A private detective is a person who conducts secret investigations for a person or an organization on payment of a particular sum of money. The person or the organization that a private detective works is usually not related to the government, military or police.
A private detective can work for an attorney, a corporate firm, a famous personality, or an insurance company and even for a simple person. The magnitude of work for a detective is quite broad. To work as a private detective is quite exciting, thrilling and challenging. But this job involves physical confrontation at times. There is always a chance of danger in this field.
Regarding the training and education to become a private detective, there is no specific academic degree. But you can get training in a private detective school to help you grasp the nuances of your role and the job. This way, you begin with an added advantage in learning the tips and techniques quite early. It will come in handy during the course of a particular project. Moreover, most of the training schools provide physical training sessions in undercover investigations. They also train you to use various gadgets and instruments that a detective uses. If you are student of psychology, criminal justice, criminology, political science, than you definitely have an upper hand in this field.
In the case of corporate investigations, the clients often prefer investigators who have a graduation or a masters degree in business.
The working condition of private detectives is quite irregular. Because detectives have to meet people at odd times, they often have to work in the weekends, holidays apart from early morning and late nights.
The nature of work also varies according to the client. They may be asked to assure the security of a famous personality like a singer, dancer, or actor. Sometimes they may be asked to follow somebody’s wife and husband to check for evidence of adultery or any other illegal relationships. They may even be asked to assist an attorney in collecting facts and evidences either to prosecute or save a person. In many cases, they are asked to collect background information on the employees that a company hires. A private detective may also be hired to find the actual culprit in cases where the client feels justice was not done by the legal authorities.
In most of the states in order to become a private detective, you need to have a license. In some states you might just need some years of experience under a good detective.
The salary in this field is nothing rosy to begin with. Sometimes you might be flooded with work and sometimes you might have to sit idle for weeks at a stretch. There is no fixed income in this field. The beginning is usually the toughest and most disappointing phase in terms of pay. But if you prove your worth in your work, you will earn yourself a good name, lots of fame and pots of money, all at one go!