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About Private Investigation Careers in Alberta

The following information is a comprehensive compilation of the key information related to security guard and other security careers. If this is a career you are considering for yourself, this information will help assist you in your decision making process and guide you in next steps towards becoming a security professional in the province of Alberta.

What is Private Investigations?

This protection career includes many diverse roles such as internal investigations, gathering information for a lawyer or private client, location of persons, and corporate due diligence (such as prior to entering into a business deal). They also undertake investigations into theft, loss, fraud and many other types of activity that businesses want to discourage and control. Investigative security roles are quite broad and offer diverse opportunities in industries such as retail, insurance, financial, legal, government and private clients. You must have a current, valid Security Services Investigations licence to work as a Private Investigator in the province of Alberta.

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What does a Private Investigator do?

Private investigators collect, capture and acquire information to solidify evidence into different personal, corporate or legal matters.

As part of their role, they may be required to:

  • Do pre-employment checks

  • Conduct searches for missing persons

  • Reduce loss caused by theft or fraud in businesses

  • Watch disability insurance claimants to see if they are committing insurance fraud

  • Gather information for lawyers about defendants or witnesses in criminal and civil court cases

  • Gather information for individuals in divorce or child custody cases

  • Work with government agencies, such as provincial family maintenance agencies

 

To gather the information and evidence they need, private investigators may:

  • Interview witnesses, employers, friends, relatives, and other sources to obtain statements

  • Take photographs and record events

  • Search through public records

  • Keep individuals under surveillance, within the means of the law

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What can you expect from a private investigator job?

Average hourly wage: $20.09

Average annual salary: $38.019

Job demand: Medium to high

Outlook: Above average

Types of hours: Varies depending on the type of work and shift

Physical activity: Varies depending on the type of work and shift

Dress code: Uniform

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Want to learn more about private investigation jobs?

  • Alberta Labour and Immigration Services has some great information on their website about this career

  • If you know someone who works in private investigations, talk to them! Ask them questions about their role. Find out what they do, what they like and what they don't like. If you don't know anyone in the industry yet, make new connections by searching LinkedIn, CAPI or AAPI.

  • Job shadowing is sometimes possible, but in most cases this isn't an option due to to the sensitive nature of the work.

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How can you start a career in private investigations?

If you want to start a career as a Private Investigator, completing the Alberta Investigators Training (AIT) course is the first requirement. Tip of Spear's online AIT course was the first in the province to be accredited by the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General as an approved program for entry and is the the legal mandatory minimum training to be a licensed Private Investigator in the province of Alberta - effective June 1, 2011. This program is offered in Online format only.

The following four steps explain how to become a private investigator in Alberta:

  1. Check to make sure you meet the requirements of becoming a licenced security guard in Alberta.

  2. Take the Alberta Investigator Training (AIT) course online.

  3. Pass the Government Final Exam either online or in-person.

    • Once the training has been FULLY completed, you must pass the government final exam to be able to apply for your licence and work as a private investigator.  For more information about the exam, including dates for the exam and booking online, please go to Exam Booking: ABST & AIT. ​NOTE:  Government exams are offered online and in-person at our facility in Edmonton.

    • For those who pass their exam, as of January 2023, you will receive your certificate from the Solicitor General of Alberta by E-mail 2-3 business days after the exam.  Once you have this, you may apply for your Security Services license using the instructions in the following section.​

  4. Apply for the Security Services Licence

    • Click on the link for instructions on how to apply for your Security Services Licence, including: basic requirements, what information you will need to gather together, and how to submit your application.​ The process is the same for security guards and private investigators.

AIT
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