How to Become a Fraud Investigator

Learn about how to become a fraud investigator through the following guide, which provides details on the experience, educational, and training requirements to enter this career.

Should I Become a Fraud Investigator?

Fraud investigators are detectives that work on potential fraud and embezzlement cases. They interview people to gather information, conduct surveillance, search court data, and check for criminal histories in their investigations. Often, these investigators work for insurance companies, the government, or financial and insurance departments in organizations.

The following table provides a quick look into the career of a private detective and investigator.

Education Required High School Diploma or a College Degree
Training On-the-job training
Licenses/Certifications Most states require investigators to be licensed
Key Skills Analytical skills, Communication Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Math Skills and Attention to Detail
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National $57,000 (Private Detectives and Investigators)
Job Outlook (2018-28) 8%

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for a Fraud Investigator

Jobs for private detectives and investigators are expected to grow by 8% in the years from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This high demand will be largely caused by the continued lawsuits, funds embezzlement, and frauds in big corporations. Competition for jobs in this occupation will be strong. Candidates with related work experience and higher education credentials would have better job prospects.

Steps to Become a Fraud Investigator

Complete the Educational Requirements

Most detectives and investigators enter this field with a high school diploma and relevant experience. However, it is recommended that you consider getting a college degree in investigative techniques or finance and law. 2- or 4-year long degrees in criminal justice are also common education choices for fraud investigators.

Complete the Training Requirements

Most detectives and fraud investigators would be required to complete some level of on-the-job training. This can go on for several months or even a year, depending on the nature of work. Once hired, fraud investigators typically work under the supervision of an experienced investigator, working on small and low-priority cases first.

Get Licensed

Licensing requirements for fraud investigators vary from state to state. Some states have few requirements in place while others require specific pre-licensing education or passing a licensing exam. In some cases, fraud investigators may not need to be licensed because they work under a company license. Private investigators are almost always required to have a license.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Fraud Investigator?

In order to become a fraud investigator, candidates can expect to invest 1 to 4 years in education and training after high school. This covers a 2-year long associate’s degree in criminal justice or a 4-year long bachelor’s degree in a related subject, followed by a few months of on-the-job training.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Fraud Investigator?

Becoming a fraud investigator requires the fulfillment of the following requirements:

  • Completion of a college degree and/or related work experience
  • Applying for and getting a job in an investigative firm
  • Completing on-the-job training requirements
  • Advance to a senior fraud investigator position working on bigger cases

How Much Can I Make as a Fraud Investigator?

According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Private Detectives and Investigators made an annual mean income of $57,000 in 2019. The top paying state for this occupation was District of Columbia, which paid an annual mean wage of $69,790, while the top paying industry was Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, paying an annual mean wage of $91,300. The similar occupation field of Claims Adjusters, Examiners and Investigators made an annual mean wage of $68,940, while Insurance Appraisers earned $66,240 in 2019.