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How do I Become a Field Investigator?

Article Details
  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are four steps required to become a field investigator: post-secondary training, related work experience, apply for a job, and complete the job interview process. A field investigator can work in a wide range of industries, ranging from petroleum to food safety. The role of the field investigator is to physically visit different sites and locations and ensure that the proper procedures are being followed.

People who enjoy traveling, are excellent communicators, well-organized, and self-motivating find this role rewarding and energizing. This is not a suitable role for someone who is shy, does not like to travel, and finds conflict upsetting. Attention to detail and interpersonal skills are all essential for anyone who wants to become a field investigator. The presence of the field investigator is not always welcome, and so it is important for him to create a professional relationship with the staff at the different locations.

The first requirement to become a field investigator is to complete a post-secondary education program. The type of education required depends greatly on the actual industry. As the field investigator is representing the company, it is important for him to have expertise in their particular industry. This will help him determine the priority of the different information he collects and make a decision about what is in the best interest of the company.

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Related work experience is typically obtained through a job placement or cooperative learning course. Experience traveling for business, writing reports, and interacting with people are all useful in this role. Other related roles include site inspector or field location manager. These roles will provide insight into the challenges facing field locations.

When applying for a job as a field investigator, be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter, double-checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes. Read the details of the job posting with care and try to tailor your cover letter to the specific needs. It is standard practice to complete a background and criminal records check as part of the application process.

During the job interview process, take the time to prepare for the interview. Think of a list of standard interview questions and prepare your answers in advance. Think about your answers, stay calm, and be sure to answer the question that was asked. Integrity is very important if you want to become a field investigator. The firm is relying on your reports to make decisions about the future of the field office.

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Discuss this Article

Monika
Post 6

If you're going to get a job as a field investigator (or really any other job) you definitely need to make sure you proofread your resume. I have a friend who works in human resources doing hiring. She told me that she won't even invite someone for an interview if their resumes has typos. After all, how meticulous could you be about your job if you don't even spell-check?

Also, practicing answering interview questions is a great idea. It will help you be more comfortable at the actual interview, which could help you land the job.

ceilingcat
Post 5

@SZapper - I don't think I could handle seeing a bunch of gross stuff in restaurants. Also, I'm kind of shy. I don't think a job as a field investigator would be for me. Kudos to your friend though, because someone has to do it!

However, this might be a good field for someone who is interested in eventually becoming a private investigator. It seems like some of the skills would be the same, but you would be getting experience working for a company.

I believe most private investigators are self-employed, so they have to market themselves. Field investigators don't have that burden.

SZapper
Post 4

I used to know a lady who had worked as field investigator in the food and beverage industry. She had a lot of disturbing stories to tell about restaurant cleanliness, that's for sure.

The article is right that you need to have be calm and have excellent interpersonal skills to work in that field. You deal with a ton of different people, many of them hostile. After all, if the results of your investigation are negative, they could aversely affect the business you investigate. So people might not give you the friendliest reception when you arrive!

whiteplane
Post 3

Having the right temperament is the key to thriving as a field investigator, regardless of what industry you work in. You have to tolerate being alone, being away from friends and family. You have to stay in a lot of dirty motels and eat food from Applebees. You have to get used to spending a lot of time in your car.

For some people this is not a problem, it is even enjoyable. But they are a true minority. I have seen probably a hundred people wash out of the investigating field because they just couldn't take the strange demands of the work. Take a long look in the mirror before you consider pursuing this work and ask yourself if you are really cut out for it.

Ivan83
Post 2

I just started college but I have always thought about being some kind of investigator. I don't want to be a cop, but I would like to ferret out wrong doing. Call it strange all you like, it's what I want to do.

So, what kinds of things should I think about majoring in? I have thought about Criminal Justice, Pre-Law, Biology and even English, because being an investigator takes some worldliness. Any suggestions?

nextcorrea
Post 1

I used to be a field investigator but when I initially responded to the ad they called it a private investigator. I had very little experience but I got the job anyway. There is so much turnover in that industry that they are constantly looking for new investigators.

I got the job by responding to an ad on Craigslist. I had an interview, an extended training period, and then I got a license and started investigating. I quit 3 months later. Turns out that it is not hard to become a field investigator, but it is incredibly hard to stay a field investigator. Worst job I ever had.

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