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25 Common Private Investigator Questions Answered

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25 Common Private Investigator Questions Answered

Have you ever wondered what a private investigator really does or how they work? In this FAQ blog, we’ll answer 45 of the most common and burning questions about the private investigation industry. From the skills and expertise required to be a successful private investigator to the tools and techniques they use, we’ll provide you with valuable insights and information about this fascinating profession.

Let’s dive in and learn more about private investigators:


1. What are the benefits of a private investigator?

The benefits of a private investigator include the ability to gather information, conduct surveillance, and investigate cases in a discreet and professional manner. Private investigators can also provide a range of services, including background checks, insurance fraud investigations, and corporate investigations, and can collaborate with law enforcement agencies and other professionals in the criminal justice system.

2. How old are most private investigators?

There is no specific age range for private investigators as people can enter the profession at any age. However, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Calgary, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario we have seen the age of private investigators range from 25-55.

3. What can private investigators legally do in Canada?

In Canada, private investigators are legally allowed to conduct investigations for their clients, such as gathering information, conducting surveillance, and performing background checks. They must follow all relevant laws and regulations, including privacy laws and the Criminal Code. Private investigators are not law enforcement officers and do not have the power to make arrests or carry weapons unless they are licensed to do so. Private investigators must hold a valid license from the appropriate regulatory body in their province or territory in order to legally practice.

4. What are the disadvantages of a private investigator?

As with any profession, there are some potential disadvantages to hiring a private investigator:

Cost: Private investigators can be expensive, and the cost can add up quickly depending on the complexity and length of the investigation.

Time: Private investigations can take a long time, and it may be weeks or even months before you get any concrete information or results.

Legality: Private investigators must operate within the law, and if they break any laws during the course of their investigation, it can potentially lead to legal trouble for both the investigator and the client.

Limited scope: Private investigators can only investigate within the scope of their license and may not have access to certain resources or information that law enforcement does.

Reliability: Not all private investigators are created equal, and it can be difficult to determine the reliability and credibility of a private investigator before hiring them.

Privacy concerns: Hiring a private investigator involves sharing personal information and details about your life, which may make some people uncomfortable.

It is important to carefully consider these factors and weigh the potential risks and benefits before deciding whether to hire a private investigator.

5. What is the daily life of a private investigator?

The daily life of a private investigator involves conducting research, surveillance, interviewing witnesses, analyzing information, and preparing reports. Their day-to-day activities may vary depending on the nature of their case and the clients they are working for.

6. Are private investigators worth it?

It depends on the specific situation and the desired outcome. In some cases, hiring a private investigator can be very beneficial, while in others it may not be necessary or cost-effective. It’s important to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.

7. What is the highest paid private investigator?

The highest-paid private investigators typically specialize in high-risk security or corporate investigations and can earn six-figure salaries. However, salaries vary widely based on factors such as experience, location, and type of investigation.

8. What is the job description of an investigator?

The job description of an investigator typically involves conducting research, gathering and analyzing information, and investigating cases to help clients or employers make informed decisions. Depending on the field, investigators may specialize in criminal, civil, corporate, or other types of investigations. They may use a variety of methods to gather information, including interviewing witnesses, conducting surveillance, and examining records and documents. The job also requires strong critical thinking and communication skills, as well as attention to detail and the ability to work independently.

9. How much do PI’s make in Canada?

The average salary for private investigators in Canada is around CAD 50,000 to CAD 90,000 per year. However, salaries may vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and type of employer.

10. Can a private investigator take pictures of you in your home Canada?

In Canada, a private investigator cannot take pictures of you in your home without your consent or a court order.

11. Why would someone send a private investigator?

Someone might hire a private investigator to gather information or evidence related to a personal or legal matter, such as suspected infidelity (cheating husband or cheating wife), child custody disputes, insurance fraud, missing person cases, or criminal investigations.

12. Should I hire a private investigator to follow my boyfriend?

If you believe that your boyfriend is being unfaithful then yes, you should hire a private investigator to obtain evidence of what activity may be taking place.

13. What is disadvantages of being a investigator?

The disadvantages of being a private investigator may include irregular working hours, physical and mental demands, legal risks and ethical dilemmas, high stress and pressure, potential danger or threats, and the need for constant learning and adaptation to changing technologies and investigative techniques.

