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.

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.

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 63.7% of background investigators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 11.4% 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.

Learn More About How To Become a Background Investigator

Background Investigator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Background Investigator

Background Investigators in America make an average salary of $51,076 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $90,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Background Investigator Salary
$51,076 Yearly
$24.56 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Background Investigator Education

Background Investigator Majors

13.0 %

Background Investigator Degrees


63.7 %


16.1 %


11.4 %

Top Colleges for Background Investigators

1. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

3. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition

7. SUNY at Albany

Albany, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

9. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

10. SUNY College at Oswego

Oswego, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

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.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Background Investigator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Background Investigator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Background Investigator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Background Investigator Demographics

Background Investigator Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among background investigators, 50.4% of them are women, while 49.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among background investigators is White, which makes up 59.5% of all background investigators.

  • The most common foreign language among background investigators is Spanish at 67.2%.

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Top Background Investigator Employers

Most Common Employers For Background Investigator

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1City of Los Angeles$79,805$38.3711
3CSC Holdings LLC$76,138$36.607
4U.S. Office of Personnel Management$75,481$36.2914
5General Dynamics$67,173$32.294
6CACI International$65,471$31.48316
7Bank of America$64,493$31.015
8Systems Application & Technologies, Inc.$64,387$30.964
10Fidelity Investments$60,640$29.1515

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