The idea of being a Private Detective is exciting for many people. From Sherlock Holmes to Nancy Drew, movies and television have made a career in investigations seem both fun and rewarding. Solving a difficult puzzle, whether it relates to a crime or a video game, can be quite addictive to those who love challenges and the feeling of satisfaction in overcoming them.
However, there are some essential qualities that one must have if they want to enjoy a career as a Private Detective. Unlike some career options, becoming an investigator is not always as simple as completing a specific degree or vocational program. Much of the requirements for becoming a detective depend on the type of work you will be completing, whether that be criminal investigations, missing person searches, or undercover work for governmental agencies.
There are core abilities and traits that should be taken into consideration when deciding to pursue a career as a Private Detective. They include one’s level of education and experience, general aptitude, skills and interests, and the ability to be bonded and licensed.
Education and Experience
Most detectives have at least a 2-year college degree, although some have little to no college education. The reason for this is that many Private Detectives start out on a career path that requires only vocational training, such as paralegal work or law enforcement. Often, those interested in investigations need take just a few courses to make the jump into detective work, especially if they already have a career background in law, crime, or insurance. Those without this experience are encouraged to pursue a 4-year college degree that would relate to the area of investigation they are interested in.
Becoming a Private Detective is serious business. Lives could be at stake, and often there are company or government finances that hang in the balance of an investigation. Therefore, it is extremely important that investigators be capable individuals. Frequent missteps in an investigation can damage a client’s case, and the consequences could be irreversible. Generally, one should be of military or law enforcement caliber to pursue this most dangerous of positions. At the very least, detectives should be street smart and of high moral character.
Skills and Interests
Not only is it important to be good at what you do, but you should also enjoy going to your job each day. To accomplish this, one must have equal skill and interest in their chosen career path, and being a Private Detective is no different. Investigators should have good interpersonal skills, enjoy solving math and word puzzles, be proficient at research, and love challenges.
Ability to be Bonded and Licensed
In many states, it is necessary for detectives to be licensed to carry a firearm, perform undercover surveillance, or work in other dangerous capacities. The ability to be bonded is also important. Those with a criminal record or a history of psychological problems may have a hard time becoming licensed, so it is always wise to check your state’s licensing requirements.
The work of a Private Detective is certainly exciting and rewarding, and the results of investigations are often life changing for many people. It takes a special person with the above qualities to be a successful detective, so those with the interest and skills to needed to succeed should seriously consider a career in investigations.