If you are a professional at any field, there are several ways you can make money and some of these ways may not be restricted to the conventional way of making money in the profession. It is all about being creative and exploring every available way of leveraging on your skills or the services you offer to make money.

In case you are considering becoming a Private Investigator, you may want to know how you can make money from the profession.

But first, who is a Private Investigator?

A Private Investigator is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services. Private investigators often work for attorneys in civil and criminal cases. If you want to become a private investigator or work as a private investigator in the United States, it is mandatory that you apply and obtain a license or else you will be working against the law.

Although 5 states namely Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota and Wyoming do not require private investigators to be licensed at the state level, but Wyoming and Alaska have licensing requirements at the local level. Please note that even states like Idaho, Mississippi and South Dakota that do not require licensure for private investigators at either the state or local level still have active professional associations that have defined bylaws and codes of ethics.

Membership in these private investigator associations provides a clear set of standards for the practice of private investigation. Interestingly, Oklahoma allow candidates with no experience to become licensed, as long as they can successfully complete CLEET – approved training. Having said that, here are some of the ways you can make money as a Private Investigator.

What are the Various Ways You Can Make Money as a Private Investigator

  1. General Investigation Services

One of the key ways a Private Investigator can make money is by offering services such as domestic and family investigation, legal investigation, insurance investigation, corporate investigation, pre – employment screening, including background checks and other investigation services, litigation investigation, locating missing people, intelligence gathering, spousal investigation, and due diligence.

They also make money by performing undercover operations such as evaluating the performance and honesty of employees by posing as customers or employees and also question persons to obtain evidence for cases of divorce, child custody, or missing persons, or information about individuals’ character or financial status. They offer these services to both private citizens and corporate entities who hire them.

  1. Performing Due Diligence for Investors

Private investigators can also make money by performing due diligence for an investor considering investing with a group, fund manager, or other high – risk business or investment venture. This could help the prospective investor avoid being the victim of a fraud or Ponzi scheme. A licensed and experienced investigator could reveal the investment is risky and/or the investor has a suspicious background.

This is called investigative due diligence, and is becoming more prevalent in the 21st century with public reports of large – scale Ponzi schemes and fraudulent investment vehicles such as Madoff, Stanford, Petters, Rothstein, and the hundreds of others reported by the Securities and Exchange Commission along with other law enforcement agencies.

  1. Work for Lawyers and Courts

Private investigators also make money by engaging in a variety of work not often associated with the industry, such as working with lawyers, judges and courts. For example, many Private Investigators are involved in process serving, the personal delivery of summons, subpoenas, and other legal documents to parties in a legal case.

  1. Tracing of Absconding Debtors

Private Investigators make cool cash by engaging in services that involve tracing absconding debtors. Many agencies specialize in a particular field of expertise. For example, some PI agencies deal only in tracing. A handful of firms specialize in technical surveillance counter – measures, sometimes called electronic counter measures, which is the locating and dealing with unwanted forms of electronic surveillance (for example, a bugged boardroom for industrial espionage purposes).

This niche service is typically conducted by those with backgrounds in intelligence/ counterintelligence, executive protection, and a small number from law enforcement entities whose duties include the covert installation of eavesdropping devices as a tool in organized crime, terrorism and narco-trafficking investigations.

  1. Antifraud Investigation and Loss Prevention

A Private Investigator can make money by working in a niche which specialize in corporate matters, including antifraud work, loss prevention, internal investigations of employee misconduct (such as Equal Employment Opportunities violations and sexual harassment), the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets, antipiracy, copyright infringement investigations, due diligence investigations, malware and cyber- criminal activity, and computer forensics work.

Some PIs act as professional witnesses where they observe situations with a view to reporting the actions or lack of them to a court or to gather evidence in antisocial behavior.

  1. Training and Certification Services

As stated earlier, you can go beyond the call of duty to make money as a Private Investigator and one of such ways is by offering trainings and certifications to aspiring Private Investigators, but you must first meet the requirement to be able to offer this service. Training can improve one’s capability, capacity, productivity and performance.

It forms the core of apprenticeships and provides the backbone of the Private Investigator industry. In addition to the basic training required for a trade, occupation or profession, training may continue beyond initial competence to maintain, upgrade and update skills throughout working life.

As a Private Investigator, you would need to be physically fit at all times to be able to effectively carry out your job. Training in this regard also refers to the development of physical fitness related to a specific competence, such as sport, martial arts, military applications and some other areas of interested.

  1. Advisory and Consulting Services

If you have robust years of experience as a Private Investigator, you can make money by offering related advisory and consulting services to individuals and corporate organizations. Advisory function means the study of a matter of public concern or the making of recommendations on the matter. You can provide professional feedback as is related to private investigations to an individual or an organization for a fee.

More and more Private Investigators that offer consulting and advisory services are complementing the strategic deliverables by providing the means to implement the recommendations, either with the consultants themselves or by providing technicians and/ or experts. This has opened up new markets for professional Private Investigators and organizations referred to this as outsourcing.

  1. Sale of Related Merchandize

As a Private investigator, there is nothing that stops you from making money from the sale of related merchandize such as books, videos and gadgets that can help other Private Investigators effectively carry out their job or help organizations and individual stay abreast with happenings as it related to the Private Investigation industry and perhaps how to carry out their own private investigations.

Good enough, you can write a book or books on Private Investigation or related topic and trust me, there won’t be any limit to the number of copies you can sell.

  1. Start a Private Investigation Related Talk Show on Radio

You can make money as a private investigator by starting a private investigation related talk show on radio. If you are looking towards starting a private investigation related talk show and you don’t have the finance to purchase airtime on TV, then going on radio is your best option.

The truth is that, if your radio talk show is well organized and well – packaged to address key issues in the private investigation industry, then you will sure attract large listenership and of course mouthwatering sponsorship deals from major players in the industry. It is a cool way of making money, but you must always be on your toe when it comes to developing interesting and useful content for the radio talk show.

  1. Start a Private Investigation Related TV Program

You can also make money as a private investigator by starting a private investigation related TV program. One thing is certain, if your TV program is well organized and well – packaged to address key issues as it relates to the industry, then you will surely attract large viewership and of course mouthwatering sponsorship deals from major players in the value chain of the private investigation industry in your country. It is a cool way of making money, but you must always be your toe when it comes to developing interesting, trendy and useful contents for your TV program.

In Conclusion,

Over and beyond, you can make money as a private investigator by offering services that revolve around searching computer databases, credit reports, public records, tax and legal filings, and other resources in order to locate persons or to compile information for investigations.

You can also investigate companies’ financial standings or locate funds stolen using accounting skills. You can confer with establishment officials, security departments, police, or postal officials to identify problems, provide information, and receive instructions.

Joy Nwokoro