What does an Investigator do?

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

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

An investigator is a person who looks into something, especially a crime or complaint, in order to find out the facts.

Investigator job duties include:

  • Plan and conduct investigations into allegations of wrongdoing
  • Gather evidence and take testimony
  • Analyze data and information
  • Prepare investigative reports
  • Present findings to superiors
  • Keep abreast of developments in area of expertise
  • Maintain knowledge of legal procedures
  • Train new investigators
  • Stay up-to-date on law enforcement techniques

Investigator Job Requirements

An Investigator typically needs at least a high school diploma, although many Investigators have a college degree. Some agencies require Investigators to have a certain amount of experience in law enforcement or a related field before they can be hired. Many agencies also require Investigators to complete a training program before they can begin working.

Investigator Skills

  • Research
  • Surveillance
  • Interviewing
  • Report Writing
  • Case Management
  • Courtroom Testimony
  • Evidence Collection
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Fingerprinting
  • Photography
  • Computer Forensics

Related: Top Investigator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become an Investigator

There are many different types of investigators, from private detectives to corporate security professionals. No matter what type of investigator you want to become, there are some basic steps you need to follow.

First, if you want to become a private detective, you need to obtain a license in the state where you plan to work. To get a license, you must be at least 21 years old, have a clean criminal record, and pass a background check. You will also need to complete a training program, which can be completed online or through a local community college.

Once you have your license, you can start your own detective agency or join an existing one. If you want to work for a corporate security team, you will need to have experience in law enforcement or the military. Many companies also require that you have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field.

If you are interested in becoming an investigator, start by doing some research to find out what type of investigator you would like to become. Once you know what type of investigator you want to be, follow the steps outlined above to get started on your new career path.

Related: Investigator Resume Example

Related: Investigator Interview Questions (With Example Answers)