The National Investigative Training Academy, Inc. (NITA) is committed to providing quality online education for those interested in beginning or continuing a career in the field of private investigations. One of the questions we’re often asked by prospective students is regarding the job responsibilities of a Private Investigator and the ways in which the role of a PI differs from that of a security guard.
Yes, indeed, a security guard differs from a Private Investigator in both the way they are licensed as well as the responsibilities of the job itself. Read on to learn how the two job descriptions differ:
Examples of Security Guard responsibilities:
- Perform scheduled and random checks of designated areas throughout a facility to check for security breaches
- Utilize the company’s guest policies to issue guest passes and make sure that each guest is accompanied by an employee before entering the facility
- Assist the maintenance staff in securing an area during a maintenance emergency
- Collaborate with other members of the corporate security team to ensure that the facility is safe at all times
- Maintain a professional and effective relationship with the local police and fire departments
Examples of Private Investigator responsibilities:
- Investigate cases such as infidelity, insurance fraud, identity theft, custody disputes and many others
- Conduct surveillance for up to 6 hours at a time to observe the person or company in question
- Investigate any paperwork, emails, reports or other documents relevant to the case
- Research public records such as criminal records, telephone numbers, court orders etc.
- Perform undercover work when necessary
- Obtain the necessary legal paperwork for specific portions of the investigation
In both instances, the specific responsibilities pertaining to the job will differ based upon the role itself and the HR needs of the organization. Both careers are growing, and employment of private detectives and investigators is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.
Demand for private detectives and investigators will stem from security concerns and from the need to protect confidential information. Strong competition can be expected for these jobs. Do you have a background in criminal justice and you’re ready to take the next steps? Learn more by enrolling today in NITA’s online licensing, continuing education and professional development courses for PIs.