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Background Investigator Careers

Background investigators research potential hires to verify their submitted information. They gather data, check documents, and contact previous employers to find out as much about the candidates as they can.

You will conduct interviews with law enforcement officials, family members, or neighbors to ensure everything stated on the resume checks out and criminal records are clean. You will assemble reports on your findings and present them to decision-makers.

This is not your average office job. This position requires a good deal of personal initiative and independent thinking. You will conduct proper investigations, so you need to get creative to get the information you need and be aware of available techniques at your disposal as well.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a background investigator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $24.72 an hour? That's $51,408 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 2,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Background Investigator Do

There are certain skills that many background investigators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, empathy and good judgment.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a background investigator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.5% of background investigators included face-to-face interviews, while 9.7% of resumes included law enforcement, and 8.9% of resumes included financial institutions. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the background investigator job title. But what industry to start with? Most background investigators actually find jobs in the technology and finance industries.

How To Become a Background Investigator

If you're interested in becoming a background investigator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 55.5% of background investigators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.0% of background investigators have master's degrees. Even though most background investigators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a background investigator. When we researched the most common majors for a background investigator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on background investigator resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a background investigator. In fact, many background investigator jobs require experience in a role such as police officer. Meanwhile, many background investigators also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or special agent.

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Average Salary
$51,408
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
12,965
Job Openings

Background Investigator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Background Investigator

Top Careers After Background Investigator

Background Investigator Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Background Investigator

Background Investigators in America make an average salary of $51,408 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $78,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $33,000 per year.
Average Salary
$51,408
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Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
LTD Appt-Background Investigator
LTD Appt-Background Investigator
The City of Rochester, Mn
The City of Rochester, Mn
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$52,17506/25/2021
$52,175
Background Investigator 1764
Background Investigator 1764
The City of Los Angeles
The City of Los Angeles
06/18/2021
06/18/2021
$79,07206/18/2021
$79,072
Background Investigator IV
Background Investigator IV
General Dynamics
General Dynamics
05/22/2021
05/22/2021
$51,21505/22/2021
$51,215
Background Investigator
Background Investigator
City of Denver
City of Denver
05/21/2021
05/21/2021
$51,86205/21/2021
$51,862
Background Investigator
Background Investigator
Lincoln County
Lincoln County
05/19/2021
05/19/2021
$54,84605/19/2021
$54,846

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Background Investigator Demographics

Gender

female

50.0 %

male

46.2 %

unknown

3.8 %

Ethnicity

White

60.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.6 %

Black or African American

15.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.2 %

Arabic

4.5 %

Portuguese

3.0 %
See More Demographics

Background Investigator Education

Majors

Business
13.1 %

Degrees

Bachelors

55.5 %

Certificate

14.2 %

Associate

14.0 %

Top Colleges for Background Investigators

1. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

2. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

3. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

4. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

5. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

6. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

7. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,011
Enrollment
13,434

8. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$3,926
Enrollment
9,835

9. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,369
Enrollment
5,229

10. SUNY College at Oswego

Oswego, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,440
Enrollment
7,039
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Background Investigator That You May Like

IFCI Expert Cybercrime Investigator's Course
udemy
4.3
(362)

Protect your network - Put cybercriminals in jail. Learn computer forensics, malware analysis and hacker investigations...

International Law In Action: Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes
coursera

'Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes' is the second course in Leiden University's new series on International Law in Action. The first course covered international courts and tribunals in The Hague in general. This second course provides an insider perspective into the work of international criminal courts and tribunals. You will learn about the investigation and prosecution of international crimes in The Hague. Atrocities produce unspeakable forms of violence. We will explore whe...

Introduction to Criminal Law
ed2go

An in-depth look at criminal law and the real world of prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the paralegals who work closely with them...

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Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Background Investigator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.5% of background investigators listed face-to-face interviews on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and empathy are important as well.

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Top Background Investigator Employers

1. CACI International
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$69,121
Background Investigators Hired: 
316+
2. CARCO
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$64,505
Background Investigators Hired: 
28+
3. Fidelity Investments
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$86,729
Background Investigators Hired: 
14+
4. Kroll
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$69,345
Background Investigators Hired: 
14+
5. Creative
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$84,301
Background Investigators Hired: 
13+
6. Pre Brands
3.5
Avg. Salary: 
$87,907
Background Investigators Hired: 
11+

Background Investigator Videos

Updated October 2, 2020