Three Key Roles Private Investigators Play

a man looking through a glass door using binocularsWe are all familiar with their discreet moves and sleek, mysterious looks — black shades, coats, and disguise hats. Detectives are portrayed in movies as cool, secretive people who work silently, but get the job done at the end of the day. But have you ever thought about what private investigators do?

Detectives or private investigators (PIs) are professionals who perform investigation for law enforcement agencies, organizations, and private clients. Their job may vary from finding a missing person or conducting legal research for a company to solving a serious crime.

To better understand the job of an investigator, it is best to look at their basic duties. Here’s a quick guide to the roles they play.


Good research skills are every detective’s main weapon. They need to gather as many facts as they could to finish their job. In many cases, their job would require them to dig up info about people — personal details, family background, career, and legal records. They endeavor to find pertinent documents and even details such as contact information, address, and car registration. Some cases even require detectives to research on matters such as criminal records.


Detectives don’t hide in the shadows; they interact with people in broad daylight, too. They interview people to get information to be used in solving a case. For example, in a murder case, the investigator must talk to people closely related to the victim and those who may have seen the victim before the crime transpired. The data they gather must be pieced together in hopes of finding the murderer, or at least a person of interest.

Private eyes

Detectives can also take on the role of a private eye. In this case, their main duty is to conduct surveillance. Private clients, for instance, seek the help of a PI to check whether their spouse is cheating. Investigators are also hired by companies who suspect a person of wrongdoings such as fraud. Their findings are important when the company proceeds to file a case.

These are the fundamental roles a private investigator plays, but it is essential to know that their job could be more difficult and complicated than that. This is why they need to enroll in a program, undergo training, and secure a license before they could render service. Other than accredited programs offered by universities, aspirants may also take private investigation certification online. If you are willing to take on these roles, start by finding programs and certification courses online so you can become an investigator soon.