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Private investigator

Private investigators (PIs) make enquiries on behalf of their clients to find out information and check facts.

Potential salary
Working hours
46 to 48 irregular
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • persistence and determination
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • monitoring people
  • investigating fraudulent insurance or accident claims
  • tracing missing people or pets
  • handing legal documents to people, known as process serving
  • investigating commercial piracy, like copying software illegally
  • making background checks on employees

You could work in an office or from home.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

With experience, you could become a senior investigator or team manager, or set up your own agency and have other investigators working for you.

You can find out more about becoming a private investigator from the Association of British Investigators and Institute of Professional Investigators.

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