Being a private investigator can be an exciting and rewarding career. However, it is essential to understand the licensing requirements and salary potential before deciding.
Private investigators don’t just exist in movies and television shows; some make a career out of it in real life, including in Singapore. We’ll take you through the process of becoming a private investigator, including the necessary licence and course required. We will also provide an overview of the salary range for private investigators in Singapore.
What does a private investigator do?
Private investigators in Singapore are responsible for conducting investigations into various matters such as:
- Cheating spouses or partners
- Background checks
- Fraud investigations
- Locating missing persons
- Intellectual property investigations
Private investigators typically work for clients who have specific needs or concerns.
For example, a client may suspect their spouse of cheating and hire a private investigator to conduct surveillance and gather evidence. Or someone may hire a private investigator to search for a missing relative.
In these cases, the private investigator would be responsible for conducting research and interviews, and gathering evidence to support their findings.
They can also work for insurance companies to investigate fraud cases or lawyers to gather evidence for a court case.
How do I become a private investigator in Singapore?
Becoming a private investigator in Singapore is a process that will require some effort, time and money.
The first step is to determine if you meet the basic requirements to work as a private investigator in Singapore. You must be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident, and above 16 years old. You must also be a “proper” person with no criminal associations, and be physically fit.
Next, you will need to complete a course in private investigation and pass the ‘Perform Investigation Activities in Compliance with Legal Requirements’ module to obtain the Workforce Skills Qualification certification. You can find the course at local institutes or online.
After passing the module, you will undergo a medical examination. You will also need to submit a scanned copy of your passport if you’re a permanent resident.
Once you have submitted all the necessary documents to the Singapore Police Force, you will be issued a Private Investigator's Licence, which will be valid for five years. There is a non-refundable processing fee of S$16.
If you are caught working without a valid licence, you may be fined up to S$10,000 and/or jailed for up to two years.
Private investigator salary
The average salary for a private investigator is around S$72,000 per year in Singapore. The salary range for a private investigator is between S$65,000 and S$80,000 per year. The salary will depend on the number of years of experience and the quality of the investigation.
Private investigators in Singapore can earn a bonus of up to S$2,700 per year. The bonus amount depends on the number of cases solved and the quality of the investigation.
Clients can expect to pay between S$136 and S$272 per hour for the services of a private investigator in Singapore. The hourly rate will depend on the nature of the investigation and the private investigator's experience.
Most private investigators in Singapore work for private investigation agencies. However, some investigators choose to start their own firms.
Private investigator course
As mentioned, you’ll need to undergo the ‘Perform Investigation Activities in Compliance with Legal Requirements’ module in order to obtain the private investigator licence. The module covers such aspects as:
- Conducting surveillance
- Concluding investigation
- Managing evidence and court proceedings
The course costs around S$800, with subsidies for citizens, permanent residents and long term visitor plus holders.
Is it legal to hire a private investigator?
Hiring a private investigator is legal in Singapore. However, certain restrictions apply to their work. These are aspects that they can take on:
- Obtaining and giving information about persons
- Searching for missing persons
- Obtaining and giving information on the cause and origin of fire, libel, loss or accident or damage to property
- Obtaining and giving information on the location or recovery of lost or stolen property
- Obtaining evidence to be used in civil or criminal proceedings
Popular investigation agencies in Singapore
If you are thinking of becoming a private investigator in Singapore, it is essential to do your research first. One of the best ways to get started is to find out about the different investigation agencies in Singapore. Here are five of the most popular ones:
Privateye Investigation & Consultancy
Privateye Investigation & Consultancy is a licensed private investigator company that provides professional investigative services to individuals, businesses and organisations in Singapore and around the region.
With vast experience, a team of skilled investigators, and state-of-the-art equipment, Privateye can handle a wide range of investigations, including corporate fraud and embezzlement, anti-counterfeiting and product piracy, due diligence checks, background screening, missing person cases, and more.
Address: 60 Paya Lebar Road, #12-41, Paya Lebar Square (Office Lobby 2), Singapore 409051
Contact: 6386 2010
Asia Top Investigation
Asia Top Investigation is another well-known private investigation agency in Singapore. They are also one of the first to offer specialised digital forensic services.
Asia Top Investigation has a team of highly experienced and certified private investigators who utilise the latest technologies and equipment to provide their clients with the best possible results.
With over a decade of experience, Asia Top Investigation is one of Singapore's most trusted investigation agencies.
Address: 31 Rochester Drive, Suite 1, Level 24, Singapore 138637
Contact: 8820 0007
Catch Cheating Spouse by Kokusai Security
Catch Cheating Spouse by Kokusai Security is also a popular investigation agency in Singapore. It offers a wide range of investigation services, including matrimonial investigations, tracing missing persons, background checks, and fraud investigations.
Established in 1984, Kokusai Security has successfully served thousands of clients in Singapore and other parts of the world.
Address: 111 North Bridge Road, #08-15, Peninsula Plaza, Singapore 179098
Contact: 6292 9293
AK Global Investigation
AK Global Investigation is another top private investigation agency in Singapore. They offer a wide range of services, including background checks, missing person searches, and corporate investigations.
If you're interested in becoming a private investigator in Singapore, AK Global Investigation is an excellent place to start. They offer comprehensive training programmes to give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in this field.
Address: 5001 Beach Road, #07-52, Golden Mile Complex, Singapore 199588
Contact: 6222 7227
Baker Street Private Investigator
Baker Street Private Investigator is a well-established investigation agency in Singapore. They offer a wide range of investigation services for individuals, businesses and organisations.
Some of the services they offer include background checks, asset tracking, recovery, employee screening, and surveillance services.
Baker Street Private Investigator is a licensed private investigation agency in Singapore. They are also members of the Asia Pacific Association of Private Investigators (APAPI).
Address: 1 North Bridge Road, #01-02, High Street Center, Singapore 179094
Contact: 9068 6920
So, if you're thinking of becoming a private investigator in Singapore, there's a lot to consider. The good news is that the industry is growing, and there are plenty of opportunities for those with the right skills and qualifications.
The most important thing is to make sure you get your licence, then you can start taking on clients. There is a range of courses available to help you develop the necessary skills, and salaries in the industry are competitive.
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