If you want a career that is exciting, fulfilling, and earns you somewhere between $45,000 and $80,000 every year, then you might want to consider becoming a private investigator. As good as this sounds, you should be aware that not everyone who aims to become a PI actually ends up becoming one. It has been noted that only one in every ten who try to enter this line of work actually ends up as a private investigator.
Before you envision yourself as the next Magnum PI or Jessica Jones, you should first determine whether or not you are cut out for the job. One thing you need to realize from the very beginning is that real-life PIs actually do not have the kind of excitement and life that TV private investigators have. In fact, investigators often have cases where they spend hours digging through notes and evidence in order to get something relevant.
Aside from these, people who are aiming for a career as a PI have to undergo extensive training in order to hone their investigative skills. While some firms will consider applicants without college degrees, those who have a degree in criminal justice or have taken some political science courses in college are often preferred. You need to have a bit of knowledge regarding the law to succeed in this field, which is probably why retired law enforcement personnel find themselves becoming a private investigator after their career as cops.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, and in order for you to survive the life of a PI, you also need to have a skill-set that most people in this industry already have. Knowledge of the law and knowing how to find evidence are just two of the things you need to have in your arsenal. You also need to know how to operate surveillance equipment, be a quick thinker when you find yourself in sticky situations, and know how to defend yourself when faced with potentially life-threatening circumstances.
You also need to have infinite patience since a lot of surveillance work involves hours of sitting in one place for hours, waiting for your target to appear or do something. Being adept at asking questions is a plus to have since this will help you get pertinent information and answers from witnesses. Having good organizational skills are also a must in this industry since you will need to take detailed notes when you are investigating something.
Being able to analyze things effectively, having problem solving skills, and a natural curiosity are also crucial to the success of a private investigator. And that’s not all. To succeed in this field, you need to be open to constantly learning. New ideas, new technologies, new laws, and new investigative methods will pop up every now and then, and you need to be receptive to learning all of these.
If you are still interested in becoming a private eye, you may have what it takes after all. Remember, however, that you are not an official of the law and that can be frustrating when faced with a situation where an arrest should be made. Just keep in mind that no matter how skilled or how effective you are at your work, it has its limitations too.