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10 Intrinsic Skills Every PI Needs

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Looking to become a PI? Being a successful private investigator requires that you have a certain set of skills and traits. While some of these skills should come naturally, others can be developed through PI training. So if you’re looking to start a career in investigative services, here are ten intrinsic skills every PI needs to develop before stepping out in the field.


To be a successful PI you will need to be able to persuade and convince people to give you the information you need to get to the bottom of things.


You will also need to listen for clues, as well as be able to carefully watch facial expressions and body language to determine whether the person is lying or withholding information.


In many cases, you will also need to be able to observe and document without being detected. You should know how to blend in and be as discreet as possible.

Tech Savvy

A critical skill that every PI needs is to be able to learn new technology and gadgets with ease. For each case, you will have to conduct extensive research on a computer, as well as use different types of software and hardware to build your case.

Familiarity With the Law

It’s important to know what you are allowed to do and not allowed to do within the realms of the law. If you step beyond your boundaries, you could end up engaging in illegal activities that could get you into trouble.

Photography & Videography Skills

Part of your investigative work will include taking pictures and videos. Having experience operating the equipment in different settings and times of day is very important. If your pictures or video doesn’t turn out your evidence will suffer.

Attention to Detail

To be able to solve difficult cases, it’s necessary to be able to pay attention to all the details, especially the small ones. You’ll also need to be able to organize the details and be as thorough as possible so you don’t miss any important clues that could solve the case.


Even with repeated efforts, you may not find what you are after right away. It could take months or even years to get all the information you need to solve a tough case. Being persistent and having the patience necessary to keep focused is important for all PIs.


It’s always handy to know some self-defence, just in case. Most PIs never have to defend themselves, but being prepared and knowing how to protect yourself is always a good skill to have.


To get the information you need, there may come situations where you will be required to do some acting or put together a convincing disguise to hide your true identity. Being able to play different characters is a very useful intrinsic skill every PI needs.

If you possess some of these skills, then you might just have the skills every PI needs. At Smith Investigation Agency, we teach you everything you need to know to become a successful PI through our award-winning online private investigator training course. When you’re ready to start your rewarding PI career, contact us today!

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