Private Investigation is a Growing Industry
The private investigation profession began with civilians. These civilians were investigating injustice prior to the establishment of law enforcement investigations. Now our private investigators come from a variety of backgrounds, from prior law enforcement officers, to private sector citizens.
People that are unfamiliar with the work of a private investigator are often mislead into viewing their profession as it is portrayed in movies and television shows. Cheating spouses, extramarital events, tracking a particular person of interest; these are simple generalizations about what jobs and tasks private investigators undertake. The industry of private investigation is evolving and growing to include a large variety of different jobs.
Corporate America is one of the largest benefactors contributing to the boom of the private investigation industry. Almost every corporation has a private investigator on payroll. Private investigators save corporations money in the long run by investigating fraudulent cases, such as false insurance claims, bribery and false dismemberment. Private investigators can also be hired by retail stores to catch or prevent shoplifting. They’re known as store detectives.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the private detective or investigator employment rate is projected to grow by 11% from 2012 to 2022. The demand for investigators will stem from individual security concerns and the need to protect one’s confidential information.
In addition to the increased demand by companies and private residents for private investigators, they also work closely with law enforcement and law offices to gather evidence and assist with criminal defense cases.
The Demand for Private Investigators Is On The Rise
There is an ever-increasing demand for private investigators in Florida and throughout the country. Florida private investigators are within the broad category of “security-related services,” in which consumer spending is forecasted to grow more than six percent (6%) over the course of the next three to five years. According to industry analysts, it is estimated consumer spending within the private investigator industry will reach $20 billion a year by 2016. These numbers are staggering!
There has been a dramatic increase in recent years in the number of fraudulent acts due to the accessibility of personal information. This is largely due to the global expansion of computer dependency. This increase in the number of cyber threats has led to an increase in the need for security and cyber protection. Accordingly, more and more industry niches are opening up in the private investigative industry.
You won’t find many private investigators feeling nostalgic about the good old days of video cameras the size of a suitcase, archives and records in paper format only, or searching for a payphone as a means of communication. In fact, most anyone born in the last 20 years would have no experience with such conditions.
For the most part, technological innovation has been a boom to the industry: small hand-held video cameras with power zoom lenses, online databases, GPS tracking technology, and smart phones, just to name a few, have made the collection of vital information easier and faster. Budding new technologies, such as Google Glass, might also prove to have a positive impact on the industry.
As with other industries, the proliferation of technology has put a premium on tech-savvy job candidates. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of private investigators is projected to grow about 11 percent between 2012 and 2022, a figure that will favor job candidates with strong computer skills.1 The reason being is the proliferation of cybercrime, such as identify theft, Internet scams, and other types of fraud, which has resulted in the emergence of a specialization of Internet security within the private investigation industry.
The downside of this specialization is the equally quick-changing legal landscape involving what information can be collected and how it can be collected via these new technologies. Staying on top of the latest developments and the differences in the law from state to state is critical for today’s private investigator.
The Need for Private Investigators in the 21st Century
In an age where there is more information about people than ever fathomed, one would think it would be easy to reconnoiter someone’s history. However, we are also in an age where concealing that information from businesses, attorneys, and other interested parties is easier than ever before. Businesses have heightened security concerns, and confidential information can only be placed in the hands of those employees that have been vetted and are considered trustworthy. While a background check is helpful, many businesses are turning to private investigators to ensure their company’s safety and security. This paradigm shift in information is one of the many reasons why the private investigator industry is not declining, but expected to grow 11% in the upcoming years.
Private investigators do more than the Hollywood stereotype of spying on people that are exhibiting shady behavior; they verify backgrounds, investigate computer crimes, find missing persons, and ensure that their client has all the information necessary. Potential employees could have a buried history of selling information to the highest bidder or a past of hurting their company. People can use the Internet to create a fake profile to appear innocuous but may really have a troublesome past. This past is not found through a mere Google search, but through careful investigation from a trained and certified private investigator. Private investigators know how to navigate the web, interview relevant people, and examine past files to holistically understand one’s background and history.
The digital era requires an augmented effort at being secure. From insurance companies to big businesses, many look to private investigators to ensure that the people they bring in match their level of security needed to conduct business effectively and efficiently without any problem or concern. While technology may allow you to learn more about someone, it could also help someone hide a troubling past. The private investigator industry is necessary in aiding companies stay genuine and hire people that will help, not hurt, their business. If you are interested in how to become a private investigator, check out the National Investigate Training Academy’s website at investigativeacademy.com or call us at 1-800-730-NITA.