What is the Difference Between Private Investigators and Private Detectives?

By | June 2, 2011

Most people these days face various problems, personal or professional. While there are some things that can be solved on our own, some can be resolved only with the help of a private investigator. The specialized person involved in investigation and problem solving for individuals, government organizations, or business organizations should have specific skills. The investigation services include various areas like fraud, missing persons, surveillance, and many others.

Private detectives and private investigators are the two common terms used for investigation of people. Both are used interchangeably. Very few states call the special persons as detectives. However, in most of the states they are referred as investigators.

However, there is a certain difference between private investigators and private detectives. The most important and the basic difference between them is the type of duties performed by them. Private investigators are the people who are involved in providing investigation services for private citizens. So they are not associated with investigation works of police or other government organizations. However, some insurance companies hire investigators to check their customers and certain suspicious claims. Whereas, private detectives work for government agencies and help them in criminal matters. The term detective is mostly used for referring police work. It is better to know the difference between them to choose the right one based on your cases. For example, for a divorce case you can hire a private investigator and for corporation investigations you can hire a private detective. However, the terms are interchangeable in some states. Wherever they may work, they should have a certified license for working.