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Top 7 Career Options for Private Investigators

Private Investigators do many things throughout their daily line of work, including searching for missing persons, helping police departments all over the country, and individual projects. It’s a fulfilling career that has the potential for a high salary, benefits, and many job options.

What Are Career Options for Private Investigators?

Here is a look at various career options for potential Private Investigators.

FBI Agent

You will need a degree in the relevant field of study, law enforcement experience, and a clean background to go through the FBI academy to become a Private Investigator for the federal government. If you have what it takes to make it in, though, the benefits will last a lifetime. The FBI has more than 200 other departments that deal with different kinds of crimes, so a day at work is never dull or typical.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for police and detectives is expected to grow 7% through 2026.

Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychologists are trained in clinical psychology and specialize in criminal justice. This type of Private Investigator helps to identify and track suspects using their knowledge of human behavior. On top of assisting law enforcement officers, they counsel prisoners, interview suspects, and prosecute criminals. These roles require degrees in behavioral science and psychology.

The demand for Forensic Science Technicians is expected to grow significantly through 2026, with the rate of job growth at 17% in the United States.

Intelligence Analyst

Intel analysts operate behind the scenes by collecting and studying information to solve cases and evaluate security risks. Most work at the local and state levels, but the FBI also hires intelligence analysts to work at the federal level. Many cybersecurity companies are actively looking for Private Investigators who are intelligence analysts to protect their technological investments. This job requires attention to detail and the dedication to keep working on cases that take months to crack.

Financial Examiner

This position is for specialists in financial accounting and mathematics. Financial examiners typically help law enforcement officers (LEOs) assess crimes like embezzlement, financial fraud, and money laundering. They may work for private firms specializing in economic interests or government agencies. Financial examiners need master’s degrees in accounting, finance, financial analysis, or a related field.

The demand for financial examiners is expected to grow faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Between 2016 and 2026, the demand is expected to grow by 10%.


Criminologists profile crimes by studying their causes, costs, and consequences. They spend a lot of time collecting and assessing information to help prevent further crimes. This degree allows individuals to work as police officers, prison officers and more. There’s a lot of versatility and options for this type of work.

Security Manager

Security management is often touted as one of the most rewarding security positions. Security managers manage security teams for large complexes and commercial buildings. They can work for independent firms that have multiple properties, or they may work directly for private companies. Every corporation, estate, and celebrity on needs security personnel to be overseen, so there is no shortage of security management openings.

Fire Investigator

Once a fire is put out, fire investigators take over to determine the cause. While most fires are accidental in origin, some aren’t, and it’s up to fire investigators to use crime-solving techniques and technologies to determine if the blaze was accidental or the result of arson. It is customary to launch a criminal investigation in the case of arson, and fire investigators work with LEOs to locate, apprehend, and prosecute offenders. You will need a degree in fire investigation and fire science to become this type of investigator.

The job outlook for fire inspectors and investigators is expected to grow 10%, or faster than average, between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Start Your Investigative Career with NITA

The demand for investigators increases as the utility of skills and services applies to a gradually growing job market, especially during the digital age. Strong competition is present, but enrolling in online Private Investigator continuing education courses can help you stand out from the rest of the pack. Find out more about advancing your professional development by contacting the National Investigative Training Academy, Inc. (NITA) at 1-800-730-NITA or completing our contact form.

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