To choose the best private investigator training, individuals should look for a program that offers guided field work experience with current detectives, and allows students to have unrestricted access to a wide range of informational databases. No special training is required to become a detective, however, receiving training and certification from a detective program better prepares individuals to enter the industry and ultimately open their own agency. Interested parties may wish to begin by checking the license requirements for the country and local region in which they live before registering for courses. This type of training is available through Internet correspondence courses and university degree programs.
Many countries do not have any private investigator training requirements. Any person may apply at an agency already in existence to become a staff member and begin performing investigations immediately. Having some training does help to stand out from others competing for similar jobs, and does tend to improve overall job success in closing cases. In the US, a license is required to become a self-employed private investigator, which consists of performing a required number of hours of field work and completing a written examination. In the UK and other European countries, no such restrictions exist and anyone may open their own detective agency.
Field work may consume a great deal of a detective's time. This can consist of locating a person's whereabouts, following individuals at a client's request, and performing street surveillance. It is important to receive an introduction to this type of work from a skilled investigator who has worked in the industry for many years. An experienced professional can teach the basics of blending into the surroundings so as to more effectively perform these types of activities without attracting unwanted attention. Students should check before enrolling whether the private investigator training program they are interested in offers a course in field work with currently licensed detectives.
Private investigators may use a variety of informational databases to learn more about their clients and the cases they are given. These databases can be used to perform criminal background checks, run vehicle license registrations, verify an individual's birth certificate, and look up title information on a piece of property, among many other crucial investigative activities. A good private investigator training program offers their students access to these types of resources as part of their course registration. Many continue to allow their students to use their database inventory even after graduation, so they may easily locate any information necessary to expedite their investigations.
Individuals who complete a post-secondary degree in criminal justice or police science may also become private investigators. These types of degrees from accredited four year university programs prepare students to perform investigations and collect evidence in a manner conducive to bringing criminals to trial in a court of law. Students must still apply for licensure in the country of their choosing upon completion of their degree where applicable, or may immediately begin work as private investigators.