Dream Job: Detective/Private Investigator
Suppose that you lost something very important and you wanted to get it back. What would you do? You might look around and ask your friends and family if they had seen what you were looking for. Searching for things that are lost is only one of the many things that private investigators do. Working as a private investigator involves solving mysteries, finding information, and much more.
You might have heard of fictional detectives like Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. Do you know any names of real-life private investigators? One of the most famous detectives was Allan Pinkerton. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1819 and moved to the United States in 1842. In 1847, he joined the Chicago police department in 1847 and became the city’s first police detective in 1849. The next year, in 1850, he formed the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Chicago. The Pinkerton Agency worked together with the police in solving crimes and arresting criminals. By 1855, the agency had also started to work in security, guarding shipments that went by railway. Since then, security has been a large part of what Pinkerton agents do.
Private investigators work in all kinds of areas. They might be hired by businesses to help deal with problems between bosses and workers or by the government to help investigate crimes. Some private investigators specialize in finding people who are missing or in store security. Other investigators do a variety of work, depending on who hires them and what skills they have. If you decide to become a private investigator, you might already want to start thinking about what area of work interests you the most.
Except for security work, the most important part of a career in private investigation is the ability to find information. Investigators often need to ask people questions or to search online and print sources for information, and they have to be able to analyze what they learn to find a solution to their problem. Searching for information might also include surveillance, where the investigator watches to see what people are doing. Investigators often need to be able to use cameras and other equipment to be able to record what they discover. They have to learn different techniques for finding and interpreting information.
Often, investigators learn these techniques through career colleges and other training schools. Investigators need to know the law well, and a degree in criminology or corporate law can be very helpful. In most parts of Canada, private investigators also need to get licenses to practice their work. The Canadian Private Investigators’ Resource Centre is a good place to check for specific information on these requirements.
Want to help solve mysteries? Maybe a detective/private investigator will be your future job!