The duties of a private investigator (PI) can oftentimes result in a heavy workload that can’t be accomplished by just one person. Between stakeouts, conducting background checks, dealing with paperwork, and communicating with clients, there is much to be done each day – which is why many PIs have assistants.
If you’re interested in a career in the private investigation field, becoming a private investigator assistant may be the best choice for you! This position is crucial in any private investigation firm, and it can lead to a rewarding career in private investigation. In this article, we will go over the duties of a private investigator assistant, the skills needed, the education and training required, and take a look at how you can find a job as a private investigator assistant.
What is a Private Investigator Assistant?
Private investigator assistants help PIs in their firms by managing their workloads and maintaining communications with clients. They typically work in an office environment, juggling necessary paperwork, processing legal documents, conducting background checks, collecting reports and fingerprints, interviewing witnesses and victims, and maintaining contact with necessary government agencies such as local police departments and the DMV. They may also assist the PI in gathering other evidence, such as photographs and statements. The work that private investigator assistants do is instrumental to investigations.
Skills Needed to be a PI Assistant
As with any job that requires juggling many tasks, private investigator assistants need to be organized, thorough, and hard-working individuals. Having excellent written and verbal communication skills is also essential to clearly explain information both to the private investigator and to clients. Another important skill for PI assistants is empathy. Because being a PI assistant requires communication with clients, it helps people in this role to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Often, private investigators and their assistants are dealing with individuals in sensitive situations that has led them to contact a private investigator in the first place, so showing kindness and compassion for these individuals is crucial.
Education and Training
Becoming a PI assistant does not require any kind of formal training. However, qualifications for individual roles may vary from firm to firm. Usually, these jobs will require applicants to at least have a high school diploma or GED – but it does help to have additional education in some instances. Many PI assistants also have a certification, technical degree, or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, cyber security, sociology, or a similar field. While more education may not be necessary to get the job, it could help potential applicants stand out in a pool of resumes.
The work that PI assistants do can also be educational on its own! This career path is one that many prospective private investigators take. PI assistants get a firsthand look at what the job is like, and they gain valuable experience in the investigative field.
Want to learn more about what it takes to become a PI? Check out our guide on How to Become a Private Investigator.
How to Find a Private Investigator Assistant Job
The best way to find a job as an assistant private investigator is to search for job openings with individual firms in your area. Small agencies typically only have one assistant, but larger agencies with multiple PIs will also have multiple assistants. No matter the size, all agencies need them! Contact these firms to inquire about potential openings, or search through job boards to see open PI assistant positions in your area.
Get PI Training with NITA
To set yourself apart in your job search as a PI assistant, check out our selection of courses for private investigators! We offer a variety of courses that can boost your career and give you the knowledge you need to apply confidently for a job as a private investigator assistant.
You might also like:
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.