General questions about this line of work

Wow, I didn’t know starting pay was that high! I have been doing this job for 18 years and my pay is $54,000. I think it’s time to ask my section lead what the hell that is about.


Or change companies. Peraton has levels rhat go up to 80s I believe and Paragon is very generous…
…disclaimer: Paragon miraculously got out of giving SCA leave so you would lose all weeks of vaca unless you can negotiate before hire. I lost 7.38 weeks of vaca per year because I assumed they all legally had to pay SCA…oops

How is this possible? Peraton as part of the DCSA contract is required to be pay its contractors and employees as part of the SCA. This doesn’t make sense.

On another note, if you are a Level 6 Investigator earning 70K to $80K at Peraton, I can only imagine your metric requirements and your lack of free time and extra curricular activities with balancing a 50 hour work week while getting paid for 40 in order to get all of your work done.

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They got taken to the labor board and won… supposedly because they are a new company making them exempt from the SCA Law. Total bull crap. Supposedly new companies arent required to participate in SCA leave.

The company not paying SCA is not Peraton per your previous reply. The company not paying SCA is Paragon.

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yeah, that’s what I figured. I can’t even meet level 3 metrics working an honest 40 hour work week, so it seems to me that in order to meet levels/pay of 3-4-5-6 you would have to be working off the clock and sacrificing your life. No thank you and shame on those who consistently cheat to have great numbers.


In my opinion, the biggest challenge with this job is the repetitiveness. You will be assigned a boatload of cases and work your butt off to get them in by the due date. Before you have time to exhale and pat yourself on the back for all the work you did, you’re assigned another boatload of cases. Rinse, wash, repeat. Some people can handle that type of work and more power to them, I just can’t do it anymore, and that’s why I’m on my way out.


If you choose to take the job it will be the worst job you will ever work.

It is soul sucking. It will destroy your mental vitality and acuity. It will ruin your physical health. It will vitiate your personal life.

Worst of all is these aforementioned things will directly affect any future job and career so the damage done could be irreparable. It is so not worth it for a job that pays between what a 32-hour/week Instacart shopper and Amazon driver makes.


I wouldn’t base you’re taking this job off of what users comment on here. Most of the people who comment are burned out and cynical about this job. There are 1000s of other investigators who still enjoy this job and are not totally burned out, I am one of them.

  • Depending on where you live in GA will more than likely depend on what your coverage area is. That is a question you can ask the recruiter or your potential supervisor, if you interview with them. I went from a metro area, where I was able to take the public transportation to a rural area with a 100 mile radius. So yes, I put miles on the car. You’ll submit expense reports with your mileage and get paid whatever the going federal mileage rate is…around .55/mile (i forget what it is exactly).

  • Yes, there is job security. Regardless of who wins the rebid, the companies on the contract will still need investigators. There are also multiple contracts, all need investigators. With that being said, if this isn’t the job for you, there will not be job security because what you transmit and the quality of your work is closely monitored. So basically if you’re not good at the job, you’ll be put on a performance improvement plan, and ultimately fired if you can’t cut it. You’ll be given tools/mentor to do the job.

  • You will need to keep a daily log of your time (and mileage) and enter it on a timecard. You can be audited at any time and will have to show how you spent your day. You’re time on your computer is also monitored so they’ll know when you log in/off

  • 50K is good and once you get promoted, you’ll get a raise

  • This job is not for everyone. If you want recognition, low stress, and want to move up in the career into management etc… this is not the position. If you don’t want the gov’t knowing everything about you, if you don’t like following 1000s of pages of guidance - not the job for you. You will have days where you want to bang your head against the wall and quit. There are times where it is stressful - your first year will be horrible. If you want a job with a flexible schedule, work independently, and have the potential to get paid pretty decent in low cost of living area, not want to be a supervisor, then this is a good job.

Make sure you understand all of the benefits Paragon is offering now. You won’t be able to start until after your investigation is completed (unless you already hold a TS), and that might not be until after the rebid. Ask questions about the rebid to the recruiter and what that would mean for your investigatin.

I agree with the duetooversight who said to find a mentor to bounce questions off of. Your teammates and investigators you go through training with will be your support, there will be weeks you will talk to them multiple times a day. It is very solitary, especially with a lot of work being conducted from home.

50K is good

Perhaps in 1990. For a non-professional.


I think saying 1000s still happy is a bit of an overestimate. As someone who has being doing this job for almost two decades, I have seen the turnover and I have yet to hear an investigator say they missed the job once they left it. Quite the opposite the main thing I hear is they wish they would have quit sooner and their life has improved, stress levels went down after leaving the job. I absolutely hate the job and the only reason I am still doing it is because of the flexibility of making your own schedule. That, to me, is the only benefit.


Sounds terrific. Sign up the new guy immediately.


The most important thing to remember about reading these replies on this thread is that most of the people frequenting these types of threads are investigators who are burnt out and not happy. You won’t hear from the many other investigators who are very happy in their position.

I’m a bit in the middle so hopefully my answers are fairly balanced.

