Private Detectives and Investigators
SOC: 33-9021.00

Description:

Gather, analyze, compile and report information regarding individuals or organizations to clients, or detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
34,900 employed

Projected (2024):
36,700 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Alarm Investigator
  • Asset Protection Detective
  • Background Investigator
  • Bonding Agent
  • Cash Shortage Investigator
  • Certified Legal Investigator
  • Detective
  • Detective Investigator
  • District Agent
  • Field Investigator
  • House Detective
  • House Officer
  • Intelligence Agent
  • Investigations Director
  • Investigator
  • Loss Prevention Agent
  • Loss Prevention Analyst
  • Loss Prevention Associate
  • Loss Prevention Detective
  • Loss Prevention Investigator
  • Loss Prevention Officer
  • Private Detective
  • Private Eye
  • Private Investigator
  • Protection Specialist
  • Security Analyst
  • Security Consultant
  • Shopping Investigator
  • Skip Locator
  • Skip Tracer
  • Special Investigator
  • Store Detective
  • Surveillance Investigator
  • Undercover Agent
  • Undercover Operator


  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

    Education:

    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Write reports or case summaries to document investigations.
  • Search computer databases, credit reports, public records, tax or legal filings, or other resources to locate persons or to compile information for investigations.
  • Obtain and analyze information on suspects, crimes, or disturbances to solve cases, to identify criminal activity, or to gather information for court cases.
  • Conduct private investigations on a paid basis.
  • Testify at hearings or court trials to present evidence.
  • Question persons to obtain evidence for cases of divorce, child custody, or missing persons or information about individuals' character or financial status.
  • Observe and document activities of individuals to detect unlawful acts or to obtain evidence for cases, using binoculars and still or video cameras.
  • Alert appropriate personnel to suspects' locations.
  • Perform undercover operations, such as evaluating the performance or honesty of employees by posing as customers or employees.
  • Investigate companies' financial standings or locate funds stolen by embezzlers, using accounting skills.
  • Expose fraudulent insurance claims or stolen funds.
  • Confer with establishment officials, security departments, police, or postal officials to identify problems, provide information, or receive instructions.
  • Apprehend suspects and release them to law enforcement authorities or security personnel.
  • Count cash and review transactions, sales checks, or register tapes to verify amounts or to identify shortages.
  • Warn troublemakers causing problems on establishment premises and eject them from premises when necessary.
  • Monitor industrial or commercial properties to enforce conformance to establishment rules and to protect people or property.
  • Conduct personal background investigations, such as pre-employment checks, to obtain information about an individual's character, financial status, or personal history.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 35 millimeter cameras
  • Biological evidence collection kits
  • Compact digital cameras
  • Computer data input scanners
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital audio recorders
  • Digital video cameras
  • Fingerprint evidence kits
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Handguns
  • High powered binoculars
  • Laptop computers
  • Night vision goggles
  • Optical telescopes
  • Personal computers
  • Computer imaging software
  • Data entry software
  • Email software
  • LexisNexis software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Web browser software


  • protective service


    industry stats

    SOC: 33-0000

    Total Employed: 3,351,620

    Average Annual Salary: $44,610