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Do you have skills for solving mysteries and uncovering hidden details no one else can? Becoming a private investigator (PI) – also known as a private inquiry agent – might be the ideal career for you. While there are no specific educational requirements to become a PI, studying criminology online will teach you the skills needed to investigate cases, gather evidence, and help people find the truth. With Online Courses Australia, you'll receive practical training in a flexible format to lay the groundwork for a successful career.

What Does a Private Investigator Do? 

A private investigator gathers facts and evidence to solve cases ranging from personal matters like missing persons to corporate investigations involving fraud or misconduct. They use surveillance, interviews, and research to uncover critical details, working for private clients, businesses, or legal teams.

Read more: How an Online Criminology Course Can Kickstart Your New Career

Day in the Life of a Private Investigator 

  • Conducting surveillance to observe and document a target's activities
  • Interviewing witnesses and individuals to obtain relevant information
  • Researching public records, databases, and documents to gather evidence
  • Writing detailed reports and presenting findings to clients or legal teams
  • Collaborating with law enforcement and legal professionals as needed

Private Investigator Skills

A career as a private investigator involves a blend of soft skills (skills you likely already have) and hard skills (skills you’d learn through an online course or other criminology career pathways). 

Private Investigator Soft Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving and creativity
  • Effective communication
  • Ethical judgement
  • Patience and persistence

Hard Skills for a Private Investigator

By undertaking a criminology course, you’ll equip yourself with the relevant practical skills to kick-start your Private Investigator career. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Surveillance Techniques: Learn how to conduct effective surveillance, from maintaining discretion to capturing crucial evidence.
  • Interviewing Skills: Develop techniques for interviewing witnesses, clients, and suspects to gather valuable insights.
  • Evidence Collection: Understand how to collect, handle, and present evidence in a way that is legally sound and useful.
  • Research Skills: Learn to navigate public records and databases to uncover vital information.
  • Report Writing: Master the ability to write concise, accurate reports that clearly present findings.

Private Investigator Salary in Australia (2024)

According to Labour Market Insights, community and personal service workers (the overarching industry Private Investigators work in) can earn an annual average salary of $113,776. There is the potential for more if you specialise in corporate or legal investigations, or if you start your own PI business. 

Private Investigator Employment Outlook 

Demand for private investigators is growing, with opportunities available in personal investigations, corporate research, and legal support. As more individuals and businesses seek professional help with background checks, fraud investigations, and surveillance, the need for skilled investigators will continue to rise.

How to Become a Private Investigator in Australia 

If you're eyeing a career as a private investigator in Australia, the entry avenues are more versatile than ever before.

  • Online Courses: Platforms like Online Courses Australia offer specialised criminology courses that help you start your private investigator career strong. Our courses provide a strong foundation in surveillance techniques, evidence collection, and research methods to kick-start your PI career. 
  • Micro-Credentials: Compact micro-credentials focus on specific aspects of PI work, like criminal psychology, enabling you to quickly upskill or pivot into new specialisations.

Note: Private Investigators often require licences, which vary by state, and must pass police checks when needed.

Read more: Strategies to Succeed in an Online Criminology Course

Start Your Private Investigator Career Today with OCA

Set yourself up for success as a private investigator with an online criminology or criminal psychology course. Learn surveillance, evidence collection, and more with Online Courses Australia.

Job Ready Skills

Our courses cover the essential skills you need, from surveillance to report writing, so you're well-prepared to thrive in your career as a private investigator.

Flexibility on Your Terms

With casual, part-time and full-time options, our courses fit around your lifestyle. Start your journey to becoming a private investigator today with Online Courses Australia.

Criminology Course Bundle Info Pack Download

If you have additional questions about our criminology courses or our full range of courses that cover more than 20 different professional industries: 

Related Courses & Roles 

Here are some related courses your might be interested:

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