Article

What does a Field Investigator do?

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

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

Published 4 min read

A field investigator is a professional who is responsible for conducting research and gathering information about a particular subject. They may be employed by a government agency, private company, or non-profit organization. Field investigators typically have a background in criminal justice, sociology, psychology, or another relevant field. Their job is to collect data through interviews, observations, and other means in order to gain a better understanding of a particular issue.

Field Investigator job duties include:

  • Interviewing witnesses, victims and suspects
  • Conducting surveillance
  • Searching for and collecting evidence
  • Analyzing evidence
  • Preparing reports
  • Presenting findings in court
  • Testifying in court
  • Working with law enforcement
  • Keeping up to date with new investigative techniques and technologies

Field Investigator Job Requirements

There are no formal education requirements for field investigators, although most have at least a high school diploma. Many have completed some college coursework, and some have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in a relevant field such as criminal justice or sociology. Some agencies require certification, such as the National Association of Legal Investigators' Certified Legal Investigator (CLI) credential. Many field investigators have several years of experience working in the legal field in positions such as paralegal, law enforcement officer, or insurance claims adjuster.

Field Investigator Skills

  • Patience
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Writing
  • Interviewing
  • Active listening
  • Flexibility
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Organization
  • Time management

Related: Top Field Investigator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Field Investigator

There are many different types of field investigators, but they all have one thing in common: they collect information. A field investigator might be a private investigator, a insurance investigator, or a law enforcement officer. No matter what type of field investigator you want to become, there are some basic steps you need to follow.

1. Get a degree in criminal justice or a related field. This will give you the basic knowledge you need to be a successful field investigator.

2. Get experience. Many field investigators start out as interns or trainees. This is a great way to learn the ropes and get your foot in the door.

3. Get certified. There are many different certifications you can get that will make you more attractive to potential employers. The most popular certification for field investigators is the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

4. Join professional organizations. There are many professional organizations for field investigators, such as the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU) and the National Association of Investigative Specialists (NAIS). These organizations offer networking opportunities, educational resources, and job postings.

5. Stay up to date on technology. Field investigators use a variety of technology tools to help them do their jobs, such as GPS tracking devices, video surveillance equipment, and computer forensics software. Keeping up with the latest technology will make you more efficient and effective in your job.

Related: Field Investigator Resume Example

Related: Field Investigator Interview Questions (With Example Answers)