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Private Investigation Training

Career Diploma in
Private Investigation

Calling all sleuths! In our Private Investigation course you’ll learn how to conduct electronic surveillance, interview and interrogate witnesses, use undercover tactics and more. Our comprehensive program will prepare you to start an exciting and enduring career.

  • Prerequisite: High School Diploma
  • Study Method: Textbook with Online Exams
  • Program Length: As few as 6 Months

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This Career Program
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  What You'll Learn

Our private investigator training consists of 17 comprehensive lessons. Everything you learn is applicable in the real world of private investigation. It’s a fascinating field if you are naturally curious, don’t mind working flexible hours, get along with all kinds of people and want to solve crimes. Among the key topics are…

  • Case management and report writing
  • Surveillance techniques
  • Interfacing with law enforcement
  • Conducting computer crime investigations
  • Locating missing persons

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Lesson 1: History of Investigation  

Local, state, and federal investigators; what private investigators do; the detective mystique; licensing issues; the third degree; scientific methods and the research revolution in investigating.

Lesson 2: The Investigation Process  

An overview of investigating; qualities and skills you'll need; types of investigations; patterns, leads, tips, and theories; verifying the crime report; the role of ethics; basic techniques.

Lesson 3: Types of Investigations  

Personal injury; insurance fraud; product liability; missing persons; medical malpractice; corporate espionage; background checks; marital cases; wrongful death.

Lesson 4: Crime & Security in the U.S  

Crime defined; public and private crime and protection; private security vs. public law enforcement.

Lesson 5: The Crime Scene  

Protecting, photographing, recording, and reconstructing the crime scene; the command post; preserving and processing evidence; the chain of custody; marking and packaging evidence; the death investigation.

Lesson 6: Interviewing & Interrogating  

Types of interviews; suspects; victims; informants; door-to-door canvassing; interviewing children and sexual abuse victims; special interrogation aids; the Miranda Ruling; tactics to obtain confessions; recording the interview; written statements.

Lesson 7: Sources of Information  

Cultivating sources; the paper trail; law enforcement, government, and private record sources; books and directories; computerized information brokers; psychics; psycholinguistic analysis; criminal profiling.

Lesson 8: Surveillance & Undercover Investigations  

Preparing for surveillance; going undercover; types of undercover investigations; tactical strategies; stationary and moving surveillance; if the tail is "made"; avoiding common mistakes; recording and debriefing the surveillance; legalities.

Lesson 9: Case Management & Report Writing  

The importance of case management; note-taking; preparing the case folder; preparing official reports; report writing; using a computer.

Lesson 10: The U.S. Legal System & Rules of Evidence  

History of evidence law; the criminal law process; the civil law process; discovery; the trial; the jury; circumstantial, prima facie, and direct evidence; forms and rules of evidence; the hearsay rule; using expert witnesses; privileged communications; presenting testimony in court.

Lesson 11: Criminalistics & Technology  

Fingerprinting, photography, blood analysis, ballistics, DNA profiling, and other criminalistics techniques; the modern crime lab; using automated information systems; electronic surveillance devices; videotaping.

Lesson 12: Retail Security & Loss Prevention  

The store detective; the store camera system; fraudulent credit cards; bad checks; employee theft; audits; shoplifting methods; apprehending shoplifters; price switching and altering; taking a statement.

Lesson 13: Domestic & Child Custody Cases  

The preliminary interview; working on contract or retainer; working with domestic relations lawyers; investigating and surveilling subjects; what constitutes adultery; the unfit parent; locating hidden assets; handling evidence; client protection; documentation.

Lesson 14: Insurance Investigations  

Investigating property/casualty, workers' compensation, liability, disability, life/health, personal injury, and accidental death claims; how to spot fraud; surveillance and the activity check; the pretext; note-taking; testifying in court.

Lesson 15: Executive Protection  

Celebrity and corporate clients; the command post; advance work; the travel route survey; airport and hotel security; lowering the profile; motorcades; the "arm's reach" principle; interviewing unwanted visitors; portable protection; etiquette, and protocol; using force.

Lesson 16: Firearm Use & Safety  

Defensive shooting; the last restraint; owning, handling, and maintaining guns safely; tactical handgun operation; low-light shooting; ammunition, sights; carrying a concealed handgun.

Lesson 17: Specialized Investigations  

Arson, product liability, missing person, medical malpractice, probate, and criminal defense investigations; locating heirs; security counter-measures; pre-employment checks; bounty hunting; repossession; process serving.

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  What You Get

Complete our private investigator training on your terms. Study on your schedule and get personal guidance when you need it. We’ve removed the obstacles so you can move ahead fast!

Carefully selected course content provides a balance of vital conceptual ideas and hands-on techniques. Your tuition covers:

  • Comprehensive private investigation textbook & study guides
  • Online, open-book exams
  • Dedicated academic support and tutoring
  • Participation in the Student Community
  • Career Services powered by CareerBuilder®

Graduates of our Private Investigation course receive a personalized diploma and may attend our annual graduation ceremony. It’s your finest start to a satisfying future in an exciting and worthwhile career.

  • Private Investigation Training Books


  • Private Investigation Training Diploma


  • Graduation Video


Catch people in the act and solve crimes. Our private investigator training will lead the way. Speak with an Admissions Advisor at 1-800-957-5412 or enroll online now.