14. What are common mistakes investigators make?

  • Not conducting a thorough investigation
  • Failing to gather all relevant evidence
  • Jumping to conclusions or making assumptions without proper evidence
  • Failing to follow proper procedures or protocols
  • Overstepping legal boundaries or engaging in unethical behaviour
  • Not maintaining proper documentation and record-keeping
  • Allowing personal biases or emotions to cloud judgment.

15. Which are some of the challenges faced by investigator?

The challenges faced by investigators include working long and irregular hours, encountering dangerous or hostile situations, managing multiple cases and deadlines, dealing with clients who may be uncooperative or difficult, and staying up-to-date with evolving technology and legal regulations.

16. How can we avoid private investigators?

It’s not possible to avoid private investigators entirely, as they are legally allowed to conduct investigations for various reasons. However, if you want to reduce the chances of being investigated, you can avoid engaging in any suspicious or illegal activity, maintain privacy settings on social media, and be cautious about who you give your personal information to.

17. What are the 7 qualities of investigator?

The seven qualities of an investigator are attention to detail, strong communication skills, critical thinking, resourcefulness, perseverance, discretion, and integrity.

18. Who makes a good investigator?

A person who is detail-oriented, analytical, logical, persistent, has common sense, and has excellent communication and problem-solving skills can make a good investigator. Having a strong work ethic, integrity, and an understanding of the law and investigative techniques can also contribute to success in the field.

19. What are the three most important skills that an investigator must have?

The three most important skills that an investigator must have are critical thinking, attention to detail, and effective communication.

20. What is the most important skill that an investigator can use?

The most important skill that an investigator can use is critical thinking.

21. Is investigator a stressful job?

Being a private investigator can be stressful, as it often involves dealing with high-pressure situations, and challenging cases. Investigators may also work long and irregular hours, which can add to the stress of the job. However, many investigators find the work to be rewarding and fulfilling, despite the challenges.

22. What knowledge does a good investigator have?

A good investigator has knowledge in various areas such as law, criminal justice system, surveillance techniques, forensic science, research, data analysis, and communication. They should also have specialized knowledge in their particular field of investigation, such as insurance fraud, corporate investigations, or criminal defense.

23. Which is not a quality of a good investigator?

One quality that is not desirable for a good investigator is dishonesty or lack of integrity. It is important for investigators to maintain high ethical standards and conduct their work in a lawful and honest manner.

24. What techniques are employed by an investigator?

Private investigators use a variety of techniques to gather information and conduct investigations, including surveillance, interviews and interrogations, research and analysis, undercover work, and the use of technology such as cameras and GPS tracking devices.

25. What will make you a more effective investigator?

Developing strong analytical and critical thinking skills, honing effective communication abilities, staying organized and detail-oriented, and being adaptable to changing situations are all important traits that can make an investigator more effective. Additionally, keeping up with advancements in technology and continuing to learn and improve one’s investigative techniques can also lead to greater success in the field.


As we conclude this blog, we hope that we have provided you with valuable insights and information on the world of private investigation. We understand that the industry can be complex and often misunderstood, but we hope that by answering these 25 frequently asked questions, we have shed some light on the reality of the profession.

If you are considering a career in private investigation, we encourage you to continue learning and developing your skills. If you require the services of a private investigator, we hope that you will do your research and choose a licensed and reputable professional.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out.

About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Whitney Joy Smith is a prominent figure in the field of private investigation and security, serving as the founder and CEO of The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., Smith Security Inc., and Training Centre Canada, as well as a sitting politician.

With a remarkable journey that began in the early 2000s, Whitney's professional background as a private investigator is underscored by her unwavering dedication to the role. Born in Canada and having spent her early years between Canada and the United States, Whitney possesses a unique perspective shaped by her experiences in both countries. This background equips her with an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of private investigative laws, regulations, and operational standards in North America.

Throughout her career, Whitney has garnered numerous industry awards and accolades. She takes great pride in working closely with her continually expanding agency, striving to elevate industry standards, maintain compliance, and effectively meet the diverse investigative needs of clients.

Whitney actively engages in various membership, committee, board and support roles, demonstrating her commitment to the industry and professional community. She is affiliated with all local chambers, associations and more.

Whitney's wealth of experience is not limited to her professional achievements; her thought-provoking articles have been featured in publications ranging from Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Mens Health to Business News Daily. She constantly seeks to redefine standards and push the boundaries of excellence within the private investigative and security fields.

To discover more about Whitney Joy Smith and the dedicated team at The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., visit our website to learn more.

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