Private investigators can work for the law or for personal matters. They find information relevant to their case or client. This could mean finding missing persons, searching computer histories, or running background checks.
Private investigators access databases, interview acquaintances and piece together clues to track down people with whom you’ve lost contact. They can use public records to fill in missing information and uncover a new name, address, telephone number and Social Security number. Usually, a PI will work independently providing their services to clients who hire them. Most of the work they do is similar to that of a Detective, so there is much time where a PI has to work very well on their own as well as in a team setting.
Conducting sensitive investigations such as on missing people will be carried out with confidentiality and empathy too. They are skilled people with great attention to detail in whichever field the investigation might take them eg. computer-related crimes, kidnappings, disappearances, homicides, suspicious activity, or theft.
Private Investigators are not legally authorized to perform acts that would otherwise be performed by a Police Officer (e.g. arresting people or conducting warranted searches), they may carry and use a firearm provided they have the necessary permits. They are, nevertheless, often required to present the results and findings of their investigations to their clients or in a court of law as testimony and evidence.
Employment of private detectives and investigators is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.