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How to become a private investigator in 8 easy steps

How to Become a Private Investigator in 8 Easy Steps

Becoming a private investigator shouldn’t be all that hard right? I mean many thousands of people have gone on to accept

great private investigator jobs or open their very own successful investigation agency; why can’t you? I’ve boiled down the

process into nine easy steps:

1. Find a quality private investigator school or training.
2. Get licensed, if required.

Get your essential gear and support systems in place.
4. Market your investigative services.
5. Impress your clients with

quality service, every time. 
6. Invoice and collect for your investigations.
7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 as often as

8. Find more private detective training and improve your skills. Again, repeat as often as necessary.

Actually, I wish it were that easy but it’s not… though it is not impossible, as many of your future competitors would have

you believe.  After all, no one wants to encourage his or her future competition.

With that in mind I am going to give you

the best advice you will get in our industry:

Commit right now to becoming a lifelong student of the Private Investigator

tradecraft, which means finding a mentor, taking courses, reading books, research, and networking! This is not just for the

short-term, but also for as long as you intend to conduct investigations for business or for pleasure. I commit to at least 5

hours a week to learning more about some aspect of this business; improving my marketing skills, staying abreast of the

changing climate of our industry, studying new methods of skip tracing, surveillance, photography, etc; each are extremely

valuable topics to pursue.

Competency is developed from the study and practice of these skills and competency leads to


Step #1 is the first step in the process for a reason, finding the right school for you is of paramount importance

and will lay the foundation for your future; no other single decision made by someone wanting to learn to become a private

eye is so crucial!  You wouldn’t begin a long journey without a map or a critical mission without a plan if you hoped to

succeed.  A quality private investigator training program should teach you each of the most critical skills needed so that

you will hit the ground running once you are ready.

Finding the right course can be tough! You have to consider a lot of

options and weed through the rip-off courses (and there are more than a few) to find a truly great private investigation

course. Ask about the training director’s background and current investigations business… if they get offended or

defensive, that would be a good sign to stay away. Pick their brain a little; does what they have to say give you cause for

concern or does something feel not quite right? Investigate his or her claims on your own- a little research will go a long

way.  Most importantly, walk away if something is wrong.

Ultimately a variety of courses and books from a few reputable

companies and authors would be in your best interest.  This is a complicated business, the real «pros» all tend to approach

the industry a little bit differently and none of us are able to cover everything 100% in full. Consequently, it would not

hurt to expose yourself to as much information about this business as you can before taking Step #2.

Lastly, I want to leave

you with this: having dealt with thousands upon thousands of people asking questions about getting started in private

investigation I find that the one singular cause of frustration and eventual failure is that new people are too busy trying

to reinvent the wheel rather than enlisting the help of an investigator who is a trusted and proven veteran PI or availing

themselves of his or her training programs.

Give yourself a fighting chance and start with Step #1 rather than halfway down

the list. You’ll be glad you did.

Be patient; be persistent and do not give up on your dreams.

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