Private investigators and detectives help private individuals, small businesses, corporations and lawyers by gathering data (to be used for analysis), clues (for connecting the dots) and evidences (to be used in court of Law). They use special skills acquired from special trainings in detective schools, to piece together information from the clues they have gathered and sometimes simulate the crime scenarios to uncover the facts and solve the problem.
Aside from gathering data, clues and evidences, private investigators and detectives also offer other services including corporate, executive, and public figure protection; background investigation for pre-employment is also one of their specialties and also doing individual background profiling. Some individuals hire private detectives to tail their husbands or wives, to look for evidences of infidelity if there’s any.
Web crimes like hacking, identity theft, piracy of copyrighted materials and some other Web crimes like Nigerian scams, are also being investigated and solved by private investigators and detectives. Private detectives are also sometimes hired to do special investigations and serve as an independent party to investigate and submit reports on crimes involving high ranking officials to avoid whitewash.
Private investigators and detectives jobs description, as mentioned on the preceding paragraphs is risky and almost always full of adrenaline rush activities as we see on TV. It requires courage and knowledge to become an effective private investigator (PI). Courage is one of the key assets for being a detective and to perform their jobs well. They are not afraid to chase or to be chased and to run their lives. They are not afraid confront criminals and crooks. But how much do private investigators and detectives earn? Is it worth the risk?
Salaries of a private investigators and detectives depend on many things, but the main ingredients in determining the cost of the job are: level of expertise possessed to accomplish the job, the type of job, and the risks involved. Most private investigators and detectives especially those working as freelancers are paid per hour. Experienced detectives can earn at least $50 per hour and it can go as high as $600, depending on the job they’ve been asked to do. Task like producing private documents, is one of the highest paid task. For starters, the pay is from $30 to $200 per hour. In rural areas, where people’s earnings are lower than in the cities, PI salary rates are usually lower.
With the risk and the criticality of the job PIs are doing, private investigators and detective firms require their applicants to at least have a high school diploma. For firms whose clients are in the corporate world, investigators must have at least bachelor’s degree in business-related fields. Aside from educational attainment, private investigators are also required take some courses in detective schools and obtain certifications from the National Alliance of Legal Investigators (NALI). The certification can be acquired by passing the written and oral exams given by the organization.
An investigative and detective career is not like any other profession. Accomplishing an investigation is not like finishing a deliverable in a usual day job. In an investigation, anything can happen; one wrong move might cause other people’s lives.