1099 investigator

I have a question regarding 1099 investigators. I’m currently an 1811 eligible to retire in 2019. I’ve talked to a few investigators but only briefly. I’ve heard third hand that some retired 1811s love doing the contract background investigator job. I really haven’t heard much bad about it but it’s only third hand that I’ve heard this information.
What I usually hear is it’s great you can work 3 days a week and make decent money. If you want more money work 4 or 5 days a week. You also get the chance to travel and do a detail to help out another city every now and then.
My question is, is this true? I spoke to the last guy that did an update in our office. He said he went from full time to a contract investigator and makes more money. I see contract investigator jobs posted quite often. There seems to be more negative posts here but I also understand most people here are trying to do it full time not as a contractor working part time.
Can I really work three to four days a week and enjoy the job?

Before I can answer, what is an 1811?

Your income depends on your local work load, your ability to adjust to the background investigation world/processes, and your time management.

GS-1811 Criminal Investigator (Special Agent).

Eligible to retire at age 50, mandatory at age 57.
I am elible in 2019 and don’t have to worry about benefits and am interested in working part time. Many people say you can work part time and make the same or more amount of money than if you stay after you are eligible to retire.

You need to track down a local independent contractor to get the scoop for your area.

The amount of money you make depends on the available workload and how quickly you can close cases that meet your sponsor’s and NBIB reporting/coverage standards.

As a 1099 - you are paid a flat rate by the piece (case item types), not by the time you spend on the case. This is why it is important for you to learn how to meet the NBIB reporting/coverage standards quickly so you don’t waste time reworking your cases. You also have to manage your own payroll and income tax payments.


Unless you can’t find any other work, don’t do this job. The headache is not worth anyone’s time. The turnover is very high, the reviewers nitpick your work to death. Yes, some reopens are legitimate, however some are petty (put the period here or start the sentence with a different word). Sometimes the reviewers don’t even know the correct guidance and you spend precious time trying to get a hold of them to tell them they are wrong for reopening you. They will also reopen you right before a 4 day holiday weekend, basically forcing you to miss the 5 day turn around for a reopen.

From what I understand, contractors make pretty decent money, even doing it part time. I recently trained an investigator who works for a company that is subcontracted by the prime contractor I work for and she makes something like $250 just for a subject interview report. Of course she’s getting hosed on her pay because the subcontractor she works for takes a cut before paying her but in my eyes $250 is a pretty decent chunk for a 1 - 2 hour interview and maybe an hour typing it up (not including travel time). I’d stay away from any companies that subcontract like 1FORCE or whatever it is and try to contract directly so you don’t have a middle man taking a cut off your work. From what I understand contractors can pick and choose which cases and items they would like to work and I’ve ran into a couple in the field who only work 2 - 3 days a week and they’re making more than me. You won’t be reimbursed expenses such as mileage and supplies but it seems the pay more than makes up for that.

How do you contract directly? Do you mean go through a company like Perspecta?

From what I understand, you can contract directly with Perspecta but they require you to have at least a year of experience on the NBIB contract.