WHAT IT MEANS TO TAKE A CHANCE
As a student, pursuing a career can be scary. Whether it is a new career or a career change, any sort of change brings us out of our comfort zones, which is just not, well, comfortable. Between the cost of pursuing a dream, the time one needs to invest, and the experience one needs to obtain, there can be a lot of ‘what ifs’ involved. All of this said, has there ever truly been a chance that you regretted? Even if the chance you took was a total flop, it’s safe to assume the unintentional lessons were invaluable. (We all have a few of these!)
BECOMING A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
When wondering how to become a private investigator, there are a few considerations that should be ‘investigated,’ if you will.
- Is the career the right fit for me?
- Do I have what it takes?
- Do I want to attend college/university, or complete basic training and obtain on-the-job experience?
- Will the investigator training facility offer what it takes?
If the answer to 3 of 4 of these questions is a ‘yes,’ you’re on the right path! (The other is just preference.)
IS BECOMING A PI RIGHT FOR ME?
Being a private investigator is not what it seems to be when considering how the career is portrayed in the media. While a fulfilling and exciting career, like anything, it has its ups and downs. There are sometimes long and tedious days, and there are times where the case may become frustrating, as you don’t always find the answers you’re seeking. That said, knowing that you have become a part (however small!) of a client’s ability to move forward with their lives is the underlying reason a person should want to become a private investigator.
DO I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
Being a private investigator involves doing a few things that might be out of your comfort zone. Surveillance, for one, can be hard for some, as being straight-faced and blending in just isn’t as easy as it seems. Another thing that might be a difficult, but necessary task, is changing your persona- some cases involve you becoming a fabricated version of yourself and you must be able to keep your story straight. Also, being the bearer of bad news is often hard. Whether it be about adultery, the death of a missing person, or delivering news of the wanted information being unattainable, a person must be able to separate themselves from the case and not get emotionally attached. All of that being said, being a private investigator is exciting and truly fun, if you enjoy research, law, and helping others!
WILL THE BASIC TRAINING INSTITUTION OFFER WHAT IT TAKES?
As with anything in life, be careful to analyze training facilities carefully, especially if researching online private investigator courses in Ontario. In order to successfully become a private investigator in Ontario, you must complete a 50-hour pi course that is regulated by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS), through a licenced private investigation firm. This course should cover basic principles surrounding the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, Provincial and Federal statutes, Criminal and Civil Law, etc. Many agencies provide a choice between classroom-based or online instruction. Once the course has been completed, you will then receive a training completion number, which is used to write the provincial test for the Ontario Private Investigator Licence.
DO I WANT TO ATTEND COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY, OR COMPLETE BASIC TRAINING AND OBTAIN ON-THE-JOB EXPERIENCE?
When researching how to become a private investigator, you will notice that you can obtain an education at the college or university level, or you can complete the basic private investigator training and proceed with on-the-job experience. As with any career, which path you choose depends on which direction you would like to take your investigation career. If you choose to go ahead with basic training and on-the-job experience, it should cost around $200 for the training and this training should be at or above 50 hours in length. Once the training is successfully completed, and the provincial exam is written, you need to apply for your private investigator licence. At this point, you are ready to start applying to firms!
While private investigation is not for everyone, it also may be a career more should consider, as it is so gratifying! (And who hasn’t done a little investigating on their own?!) For more information on how to become an investigator (or information on the Ontario security licence), don’t hesitate to contact us at The Smith Investigation Agency- we have offices in Toronto, Brampton, Hamilton, London, North York, Kingston, Ottawa, Barrie, North Bay, Sudbury, Scarborough, Timmins, Thunder Bay and Windsor.
Article written by: Kala Bishop is a licenced Private Investigator from British Columbia. Colleagues, friends and family call her Kala. While driving on kids field trips, she is referred to as Ms. Bishop. Her favourite though is Mom, and she is a happy blend of all. She is an intern PI and she puts a witty spin on The Smith Investigation Agency blog.