Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Private Investigators in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Private investigator career and educational opportunities abound in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There are currently 3,450 working private investigators in Pennsylvania; this should grow by 18% to 4,050 working private investigators in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for private investigators are expected to grow by about 22.0%. Private investigators generally detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.

A person working as a private investigator can expect to earn about $17 hourly or $36,390 per year on average in Pennsylvania and about $20 per hour or $41,760 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for private investigators are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Police and Security in Pennsylvania and not quite as good as general Police and Security category earnings nationally. Private investigators work in a variety of jobs, including: store detective, loss prevention agent, and special investigator.

There are ten schools within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can study to be a private investigator, among 156 schools of higher education total in the Philadelphia area. 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 Philadelphia 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.
  • Fish and Game Warden. Patrol assigned areas to prevent fish and game law violations. Investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. Compile biological data.
  • 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

Camden County College - Blackwood, NJ

Camden County College, College Drive, Blackwood, NJ 08012. Camden County College is a large college located in Blackwood, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,951 students. Camden County College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated forty-six and sixty students respectively in 2008.

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington - Newark, DE

Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington, 400 Stanton-Christiana Rd, Newark, DE 19702. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington is a medium sized college located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,460 students. Delaware Technical and Community College-Stanton-Wilmington has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Burlington County College - Pemberton, NJ

Burlington County College, 601 Pemberton-Browns Mills Road, Pemberton, NJ 08068-1599. Burlington County College is a medium sized college located in Pemberton, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,688 students. Burlington County College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated one and forty-seven students respectively in 2008.

Wilmington University - New Castle, DE

Wilmington University, 320 Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720. Wilmington University is a medium sized university located in New Castle, Delaware. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 8,980 students. Wilmington University has a post-master's certificate program in Criminal Justice/Police Science.

Delaware County Community College - Media, PA

Delaware County Community College, 901 S Media Line Rd, Media, PA 19063-1094. Delaware County Community College is a large college located in Media, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,109 students. Delaware County Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated ninety-seven and forty-three students respectively in 2008.

Lincoln Technical Institute - Mount Laurel, NJ

Lincoln Technical Institute, 1000 Howard Blvd, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054. Lincoln Technical Institute is a small school located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 215 students. Lincoln Technical Institute has a one to two year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Rowan University - Glassboro, NJ

Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028. Rowan University is a large university located in Glassboro, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,271 students and an admission rate of 57%. Rowan University has a bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated 120 students in 2008.

Gloucester County College - Sewell, NJ

Gloucester County College, 1400 Tanyard Road, Sewell, NJ 08080. Gloucester County College is a medium sized college located in Sewell, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,135 students. Gloucester County College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated thirty-seven students in 2008.

Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus - Blue Bell, PA

Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus, 340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422-0796. Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus is a medium sized college located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,641 students. Montgomery County Community College-Central Campus has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

Mercer County Community College - West Windsor, NJ

Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Rd, West Windsor, NJ 08550-3407. Mercer County Community College is a medium sized college located in West Windsor, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,120 students. Mercer County Community College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated fifty students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.