A private investigator (commonly abbreviated to PI, or private eye), is a professional who provides investigative services for a charge. The common jobs a private investigator is hired for include following employees who’ve claimed sick leaves, spouses who’re suspected of cheating, as well as finding people who’ve gone into hiding. However, private investigators aren’t official law enforcers in most cases, and their privileges only extend to those of a regular citizen, making the job somewhat risky depending on the task.

Many private investigators have some background in law enforcement, usually turning to the job as a means of earning a better income than their regular one. While it’s by no means required to have such a background for becoming a private investigator, it can be of great benefit to anyone practicing the job, as it often allows them to make use of contacts from their police days who might be able to provide them with information or other services. Private investigators must usually be physically fit, as they sometimes have to engage in physical confrontations.

A private investigator typically earns slightly less than a private detective, due to the somewhat lesser requirements and duties the job has. The average annual salary falls between $30,000 – $45,000, and the job doesn’t have some of the attractive factors the job of a private detective has either, which can also work to make it a less attractive choice. On the other hand, the job offers a good prospect for the investigator’s future development.