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"The work is its own reward"

Sherlock Holmes


So, you want to be a detective...

Each year numerous people call me wanting to become a "detective". This page is for you.


The rules of the game are simple - you have to be licensed in the state you wish to open your service or you have to work under someone else's license. The industry is regulated.

The licensing is done by various agencies with different requirements. In New York it is the Department of State. In New Jersey, the State Police are responsible for licenses. It varies with each state, and making an inquiry with the local State Police in your area is a good way to begin.


I think a good investigator is creative, bold, observant, self-motivating, book smart, street smart, well, the list could go on. If you want your own firm, you also have to have a good measure of courage. You might just find the scariest thing about it is you have to provide your own paycheck each week.

If you're "on the job"....

As a law enforcement officer who is thinking of switching to the private sector, realize it is a whole new world - one without an official badge. You also need business skills the department didn't require. Email Mike Marino, former New York City Police Detective and for 22 years my Chief Investigator, if you have specific questions he might help answer Your experience is golden. Using it effectively in a private business setting is vastly different thing, but you're so far ahead because of training and experience.

If you're still in school...

Many young people call me. If you're still in school - study even harder and realize each subject, each experience is something you will draw on sometime in your professional career. Keep an address book of sources of information and people who might help you in the future.

You have to be able to provide your clients with a report that puts them where you were, or clearly details facts you have gathered. This is where all that time you spent in English class thinking about being a detective will pay off. The better you can compose a report, a sales letter - a web page, the better you will represent yourself as a professional

Speech class may have seemed dry, but you'll use it selling, pulling off a ruse in a case and especially offering compelling testimony.

Math plays a part too. In fiscal [financial] investigations, knowing how the numbers do or don't add up is key, not to mention understanding your corporate books. My first profession was as a Registered Nurse. I can't tell you how often all that medical education assists me.

Powers of observation, report writing, quick decisions about life or death matters, they are just a few of the nursing skills I still draw on each day. Stay in school and finish your education.

Looking for part-time work?

Perhaps it isn't a full time career you are looking for, but work to supplement your own occupation. If you have a special skill like driving a hand truck, speaking another language, an expertise with works of art, it almost doesn't matter what the talent is, you can find a way to use it as an investigator on a special assignment.

Working undercover assignments, providing research, acting as a consultant to an investigator with a need for a special skill - create you own part time employment - think of ways yourself.


Often we hire people to assist in specific cases. Recently, I needed a translator who spoke Creole to work on a homicide case with us in Montreal. I took out my reference file of people who had shown interest in working, but with limited experience. We found just what we needed under "special skills".

You only have to have the mind set and direction. If being a "detective" is in your system, and you're creative enough, you'll find the way. With a little creativity, clients will find you! Best of luck. Now you might look at our game link and see how you test against the experts! Bookmark our site and visit again

Good Luck!


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Revised: March 01, 2007 .