There are stereotypes associated with each profession. For private eyes, it’s usually that they’re ex-cops with a hidden story that drove them out of the workforce and into its distant relative. In crime fiction, they may be depicted as an alcoholic or someone resembling Sherlock Holmes–in attitude or aptitude, or both.
In real life, however, anyone can be a private investigator. That is, of course, as long as you do the following:
Complete a Private Investigator Course
This is the most important part of starting your career as a private eye. You’ll want to be knowledgeable in the field and know how to be an investigator. There’s a private investigator course online at The Center For Legal Studies that can teach you everything you need to know, and you can learn at your convenience.
Get a License
Though most private investigators in crime fiction are unlicensed, you’ll want to be more credible in real life. You can choose from a private investigator license or a private investigator license with firearm permit. This helps you legitimize your career as a private eye and makes you a more trustworthy option for clients. You can also work in a licensed private investigator agency to take advantage of the affiliation. How you make your career prosper is up to your skills.
You can’t make a name for yourself without actually doing any work. Private investigators do their job discreetly, which means you will not be publicly announcing that you are investigating someone privately. Clients need to be able to trust you. This makes finding clients a bit of a problem, however. You might need help from family members to get the word out, and former clients can always recommend you to their friends who might need the same services. Now you just have to impress them with your skills for them to be satisfied enough to drop your name to their friends.
Private eyes in real life are not the same as those you read in crime fiction novels. If you want to be one, you need to be realistic about starting out.