There are not many specific requirements you need to fulfill in order to become a private investigator. Most states or regions will require you to fulfill criteria related to nationality or physical fitness. However, it is always useful to have some background in criminal behaviour or law, which can come in handy for you in applying your theoretical knowledge to the practical side on the field. Graduates who have some sort of degree in police science or criminal justice are well equipped when entering the private investigation industry.
Associate’s Or A Bachelor’s Degree
Individuals can choose to pursue an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree as part of their training. Such degrees may sometimes require a student to complete a project or an internship as part of their course. A bachelor’s degree is usually more comprehensive in its subject matter and requires greater on-field research as well. You may also opt to take online programs or courses offering studies related to the field of private investigation. Such prep courses include the following modules as part of its syllabus:
- Investigation methods
- Interviewing techniques
- State and country laws and regulations
- Crime scene investigation and re-enactments
- Surveillance techniques
- Undercover work
Private Investigator’s Training
You may also obtain a private investigator’s training through distance learning programs. For instance, the Academy of Professional Investigation (API) offers courses in distance learning that are suited for people looking for flexibility in studying full time or part time. API’s Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Private Investigation is a program designed for those individuals who have either little or no previous experience or qualifications in the private investigation industry. Such online distance learning courses give access to students to a student portal as well as relevant course materials, as well as provide access to student forums and the tutor. Some of the courses also give guidance to students on what they can do to start their own private business. Distance learning programs can be pursued from the comfort of your home or work location without having to be present at the actual site of the college or academy. You also get the flexibility of studying at the hours that best suit you, leaving you free to adjust your day as you desire.
Through training and learning in a school you can acquire skills that will introduce you to:
- Criminal justice
- Security management
- Law enforcement
- Criminal procedure
- Law and order
- Evidence techniques
- Forensic science
- Report writing
After you have studied these courses you may be required to appear for licensing examinations that would grant you a license to work in particular states or regions. These exams are bound to test your theoretical and application abilities, which is why it is useful if you have already acquired some prior knowledge through a formally designed course.
Besides attending these training schools some online publications may also come in handy in your training. For instance, the Association of British Investigators (ABI) in UK comes up with periodic publications in the field of investigation and surveillance. Study online regularly to find what publications are trending in the industry.