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Career and Education Opportunities for Private Investigators in Cleveland, Ohio

There are many career and education opportunities for private investigators in the Cleveland, Ohio area. There are currently 1,270 working private investigators in Ohio; this should grow 10% to about 1,390 working private investigators in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for private investigators, which sees this job pool growing by about 22.0% over the next eight years. Private investigators generally detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.

Private investigators earn approximately $18 hourly or $38,960 per year on average in Ohio. Nationally they average about $20 hourly or $41,760 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Police and Security, people working as private investigators in Ohio earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Police and Security nationally. Private investigators work in a variety of jobs, including: skip tracer, investigator, and target protection specialist.

The Cleveland area is home to 103 schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Cleveland where you can get a degree as a private investigator. The most common level of education for private investigators is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be a private investigator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Private Investigator

Private Investigator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, private investigators detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.

Private investigators write reports and case summaries to document investigations. They also perform background investigations of individuals. Equally important, private investigators have to perform private investigations on a paid basis. They are often called upon to search computer databases, credit reports, public records, tax and legal filings, and other resources in order to compile data for investigations. They are expected to testify at hearings and court trials to present evidence. Finally, private investigators obtain and analyze data on suspects and disturbances so as to solve cases, to pinpoint criminal activity, and to gather data for court cases.

Every day, private investigators are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for private investigators to observe and document efforts of individuals in order to uncover unlawful acts or to obtain evidence for cases, using binoculars and still or video cameras. They are often called upon to expose fraudulent insurance claims or stolen funds. They also perform undercover operations such as evaluating the performance and honesty of employees by posing as customers or employees. They are sometimes expected to alert appropriate staff to suspects' locations. Somewhat less frequently, private investigators are also expected to question persons to obtain evidence for cases of divorce or missing persons, or data related to individuals' character or financial status.

They also have to be able to investigate companies' financial standings or locate funds stolen by embezzlers, using accounting skills And finally, they sometimes have to track industrial or commercial properties to enforce conformance to establishment rules, and to safeguard people or property.

Like many other jobs, private investigators must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cleveland include:

  • Bailiff. Maintain order in courts of law.
  • Chief of Police. Supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
  • Correctional Officer. Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
  • Lifeguard. Monitor recreational areas, such as pools, beaches, or ski slopes to provide assistance and protection to participants.
  • Police Officer. Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
  • Police Records Officer. Collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.
  • Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.
  • Transportation Security Officer. Inspect baggage or cargo and screen passengers to detect and prevent potentially dangerous objects from being transported into secure areas or onto aircraft.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Private Investigator Training

University of Akron Main Campus - Akron, OH

University of Akron Main Campus, 302 Buchtel Common, Akron, OH 44325-4702. University of Akron Main Campus is a large university located in Akron, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 24,202 students. University of Akron Main Campus has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated one and fifty-six students respectively in 2008.

Lorain County Community College - Elyria, OH

Lorain County Community College, 1005 North Abbe Rd, Elyria, OH 44035-1691. Lorain County Community College is a large college located in Elyria, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,242 students. Lorain County Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated four and thirty-four students respectively in 2008.

Cuyahoga Community College District - Cleveland, OH

Cuyahoga Community College District, 700 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115-2878. Cuyahoga Community College District is a large college located in Cleveland, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,234 students. Cuyahoga Community College District has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated one student in 2008.

Medina County Career Center - Medina, OH

Medina County Career Center, 1101 W Liberty St, Medina, OH 44256. Medina County Career Center is a small school located in Medina, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 79 students. Medina County Career Center has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Lakeland Community College - Kirtland, OH

Lakeland Community College, 7700 Clocktower Dr, Kirtland, OH 44094-5198. Lakeland Community College is a medium sized college located in Kirtland, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,924 students. Lakeland Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated two and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.


Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.

For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.

Certified Confidentiality Officer: Professional certification validates your training and experience in your present career.

For more information, see the Business Espionage Controls and Countermeasures Association website.

Computer Forensics: The primary goals we have for our certification programs are to both assist law enforcement and organizations requiring highly skilled investigators in the identification of highly skilled individuals, and to promote the training and education efforts within the computer investigation, computer forensic and computer security industries.

For more information, see the Cyber Enforcement Resources Incorporated website.

Certified Protection Officer: The CPO program is designed for protection professionals intent on.

For more information, see the International Foundation for Protection Officers website.

Certified Legal Investigator: The National Association of Legal Investigators, Inc.

For more information, see the National Association of Legal Investigators website.


Private Investigator License

Licensing agency: Ohio Department of Commerce
Address: Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing, 77 S. High Street, 20th Floor, Columbus, OH 43266-0546

Phone: (614) 466-4100
Website: Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing


Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio photo by FlickreviewR

Cleveland is situated in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. It has a population of over 433,748, which has shrunk by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cleveland, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cleveland are valued at $94,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred nine new homes were built in Cleveland, down from one hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cleveland are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 11.4% of Cleveland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cleveland is 10.5%, which is greater than Ohio's average of 10.0%.

The percentage of Cleveland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Abyssinia Baptist Church and Highland Christian Church are among the churches located in Cleveland. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Cleveland is home to the Mastick Woods Golf Course and the Dock Number 32 as well as Shaker Square Historic District and Newton Avenue Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Shaker-Moreland Shopping Center, Shaker Square Shopping Center and Clark West 30th Shopping Center. Visitors to Cleveland can choose from Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Gateway, Airport Sheraton and Extended Stayamerica for temporary stays in the area.