A private detective is similar to a private investigator in many aspects, though the job often involves discovering information with a bit more interference into the lives of the people being followed. For example, a private detective would often conduct their investigations by getting in touch with relatives and friends of the people they’re investigating, or even confronting them directly under a false guise in order to obtain information. Private detectives sometimes do work that borders on the line of legality, depending on the case they’re involved in.
To become a private detective, it’s strongly recommended that one has a background in law enforcement. Not only does it provide some essential skills for performing the job correctly, but it also allows you to build sufficiently strong connections within law enforcement, which can become invaluable later on as the job often involves having to seek help from old partners and friends in the police. Additionally, a good investigative sense and physical fitness are beneficial for private detectives.
Private detectives can be quite well paid in some areas, and moderately well in others – in the typical case, the salary for one would be between $35,000 – $50,000. One of the great things about a private detective’s job is the flexibility of working hours – they’re basically left to the detective him/herself to decide, and this can make the job a very attractive one for some people with more heavily loaded schedules.