  • you can expect a decent amount of miles but nothing too different than driving to and from any normal job every day. Most work will ideally be in your local area, with some requiring a little further travel every so often.

  • job security, it really depends how you look at that. This industry is known for requiring overtime, hiring like crazy, losing a contract, and then laying everybody off… cycle repeats over and over again. THAT BEING SAID - the experience gained when you start with any contractor is invaluable. Especially in this industry, you can VERY easily hop to another contractor if the one you’re working for loses the contract.
    So, job security as in you’ll keep that same job forever? No, probably not. But you’ll have the experience to easily get another similar job whenever you may need to.

  • overtime is just you keeping track of your own hours. They all just trust you to log your own hours and work on your own schedule.

  • 50k is VERY good starting salary for this. That is literally double what i started at out of college.

  • i would take the job and get the experience at the very least. You’ve received a VERY fair starting salary and you may even get your clearance upgraded if things work out. Worst case scenario you get laid off, made a few bucks over the past few months, have something else to add to your resume, and just start looking again.

It seems like a no brainer based on what you’ve said.

Level 6 at peraton is around ~75k and yes they work you like a DOG.

At CACI and Securitas, the lower levels get paid more and the high level caps at around 90k base from what i was making.

That being said, they all work you like a dog haha


Peraton just implemented increases for all levels so it’s now appx 10-15k higher. That level 6 amount is the old range. They are still offering bonuses and have vacation matching.


Run. Do not take this job. My spouse makes 4+ times what I earn in a different highly sought after field by working smarter, not harder. This job and it’s respective agencies/contractors want you to do the exact opposite. Trust your gut and do not waste a second longer considering this position.


Hi team. If anyone here has already request a copy of their complete background investigation from OPM.?If yes can u please describe how it looks like? I want know what to expect plz.

@FIzen and @ForBo - Might be more positive & beneficial to reconsider a few of your above statements. It’s actually great to hear your perspective and even refreshing to hear how much you enjoy the job, you provided great detail in your comments for a potential New Hire/New Investigator. Others on this site have also provided their perspectives too for a new hire who is inquiring, their opinions are just as valid as your opinions. In my opinion, the below comment is inaccurate and not a valid representation, to say the least.

  • “Most of the people who comment are burned out and cynical about this job. There are 1000s of other investigators who still enjoy this job and are not totally burned out, I am one of them.”

Some clarification is needed regarding several above posts in this thread, it’s unprofessional to presume or make assumptions about the Professionals that are posting on this Site. I would never presume to know how a “New Investigator” just beginning their career in this Industry might feel about the Job/Position in general…might be best to avoid assuming that perspectives from “seasoned” Professionals working in this Industry are somehow false, invalid, are “jaded” statements, or contain biased information. Furthermore, there are not “thousands” (1,000’s+ plus) Investigators that even do the Investigative Fieldwork on this specific Contract…rather there are approximately 3,000 Total (that number includes a lot of other Staff and different Companies!) Basically, it’s a very very small world!

To give a bit of well-rounded perspective…I am a passionate, dedicated, intelligent, and successful professional and I have always enjoyed my actual job from the day I started as an Investigator throughout my lifelong career. I have held many different roles within this Industry, each position I’ve enjoyed. I’ve been working in this Industry for over 2.5 decades and prior to even 09/11, why would anyone assume Investigators are providing biased information simply because they are more experienced than others? There is a wealth of knowledge across the Industry and differing comments/opinions are made from a diverse group of individuals on this Site. Professionals who started prior to privatization, prior to USIS folding, prior to the Contract Company KP/Peraton even existing, Full-Time/Part-Time Contract Investigators, Federal Investigators, ect.

As I’ve said soo many times before, Investigators should be supportive of one another because no one else within this Industry is going to provide that level of support (peer-to-peer) and Investigators will only have “strength in numbers” for any change that is needed, no Management at any of the Contract Companies or within the Federal Government Agencies that have the responsibility of 'Oversight" will ever stand-up for an Investigator. It’s imperative that everyone doing the actual “critical work” are a cohesive unit, especially when it comes to valid concerns and issues being raised. How will this Industry create the changes that are needed if everyone who makes this operation come together is constantly arguing with one another? Take all of these valid issues and concerns to your Managers, Executive Leadership, the Federal Agencies, or the Regulatory Oversight Organizations involved.

*The thing I enjoyed most about this job was and has always been my colleagues…all of the Investigators (in my opinion the passion in this job is not found in the salary or in the inner office politics & management!)


@ChrsL1987- You have been lucky enough to hear from a lot of Investigators on this site regarding their perspectives as well as how it relates to the job itself and the Company who has made you an offer.

I hope you are able to consider all of these differing opinions…it’s true that we do not all agree on certain issues related to the job, companies, and the industry itself…however it appears that the comments tied to this post and thread are genuine and were made in good faith based on your inquiry.

*Good luck with whatever decision you make! I’m sure you will make a decision that is right for your situation. Never fear, if the job is not for you…you will likely know within the first year and can move onto something else. Nothing in life related to a job is ever permanent!

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