or Forensic Sciences at a degree level prior to becoming an investigator. This degree will also be a good step towards training as a Crime Scene Investigator (“CSI”), which would give you an excellent insight into what it takes to be a detective and teach you the relevant skills, such as evidence analysis and use of photographic equipment.
If you do not want to spend time on obtaining a degree, you can enroll in some online courses accredited by the SIA that provide an insight into several aspects of private investigator’s work. Surveillance courses would be particularly useful, since subject surveillance is a very big part of a private investigator’s job. However, these courses would not be enough on their own – obtaining law enforcement experience or at least enrolling into a law-related course would open more doors for you. For more insights into the private investigation industry and occupation, you can subscribe to various PI journals, subscriptions offered by some investigation academies.
If you are looking for a comprehensive understanding of what detectives do and a deep insight into the law enforcement, you might want to consider police training. The kind of industry experience and knowledge working with the police can offer is invaluable if you want to be a good detective. There is an intensive Programme available if you want to become a detective or an investigator called Professionalising Investigation Programme. It offers various levels of training and provides the skills and experience necessary for handling cases that typically come from private investigators’ clientele.
The experience would be useful whether you are looking to offer your professional services as an investigator to private customers or commercial organisations. For example, PIP Level 1 will provide you with a deep insight into fraud investigations. Many private investigation agencies deal with fraud cases quite frequently, and it is very important to know how to handle them. Training with the programme would therefore be very beneficial if you want to become an investigator.
If you have a military background, training as a private investigator would be easier for you, because you already have an understanding of professional standards, and have the skills welcomed by many private investigation firms. However, you would still have to apply for a private investigator’s license to the SIA.