Private Investigator Job Overview
Private investigator jobs can give professionals opportunities to work in a wide range of environments. Depending on each case, a private investigator may spend considerable time reviewing information in the office or tracking someone in the field. The job increasingly requires computer skills that help investigators find suspects through social media, credit card payments and other digital records.
Private investigator jobs may also require an understanding of the latest surveillance technology.
Many private investigators build case files for independent clients. People interested in pursuing and arresting criminals may want to explore police officer jobs.
Private Investigator Job Education Requirements
Private investigator jobs do not have specific educational requirements. Anyone working as a private investigator, however, must have a proper licence. Most people entering the field take a basic training course to prepare them for the licensing test.
Common skills learned during training include:
- Proper use of force
- First aid
- Emergency response preparation
- Report writing
- Security procedures
Anyone applying for a security guard or private investigator licence must have a clean criminal record and a valid driver's licence.
Private investigators usually receive a fair amount of on-the-job training.
Private Investigator Job Market
The private investigator job market is expected to shrink by 1.2 percent between 2012 and 2016. This can make it difficult for people to find private investigator jobs. Those who want to enter the industry should consider looking in several cities and provinces. Expanding one's search can improve the prospects of finding a job. Still, there is stiff competition throughout Canada.
Consider government jobs, which can also lead to more opportunities. Immigration inspector jobs, for instance, are expected to grow by 1.2 percent between 2012 and 2016. That's about 0.5 percent more growth than the average occupation.
Private Investigator Job Salary Information
The median salary for private investigators has remained stagnant for several years. As of 2014, the median income for private investigators and detectives was $33,280. Since the industry is shrinking, it's unlikely that salaries will increase in the near future. Those who want to earn more money should consider related career options. Working as a security consultant could allow experienced professionals to set their own salaries, depending on the types of contracts they can get with large companies.
Private investigators may also want to consider jobs in law enforcement. The median salary for law enforcement usually falls between C$60,000 and C$70,000. An officer's actual salary depends on experience and location.