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Using Your Criminal Justice Degree to Start a Private Investigation Business

Known for their stealth and ability to find the truth no matter how deeply it is buried, private investigators are always in high demand. If you know what you are legally permitted to do when working on a case, you can work as a private investigator yourself and start a business. Of course, a masters in criminal justice degree should be earned first so that your clients know that you are capable of intelligently doing what they require. These are the areas you should put most of your efforts into when you’re going to be building a private investigation firm.

Licenses and Regulations

As a private investigator, you will be doing oodles of research. You’ll need to build up a case file before you can even think about going into the field. Some cases will be local, where you will need to stake out and spend more of your time waiting than anything else. Other cases might necessitate you jumping on a plane or driving for hours at a time. In addition to having an online MSCJ, you probably need a license to work as a private investigator, and you may even need further licensing to carry a concealed firearm. Realize that being a private investigator is thrilling, but you also have to know that personal protection is important.

Equipment and Fees

Just to do research on the computer you are going to have to be equipped with proprietary software. What this means is that you need to have access to databases and information about criminal records and civil filings. Some of your cases will involve individuals with extremely common names, so your job might feel a lot like a game of whack-a-mole instead of serious investigation work at some points. High quality cameras with high powered lenses are also going to be on your list of necessary equipment as your clients will want photographic evidence of your findings. Be prepared to invest a lot of money into your private investigation business in the beginning. On the other hand, your rates can also be reasonably high if you are known for getting the job done.

Advertising is Critical

Whether you have the only private investigation firm for 50 miles around or you are going into a business where there are already seasoned veterans, you have to do some advertising. You might be the one who is used to asking questions but it will be your clients who are the truly curious ones. This is the time where your degree will come in as being most useful. When someone sees that you’re a private investigator and they want to know why you are qualified, you can list your degrees and certificates, then go into detail about what you know about criminal justice.

Private investigators actually have a lot to look forward to when they create businesses. There are no set hours that private investigators have to work. They can take or refuse cases at will. Lastly, private investigators don’t work until payment has been remitted so their accounting practices are quite simple.

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