HOW TO BECOME A TEXAS PI
Becoming a Texas Private Investigator is a journey. It’s not like other jobs. One needs training, practice, mentoring, and experience. It may be the greatest job on the planet, but it requires commitment.
If you believe you have what it takes to be a PI, you are probably right. But it will only happen if you commit yourself to do what is necessary to build your career.
Before becoming a Texas PI, one should decide whether they want to become a Surveillance Specialist or an OSINT Specialist or both. At STRIDER we believe that everyone should learn surveillance first of all and then move on to developing other foundational and niche skills.
Many consider Criminal Investigations and Undercover Operations to be foundational skills, but not everyone. There are investigators who have very limited skills and serve a very unique client focusing on something such as oil well measuring devices. But if you want to get on the path of becoming a true PI, then follow this formula:
training + practice (field exercises or live cases) + mentoring = growth as a PI
Do this, then repeat, and you will become the PI you imagine yourself to be. Even PI’s with years of experience still do many hours of training each year, because they enjoy learning new things and they enjoy getting better.
If you want to become a private investigator in Texas, we have four courses to help you become the kind of PI that you want to be. Strider Private Investigator Training (“SPIT” for short) starts with Surveillance School, which we call “SURF SCHOOL”. Surveillance is the first foundational skill of all private investigators.
Please read some of our blogs on How to Become a Private Investigator This is the beginning of a great journey. Enjoy it.
A Surveillance Specialist can handle a variety of cases but can also complete surveillance missions for virtually any kind of case. The key skills needed for surveillance are: photography, report writing, driving, camouflage, and the “follow”. There are four kinds of surveillance and all PI’s should at least understand if not excel at them: static, mobile, foot, and electronic. There are two primary environments (urban and rural), and three personnel structures (single, partner, and team). There are also dozens of techniques. Surveillance is a challenging and fulfilling profession all by itself. There are many professionals who only do this.
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An OSINT Specialist specializes in investigations and/or intelligence using computers. “OSINT” stands for “Open Source Intelligence”. It includes social media, limited-access databases (only cops and PI’s), court records, deep web searches, and much more. OSINT Specialists must know not only how to search and locate information on subjects (or events, organizations, locations, etc.), but also defend themselves and their team from electronic counter-surveillance. OSINT experts are highly-valued private investigators even if they never leave the office.
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Especially for those licensed private investigators without a law enforcement background, it is important to understand criminal investigations. This specialty includes such things as: Evidence Identification, Evidence Collection and Processing, Texas Law, Types of Evidence, Investigative Reports, Criminal Defense Investigations, as well as Investigative Techniques for homicide, robbery, burglary, theft, assault, sexual assault, and minor crimes.
A criminal investigator is normally a highly-experienced former law enforcement investigator, but there are examples of investigators who started with relatively little experience and became well-known private criminal investigators. No matter what kind of PI career you seek, knowing the fundamentals of criminal investigation will come in handy many times and help you become a better PI.
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Not all PI’s have what it takes to work undercover. But it is the one foundational skill that is needed for “close-in” work. Undercover Ops can be a game-changer in any investigation, so this work is highly valued. A good undercover operator understands acting, clothing, disguise, how to develop and protect their cover, the use of props, and many more things. It is exciting work that should only be attempted by those with skills in all the other areas of investigation.