• According to the 2008-2009 handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private investigators find and analyze information for businesses and individuals. Private investigators use small clues to solve mysteries or discover information in legal, financial, or personal matters.

    Job Description

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private investigators perform surveillance using cameras or binoculars. Private investigators also conduct computer database searches and go undercover to obtain information.


    Private investigators often possess prior experience with the military, government intelligence, or law enforcement. However, applicants for the position must demonstrate perseverance, excellent communication skills, creativity, and good interviewing skills.

    Education and Licensure

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, no formal educational requirements exist for private investigator jobs. Depending on the jurisdiction, individuals must meet requirements to receive a private investigator license.

    Extent of Employment

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that approximately 52,000 private investigator jobs exist as of 2006. Private investigators often work alone but can work for investigation and security services, state and local governments, or legal services firms.


    Private investigators work early mornings, holidays, weekends, and evenings as they speak to people or carry out surveillance outside of normal working hours. In addition, confrontation can make private investigator positions dangerous.


    Bureau of Labor Statistics on Private Investigators

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