There is something about private investigators that appeals to our adventurous side and looks like a very interesting career option. Beyond the daily life shown on popular television programs, there is a lot of work that goes into becoming a private investigator, but it is definitely a career that can be very rewarding.
Regulations for PI education and credentials vary by state, and checking out the requirements for your area is a necessary first step. Unfortunately, a criminal record will likely disqualify you from this profession in all 50 states. While a PI license does not require a four-year degree, it is advisable to study relevant topics while you are pursuing your degree. Classes in subject matters such as Criminal Law and Police Science will give you a strong foundation of knowledge that will serve you well into the future. Additionally, you can showcase this education when you are starting out and do not have a lot of in the field experience.
In many areas, you will be required to pursue a certain amount of practical hours that will count toward your certification requirements. Often times, previous education in relevant subjects can also be counted toward this requirement fulfillment. You will also want to hone your communication skills as this career requires a lot of presentations to court as well as written reports for clients.
When you are ready to begin your PI career, it is likely that you will start at the bottom and work your way up. As practical experience is usually necessary in order to qualify to take the licensing exam, start out by applying for entry level positions within local detective agencies. Once you reach the required field experience apply for your PI license immediately as this will open many doors to you. Obtaining your PI license is just the first step on the path to a fulfilling and rewarding career as a Private Investigator.
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