Private investigators conduct investigations to obtain information for use in civil and criminal litigation matters or for private clients.
People in this field usually need high school graduation, and for some positions, completion of a college diploma in an area such as criminology is necessary. On-the-job training is sometimes provided. Workers in protective service generally must have a good knowledge of fire prevention, first aid, building safety and emergency procedures. Medical and security clearances are often required. Self-defense training can be an asset. Depending on the position, workers may need to be bondable and have a valid driver's licence. Extensive experience working with people is an asset.
Employers look for people without a police record who are mature and dependable and have good character references. These workers should be mentally alert, emotionally stable, self-confident and physically fit and have good hearing and vision. An ability to follow instructions, good oral and written communication skills, knowledge of computerized systems and an ability to react quickly to unexpected events are also important. A willingness to work shifts and weekends may be necessary, and these workers should be able to work independently or as part of a team, as necessary.