Trades & Services

Private Investigator

Private investigators work confidentially on behalf of clients to investigate and gather information and evidence.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Private Investigator do?

Private investigators work confidentially on behalf of clients to investigate and gather information and evidence in areas such as insurance fraud or missing persons.

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Work activities

As a private investigator, you would:

  • conduct surveillance
  • take photographs or videos as evidence
  • follow leads to find missing people
  • search public or court records to uncover clues
  • conduct financial and background checks
  • verify employment and income details
  • locate and interview witnesses to find evidence
  • work on behalf of individuals, lawyers, and businesses
  • gather information required for legal proceedings.
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Key skills and interests

To become a private investigator, you would need:

  • excellent observational skills
  • an unobtrusive nature
  • good communication skills
  • confidence for court appearances
  • a thorough knowledge of legal issues
  • strong computer research skills
  • the ability to keep information confidential.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a private investigator you would work irregular, and perhaps long, hours depending on what information you are trying to obtain.

Conditions

Many private investigators are self-employed. You would work in an office or from home but spend a lot of time travelling to gather information. If you are undertaking surveillance, you might spend lengthy periods of time sitting, waiting and observing.

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How to become an Private Investigator?

Entry Level Education

To become a private investigator you usually have to complete a VET qualification in investigative services.

You may also become a private investigator through a traineeship in Investigative Services. Generally, employers would require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

Most States require you to have a licence to operate as a private investigator. In order to obtain this licence, you would need to be at least 18 years of age and provide a Criminal History Check.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of private investigators is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Demand for private investigators will continue to grow as a result of security concerns, the need to protect confidential information, and the ability of individuals to pay for private investigations. Strong competition can be expected for jobs.

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