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What does a Background Investigator do?

Learn all about Background Investigator duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Background Investigator.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A background investigator is responsible for conducting research and gathering information on individuals or organizations. This may include interviewing people, reviewing public records, and searching online databases. The goal is to collect data that can be used to make decisions about hiring, investments, or other business dealings.

Background Investigator job duties include:

  • Conducting interviews with subjects, references, and employers
  • Gathering and analyzing information from public records, court records, financial records, and other sources
  • Checking educational institutions, professional licensing boards, and law enforcement agencies for information about the subject
  • Searching social media and other online sources for information about the subject
  • Reviewing credit reports
  • Writing reports detailing the findings of the investigation
  • Presenting findings to clients or employers
  • Keeping up to date on changes in laws and investigatory methods
  • Maintaining confidentiality of client information

Background Investigator Job Requirements

Most agencies require a minimum of a bachelor's degree for a background investigator, although some may accept investigators with an associate's degree. Many agencies also require that applicants have experience in law enforcement or investigations. Some agencies may require certification from the American Polygraph Association or the American Association of Police Polygraphists.

Background Investigator Skills

  • Research
  • Investigation
  • Interviewing
  • Writing
  • Reporting
  • Analysis
  • Organizational
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Computer
  • Interpersonal

Related: Top Background Investigator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Background Investigator

A background investigator is responsible for conducting interviews and investigations to determine an individual's suitability for employment, security clearance, or other purposes. The job requires excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to gather and analyze information.

If you are interested in becoming a background investigator, here are a few things you need to know. First, you will need to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in any field. However, degrees in fields such as criminal justice or psychology may be helpful. You will also need to have strong research skills and be able to write reports.

In addition to meeting the educational requirements, you will also need to have at least three years of experience working in a related field, such as law enforcement or human resources. Background investigators must be able to pass a background check and drug test.

If you meet the qualifications and are interested in becoming a background investigator, the next step is to contact your local law enforcement agency or private investigation firm to inquire about job openings.

Related: Background Investigator Resume Example

Related: Background Investigator Interview Questions (With Example Answers)