Forensic science training for private investigators is not usually required to receive a license ,but it can be a great asset for any active member of the profession. Investigators operating as freelancers or as an employees of a larger agency can boost their professional credentials by pursuing an education in forensics from a university or other recognized institution.
State Requirements for Investigator Licensing
Private investigators must be approved by their state agency before they can legally operate and offer services in that jurisdiction. Typically, applicants must prove that they have received several years of legal education or the equivalent in work experience before they apply. Most states require investigators to have a firm understanding of the law as well as a clean background check and valid documents to prove their identity.
Anyone interested in becoming a licensed private investigator should carefully consult their state's regulations regarding the process. While the requirements are generally similar between states, applicants should research the detailed regulations regarding application before proceeding. Successful applicants must pass several exams, often including a Power to Arrest course, before they receive their license.
Educational Programs and Degrees for Private Investigators
Not every college or university offers coursework specifically for private investigators, but there are a fair number of schools across the country that do have programs to prepare students for a career in investigation. These degrees are often designed to provide prospective investigators with the education necessary to apply for license in addition to other skills the may need. Students should consider taking the opportunity to enroll in forensic science classes to bolster their understanding and credentials once they graduate.
How Does Forensics Training Help Private Investigators?
Many assignments in the private investigation industry fall outside the bounds of normal or conventional cases. Professional investigators encounter a wide range of scenarios and issues during the course of their work, so there is ample opportunity to apply knowledge of forensic science for the benefit of clients. In many cases, success for investigators is determined by their ability to apply a wide range of skills to find important information.
Association Membership Requirements
There are dozens of different local and national associations that actively seek members with forensic skills. For example, the Association of Forensic Document Examiners is dedicated towards perfecting and applying skills to identify forgery and restore damaged items to a usable state. Requirements for membership depends completely on the specific association, but many require formal education in forensic science as well as a wealth of personal experience.
Professional Development for Private Investigators
Formal education in forensics bolsters the credentials of an agency that is advertising to new clients as well as potential employees who are applying for a position at an established agency. Investigators with specialized skills lend credibility to legal claims and they may be called on to deliver expert testimony to support an ongoing case in court.
Ultimately, it is up to to each individual to decide if they want to offer specialized services, like
document examination, or simply conduct standard investigations for clients. Pursuing forensic science
training for private investigators can be a rewarding, career-building decision for anyone interested in
joining the profession.