Much of a private investigator’s success is attributed to his or her ability to collect, analyze and compile information gathered from an investigation. However, successful collaboration with other key agencies, including law enforcement and legal firms, are equally important components of case resolution.
Private investigators are expected to handle all cases ethically and professionally, while maintaining sound judgment and confidentiality. An effective private investigator possesses the experience, skills and tenacity it takes to pursue a case in its entirety. Often, these investigators have continued their education through advanced training courses and are willing to go above and beyond in order to get the job done.
Do you have what it takes to become a successful PI? Measure your skills against these 6 Qualities of Highly Effective Private Investigators:
The path to becoming a private investigator is a rigorous one. Many private investigators have decades of prior experience, including careers in law enforcement. In order to even establish a Class "CC" Private Investigator Intern license in Florida, for example, the applicant must submit proof of successful completion of a minimum of 40 hours of professional training pertaining to general investigative techniques by a school, community college, college, or university under the purview of the Department of Education. Further experience and training is required for full licensure.
While experience is undoubtedly important, it is not the only measure of success. Highly esteemed private investigators also maintain a level of professionalism and integrity in their work and community affairs. To establish credibility in the field of private investigations, reputable PIs have also pursued licensure. Licensed investigators are more likely to attain and retain business as a result of their commitment to continued education and excellence.
Investigators are expected to handle cases swiftly and efficiently. As a result, the most effective private investigators are skilled in time management. This includes responding to e-mails and phone calls in a prompt fashion, as well as maintaining open lines of communication with the client and related parties. Client satisfaction is directly correlated to an investigator’s ability to make him or herself available to the client 24/7.
As technology continues to advance, the ability to solve cases has improved. Investigations will take less time and can be accomplished more thoroughly if the private investigator is willing to utilize all available resources. Specialized databases, court records, social networking sites, driving records, criminal records, employment history, civil litigation and more can all be accessed through the use of digital technologies. However, there are other times when the private investigator must be willing to get creative in his or her information gathering. In such cases, private investigators must demonstrate ingenuity when doing their jobs.
While private investigators are not officially bound by the same confidentiality agreements as attorneys or doctors, a good PI will honor this. An effective private investigator maintains strict levels of confidentiality in all interactions. Furthermore, he or she should have a confidentiality policy in place and must be willing to articulate the steps that have been taken in order to ensure confidentiality.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” is an old saying that especially rings true for private investigators. More likely than not, an investigator will face obstacles and challenges along the way. Despite a rigorous workload, an effective private investigator will refuse to give up. He or she may even work through the night in order to solve a case. It is the PI’s persistent determination that will lead him or her to success. After all, the rewards are most definitely worth it.
If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a career in private investigations or would like to further an existing career through continued education courses, we invite you to explore the online training courses offered by the National Investigative Training Academy (NITA).
About NITA The National Investigative Training Academy, Inc. (NITA), an online provider of state-approved Private Investigator training classes, offers a variety of resources that can help you decide if private investigation would be a positive career choice. Learn more by calling 1-800-730-NITA (6482) or by exploring our course offerings.
Our enrollment counselors are here to answer any questions you might have about our state- and board-approved status, pre-licensing training, or professional development programs.