5 Great Careers in Investigation

Careers in investigation can be a great choice for many. Have you always been told you have a keen eye for detail and for getting the truth out of people? Do you read lots of mystery novels in your spare time? Do you enjoy doing research? If so, you might be very well-suited for a career in investigation. There are actually many career options for investigators – some of which are not very well-known. If you think you’d make a good investigator, consider any of the options outlined below.

1. Detective

The hero of too many mystery novels to count, detectives work with law enforcement to investigate crimes and bring criminals to justice. In this investigation career, you will be responsible for gathering evidence from crime scenes, interviewing witnesses, testifying in court, obtaining warrants, making arrests and more. Law enforcement investigators can be employed at every level of government – from local police forces to the branches of the military to the FBI, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. Private Investigator

Private investigators do much of the same work police detectives do, although they work for themselves or PI firms. In order to launch or join a successful private investigation firm, it’s usually necessary to have some background experience in investigation, as well as significant contacts and sources of information. It is also helpful to have a background in cyber investigation and cybersecurity, as much of the demand for PIs going forward will be in cybercrime investigations. Private investigators are obviously not always privy to information regarding criminal cases, and there are things they can and cannot legally do, according to North American Investigations. Nearly all states require private investigators to be licensed.

3. Insurance Investigator

Insurance investigators investigate claims made on insurance policies. They are primarily put on cases where fraud is suspected, or something just doesn’t seem right. However, they are also called on to establish the circumstances around a claim, especially complicated claims where there are multiple insurance companies and claimants involved. Major insurance companies employ in-house investigators, while others contract out to private firms. Insurance investigators usually have their own specialties. This is a career for people who love to travel, because insurance investigators frequently travel to where a company needs a case investigated.

4. Background Investigator

These are the people who conduct background checks for a variety of reasons, such as on individuals seeking government security clearance. In this career, you will possibly conduct face-to-face interviews with not only the subject, but also friends, neighbors and family members to gather more information on the subject’s background. You will also be responsible for searching records, such as arrest records, to see if there is anything unsuitable about a candidate’s past. In some cases you might get to determine whether someone passes the check, and in others you will simply provide the information you uncover to whomever is in charge of making that decision.

5. Investigative Journalist

Investigative journalists have a very important role to play in society. They look deeply into specific topics of interest, such as political or corporate corruption, and get the facts out so people learn the truth. A bachelor’s degree in journalism will be required to enter this profession. You also have to have exemplary writing and communications skills. Investigative journalists are typically employed by news outlets – whether television-based, newspaper-based or online-based. They can also work as freelance journalists.

Related Resource: How Do You Become a Criminal Investigator?

All investigators need to have certain skills. They have to be amazingly perceptive and detail-oriented in order to gather all the facts of a case, even if something seems irrelevant. They also have to have good interviewing and communications skills in order to get the right information they need when talking to people. Research your options, find the right fit and prepare for an amazing career in investigation.