Private Investigation

Private investigation is a highly respected field that has evolved significantly in the last decade. Private investigators now serve as contractors for law enforcement, cyber crime, surveillance and human resource teams. The services they provide are broad ranging, and can include everything from investigations into marital infidelity and missing persons, to the use of computer forensics to solve cases related to financial fraud or exploitation.


Private investigators are indispensible to a number of high-profile industries and positions. These licensed and highly skilled professionals are responsible for doing everything from tracking down cyber criminals to ensuring that workers’ compensation benefits are not being abused.

Where Do Private Investigators Work?

The private investigation industry is an in-demand and swiftly growing profession in a number of industries. The skills and expertise of private investigators are of value in a large number of areas, including:

  • Computer forensics services
  • Personal protection services
  • Undercover investigations
  • Supplier, vendor and employee screening programs
  • Crisis intervention services
  • Retail loss and prevention
  • Criminal investigation services
  • Polygraph services
  • Missing persons services
  • Pre-employment screenings
  • Personal investigations

Some private investigators specialize their careers in a specific area, such as private security, fugitive recovery, or criminal justice. Professional Investigators recognizes a number of specialty tracks for private investigators, including:

  • Civil investigation
  • Criminal investigation
  • Investigative business administration
  • Criminology and behavioral sciences
  • Terrorism and intelligence
  • Investigative law and ethics
  • Special victims/child abuse/nursing homes
  • Security
  • Computer forensics/Internet
  • Insurance investigation

Finally, private investigators may work in a more general capacity, providing a wide array of investigative services to clients. Regardless of the area or industry in which they work, private investigators follow a strict set of standards, which are generally dictated by state law. Many private investigators are members of state professional investigator associations, which also require them to work under a set of bylaws or a code of ethics.