This was the statement from someone online recently who was questioning our Certificate III in Investigative Services Course, which you’ll need to complete if you want to apply for a license to be a “private investigator.”


“This can’t be real!” was the following comment from this keyboard-crusader. But this line of criticising questioning isn’t uncommon. We usually tell people to jump onto, type in the word “investigator” and see the jobs that are available. There are thousands of them across a range of businesses and industries.


Most people only know private investigation from TV and movies, such as Magnum PI, from the 80s. We saw this with another keyboard warrior, who recently asked if he gets a Ferrari and a moustache with the course. Portrayals of private investigators typically revolve around burnt out ex-cops running around doing jobs for wealthy individuals. Chasing cheating partners, finding missing people, chasing bad debts and the like.


But like most things, TV and movies are not the reality.


“Private” investigation involves working for private clients doing all manner of things. There’s plenty of work out there for those who wish to film cheating partners, find missing relatives, discover employee fraud and sometimes even find former domestic partners, but be very careful with this one!


Despite all this, however, the investigation industry is so much more. Investigators (outside of the police) are involved in a wide range of activities in many sectors. Take, for example, the following roles recently advertised:

  • A remote local government compliance investigator (Ranger) investigating breaches of animal legislation, local laws and other related legislation. This investigator responds to complaints, interviews complainants and witnesses, conducts interviews with offenders, gathers evidence, inspects scenes and issues infringements.
  • A federal government authority is looking for an Employee Relations Advisor. As part of this role, you’ll undertake workplace investigation into things like bullying, sexual harassment and misconduct and fraud. You will interview witnesses, respondents and witnesses, and prepare reports for management.
  • A private company is looking for sub-contract and full time investigators to investigate referred matters relating to general insurance, Compulsory Third Party (CPT) and other incidents. For this role you’ll need to be licensed and have completed the Certificate III in Investigative Services.
  • A state government Ombudsman is looking for an Investigations Officer who will be responsible for undertaking timely and high-quality investigations of health service complaints against health services and health practitioners in Queensland.
  • A state government department is seeking a Compliance, Regulatory and Investigation Officer who will undertake complex regulatory activities, make recommendations and decisions that support the Authority. This type of role requires investigators to gather evidence, do a lot of interviewing and report writing with recommendations.
  • A high-profile Federal government agency is constantly on the lookout for Investigation and Compliance Officers. Investigators in this agency lead investigations and compliance activities into disability service providers, disability support workers and their response to issues of safety, well-being and quality of support services for people with a disability.


Investigators work in insurance, human resources, safety (think safety investigations), legal (work for lawyers), government (local, state and federal), regulatory authorities and many other areas. Almost every government department from your local council to ASIO have a compliance and investigative function. And they require trained investigators who have the skills to gather evidence, interview people, apply the law and write legal reports. The traits of an investigator are fairly generic.


So, yes you can drive a Ferrari, grow a moustache and skulk around helping rich clients if that’s your thing! But it’s not a true representation of what an investigator does, just one little part.


At the Professional Investigators College of Australasia, we’re driven to help you achieve your career goals, whatever they may be, so reach out today and get started on your new career!