How to become a detective in Australia

You may have seen how a detective works in tv shows and movies, however, it’s not always as glamorous as it appears on the big screen. How to become a detective in Australia is what we are going to discuss in this blog post.

A detective is a person who investigates crimes, gathers evidence and solves cases. In Australia, there are different types of detective agencies, such as the police force and private detective agencies.

A real life detective or private investigator Australia requires specific skills, training, and education. So, how to become a detective in Australia? You need to follow specific steps to get started on your career path. So let us guide you on how to become a detective in Australia.

What does a detective do?

detective studying for a case

Before jumpstarting your career as a detective, it’s important to know what detectives do on a daily basis. A detective is responsible for investigating crimes, gathering evidence and solving cases. They are the ones who investigate a special, complex and several cases of different nature.

Responsibilities of a detective may include:

  • Conducting surveillance
  • Interviewing witnesses and victims
  • Interrogating suspects
  • Analysing evidence
  • Writing reports
  • Testifying in court

Types of cases that detectives work on

Detectives in Australia usually work on either federal or state level cases. The type of case they work on will depend on the detective agency they are working for.

For example, federal detectives may work on cases that cross state borders or involve interstate crime. Whereas, state detectives usually work on cases that occur within the state they are assigned to:

Other types of cases that detectives work on include:

  • Drug offences
  • Fraud
  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Embezzlement
  • Homicide
  • Cybercrime

Types of detectives

As mentioned, there are two types of detectives in Australia, these are the police and private investigators.

Police detectives are law enforcement officers who work for the police force. They investigate crimes that have been committed and gather evidence to support their case. The usually become a detective through promotion from within the police force.

Private investigators or private detectives are individuals who are hired by individuals or businesses to investigate a specific case. They are not law enforcement officers but are trained in investigation methods. Typically, to be a private investigator, you will need a license in order to gather evidence and interview people.

How to become a detective in Australia?

Depending on the type of detective you want to become, the steps you need to take will vary.

Police Detectives

For police detectives, you will need to join the police force and work your way up the ranks. To become a police officer in Australia, you will need to be at least 18 years of age and have completed Year 12 or equivalent.

You will also need to pass a National Police Officer Selection Test (NPOST). Once you have been accepted into the police force, you will need to complete on-the-job training as well as formal classroom training.

After a few years of experience, you will be able to apply for the position of detective.

Private Investigators

For private investigators, you will need to obtain a license in order to work in Australia. To obtain a license, you will need to be over the age of 18 and have completed an accredited investigation course.

Here are a specific list of requirements that you will need to meet in order to obtain a license:

Education and training requirements

private investigator readings

For the educational requirement, you will need to have either completed a Certificate III in Investigative Services or a Diploma of Investigative Services.

These courses can be completed online or through a registered training organisation.

Experience requirements

You will also need to have at least two years of experience working as an investigator in order to obtain a license.

This experience can be obtained through working as a police officer, private investigator or in a similar role.

Character requirements

You will also need to be of good character in order to obtain a license. This means that you cannot have any criminal convictions on your record.

If you meet all of the above requirements, you will then need to submit an application to the security licensing branch in your state or territory.

You will also need to pay the application fee and undergo a criminal history check.

Once you have been granted a license, you will need to renew it every three years.

What qualities do you need to be a successful detective in Australia?

To be a successful detective, you will need to have certain qualities and skills. These include:

  1. Analytical skills – To be able to analyze information and solve problems
  2. Interpersonal skills – To be able to build relationships with people and understand their motives
  3. Communication skills – To be able to communicate effectively with people
  4. Observation skills – To be able to notice small details
  5. Research skills – To be able to find information and evidence
  6. Creative thinking – To be able to come up with new ideas and solve problems in innovative ways
  7. Patience – To be able to wait for results and not give up when things get tough
  8. Determination – To be able to see a case through to the end

These are just some of the qualities that you will need to be a successful detective. If you have these qualities, then you may have what it takes to be a detective.

Start Your Detective Careers with Triumph Australia

Triumph Australia is a leading provider of investigation services. We have a team of experienced and qualified detectives who can help you with your case.

With 167 Specialist investigators around Australia, we have the resources and expertise to assist you with your investigation. We serve both the public and private sector, and we have a wealth of experience in conducting all types of investigations.

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you become a successful detective. Simply contact us on 1300 721 715 or email us at and we will be in touch with you shortly.


With an excellent team of Elite Investigators with many years of experience, we definitely have the know how to bring you the results that you are seeking