The Knowledge Nook

Many Career Options Exist For Professional Private Investigators

Posted by Tami Russell on Apr 11, 2016 2:17:22 PM


What is the difference between working FOR someone and working WITH someone?  That is an issue that potential Private Investigators will want to ask themselves as they consider a career in this field.

While the difference between working FOR someone or working WITH someone may seem very subtle, what it really means is sharing, or not sharing, in the liability an independent contractor faces when accepting a case.

Working Alone Vs. Other Professional Options

Some Private Investigators are fully licensed, one-person firms.  These individuals often prefer to work alone on a case.  In that same vein, other PI’s go into partnerships with individuals who hold similar credentials.  Private Investigators who obtain a license have the opportunity to work WITH other individuals who also hold licenses.  This is a partnership situation, where these individuals share the responsibilities for any liabilities that may arise in each case.

Other PI’s may choose to work FOR someone or within an organization.  In this scenario, the investigator performs tasks for the licensed PI, who then assumes all responsibility for the case.

If you’ve determined that working as a Private Investigator sounds like an interesting, fulfilling career, and you’ve met the requirements in the state in which you wish to work, you are now ready to begin a job search.

What Are Some of the Options for the Working PI? 

Surveys show that up to 78 percent of PIs work with law firms or attorneys, both as independent contractors or as salaried firm employees.  PIs who work with attorneys may be asked to locate witnesses, interview potential witnesses, review crime scene files, and re-check relevant facts of a case. Depending upon the skill set of the PI, other tasks might include locating suspected missing assets, gathering elusive evidence, or assisting in the reconstruction of a crime.  

Corporations use Private Investigators during inquiries into business operations.  This is a step many organizations take before considering a merger or other large business deal.  Tasks may include running background checks on potential business partners, or investigating claims of fraud, embezzlement, and other potentially criminal events.  PI’s who work in this specialty go beyond simple internet background searches and tap into data that can help a corporation make a sound business decision.

Insurance firms may use the skills of a Private Investigator to scrutinize possible cases of insurance fraud.  Private Investigators who take these type of cases will follow individuals suspected of filing a fraudulent workers’ comp claim, or to otherwise monitor suspicious activity. Other duties may be records reviews, database assessments, personal interviews and property inspections.

Divorce and custody issues are often the reasons that individuals hire Private Investigators.  PI’s can often uncover hidden assets, expose salary discrepancies, provide proof of infidelity and other sordid matters that may make a family legal issue move more efficiently.

Private Investigative services are also in demand from:

  • State agencies
  • Labor boards
  • Civil rights boards
  • Housing authorities
  • Advocacy groups
  • Retail stores
  • Casinos
  • Hotels
  • Realty firms

Private investigations is a field with a lot to options to consider.  Learn more about requirements and compensation to determine if this professional might be right for you.

Overview of the PI Profession

Topics: private investigations

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