Background Investigator position

I’m currently looking into a career change from being in local law enforcement. I applied to Peraton and was offered an interview and conditional offer for employment. However, I would be taking a major pay cut from my current position. For a full time position I was quoted at 17 an hour.Would anyone reccomend me starting in this field ? I’ve mostly read negative reviews.

Nope. Things are dire with no signs of improvement. I’ve made it 5 years and I’m trying to get out.

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If anything I would advise looking to work directly with DCSA and not with a contractor. Also 17/hr seems really low. I started somewhere around 21.


Also some further pertinent details. I’m still in my early 20’s with no college degree. I’m also blessed to be living with my parents still. Given this, would it be better to gain the experience and leave ?

I cannot recommend this field to someone in your position. I was an investigator for a few years; great experience but not a viable long term career path for a variety of reasons. The levels of stress and responsibility are FAR too high for the low pay.

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I’m surprised you’re “in law enforcement in your early 20s with no degree.” I’m equally surprised Peraton offered you an interview without a degree. And I’m shocked Peraton offered you 17$ an hr. Also posts always talk about low pay in this job but the ones making high pay never say anything. Some people are making very qgood money… if you have minimal bills due to living with parent’s get your degree to stay out of dead end jobs.

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Getting the clearance can help you move into different positions. It’s a lot of freedom and flexibility. The “badge” for this job does not get you the respect and cooperation a law enforcement badge can. That does seem very low pay for the skills required. Without a college degree they make assumptions that you are a very good reader/writer with very good people skills because of your previous job.

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I think it depends on if you know where you want your career to go. Being a background investigator, there isn’t much career growth. You can be a team lead, then regional lead and maybe make it to one of the upper mgmt positions, but in my experiences those openings don’t happen often. If you’re ok, not being a supervisor and want to work from home independently, flexible schedule and can deal with the stress, then it’s a good job. $17/hr is not low for starting out, most contractors start you out low b/c they want you to move up in levels (get promoted), so I’d make sure you understand their level metrics requirements because most of the time, the bump from Level 1 to level 2 is a big jump, then it levels off after that. Federal criminal investigator positions or US Marshal positions, offer more career growth, working with different agencies etc… If you just want to get out of local law enforcement, but want to stay on the criminal side, maybe look there. Keep in mind, most of the people who post here are really jaded with this job, so don’t just base your decision on the negative feedback you receive.

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What made you want to switch from local law enforcement to bi? Im actually a BI right now (5 years) and thinking about going into Law Enforcement.

Idk what Peraton is like since Im a BI with CACI but I am assuming all these contract companies will work you to the bone. Its a shiit show currently and there is no improvement. The work is overflowing and the expectations from management are unrealistic. But hey, some people like that…must be an abuse kink.

Either way, someone said on a previous thread that this job is a good job for those who are retiring and want to pick up some extra cash. If you are retiring from Local LE then I think this could be a good place for you. If you are still young, I am sure you can find something ALOT better with better pay. Yeah, $17 is very low. My starting was around $21.

I personally would not go for it. I will always discourage others from going into this field UNLESS it was with DCSA. Contract background investigations are bs. But hey, if you are strapped for cash and need a job then go for it…you will definitely get some type of experience that can help you become more marketable for other jobs. If you join…dont stay for too long.

Best of luck.


Given today’s environment that sounds very low… but also what I recall from when I was looking into these positions. At that time you could make more money as an assistant manager at a fast food joint.


I appreciate everyone’s responses.
By way of work experience, I’m currently in the Marine Corps Reserve as an Infantryman which may have helped my application get pushed through initially. From speaking with an investigator nearby it seems as though they are desperate to hire more Investigators due to the pandemic. I was just as surprised when I received the call for the interview.

For what it’s worth, I had a 32 year career in state law enforcement and another 10 years as a full time BI for three different companies, one of which was the predecessor to Peraton. I am now an IC with two companies. I quit the Peraton related company because of what I saw as inept management with unethical business practices. I don’t know what size your LE agency is but I suggest using your USMC experience to get some college credits and go for a promotion if it is a larger agency with chance of advancement. Otherwise consider state agencies. Most require two years of college or two years military and one year of college. All are large enough to offer various career paths in either uniform or investigator positions. If you still want the BI field, also apply to the others, CACI or Paragon and see who offers the best starting salary. All the contractors offer similar benefits including tuition assistance. Take advantage of them, continue your education and use your experience to enhance your resume to get a better job. The BI field is not a long term career and I know of only a few young people that lasted more than 5 years unless they went Federal. If Peraton is anxious to hire, negotiate a better starting salary. Good luck with whatever you decide.


If you need benefits, stick with full time employment. If not, Contractor work is more flexible and usually pays pretty well. Good way to gain some experience too.