In real life, Private Investigators bear little resemblance to those stereotypes portrayed on television. Most Investigators go through their entire career without firing a gun, chasing speeding cars, or leaping off buildings. It’s a fulfilling and exciting job, but it’s essential to keep in mind that an Investigator works the same way that most people do. It takes patience, the desire to help others, and a bright mind to complete the work necessary to stay successful in this field.
What Does a Private Investigator Do?
Some myths remain so popular that they’re hard to change, but if you’re seriously considering a career in this field, you should understand the reality of the job. Private Investigators do solve interesting cases, but the methods are very different than what you see actors doing on television. Here’s the truth about what Investigators do every day.
Private Investigators Don’t Just Catch Cheaters
Investigators do not simply lurk in the shadows dressed in trench coats surveilling cheating husbands or wives. While most TV shows amp up the drama, Private Investigators take up a lot of different cases today.
Business owners may reach out for help if they suspect an employee is committing fraud or stealing. Individuals involved in a lawsuit could need help finding evidence to win their case. Police sometimes hand matters over to licensed Investigators when they’re short-staffed. Employers may want to do a thorough investigation before hiring a new person to fill an important role. Many tasks require a professional Investigator besides cheating.
There’s More to the Job Than Search Engines
Google is excellent at what it’s designed to do. The internet has made it simple to keep tabs on almost anyone by tracking social media posts and other similar electronic measures, but that doesn’t mean just anyone with a Facebook account can operate in the same way as a professional Investigator. Professional Private Investigators have access to a wealth of data that is never going to show up in a Google search.
The world is full of legal documentation and databases that are available only to Investigators. These quality information sources are restricted and can’t be accessed by the general public. Reputable Private Investigators check and cross-check the information from these sources to ensure its accuracy. Often, electronic data is not enough, and additional interviews and surveillance must be used to find the information needed for the job.
Patience and Research are What Solve a Case
While some cases will be more exciting than others, most investigative work is slow-paced and routine. Many cases do require hours of surveillance and reports for the client. These reports must be good enough to hold up in court, and often take a considerable amount of time to prepare.
Privacy is Essential
One thing Hollywood does get right is that Private Investigators cannot talk about their job to their loved ones. Clients expect confidentiality. Private Investigators who fail their clients in that regard will see their reputations self-destruct and quickly find themselves in legal trouble.
Life as a Private Investigator can be a financially rewarding and fulfilling career, as long as the myths stay on television and out of real life.
How to Become a Private Investigator
If you’re interested in becoming a Private Investigator, call the National Investigative Training Academy, Inc. (NITA) or schedule a consultation with a career counselor online to talk about your options in this industry. If you’re ready for an exciting career, call NITA at (800) 730-6482 and register for your training courses today.