Peraton Background Investigator (Day in the Life)

Just got hired with Peraton, still awaiting my security clearance. Been doing research but can never find what a true day in the life of a background investigator is like.

Can any current or former investigators share what every day work is like? (All levels/other organizations are welcomed to answer too).

What were some differences in the work when you got promoted to the next level?

Thank you!

This is difficult because truly every day is different. Yesterday I did two ESIs, three sources, four law checks, and knocked on a door for a RESI attempt. Today, I am staying home and typing reports all day.

To address your last question first; There is no real difference in the work once promoted, just more of it! Truly the only thing that changes is the pay and the production stats.

Typical day? Every day is different. If it’s a field day, I gulp down my coffee, fire up the laptop, check out cases for the day. Log into DCSA VPN and do a final check of case messages. Check my appointments, make certain I have all needed paperwork (releases, interview templates, etc). Hit the road. If it’s not too early, I might make a few quick phone calls before leaving the house. Go to scheduled interviews, if one is a no show or cannot see me, I sit in my car and make phone calls send emails. Boss might check in. There’s an email about new training that needs to be completed, or a set of case papers they want sent back ASAP. I’ll make unscheduled attempts for records (usually easy), residences or at the addresses of people who haven’t responded to my phone calls/texts/emails. Leave door tags, or if I’m lucky, knock out an interview (hopefully it’s not raining) on someone’s front step.

Lunch is either in the car if I’m having a busy day, or somewhere that has wifi so I can type up a quick record or source interview. I enjoy typing at my local library. It’s quiet, I can usually get a meeting room.

Back home late afternoon where I might type up interviews or brief new cases. Check in cases, making sure all case papers are accounted for. More phone calls.

If its a typing day (I usually don’t do an entire day of typing) it’s more coffee, phone calls in between typing casework, oh, remember to manifest no case work, print new case papers, remember to order more paper, complete a training module, respond to another investigator’s question on a case we are working together, send case messages on completed ESI, and on and on. Lock away creds, computer, case papers at the end of the day and get ready to do at all again tomorrow. : )

It’s an ever changing schedule, I suggest being organized yet flexible. Find a routine that works for you, and that might take some time. I’m a morning person, so I do a lot before I head to the field. Others are late night people who are more productive typing in the evenings.

I don’t know if they still do it, but Peraton used to have two days of “shadowing” once you’re cleared but before you start training. You ride with an investigator just observing their day. Sit in interviews, observe the cold calling, etc. It can be enlightening.

Good luck!

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Echoing what SMCVA said, find a routine that works for you…keyword is routine. Being disorganized with this job is a quick way to fall behind and drive your self crazy.

It’s going to feel overwhelming and disjointed at first. Stuff starts to sink in about 3 months. You will be dismayed and frustrated by some of the systems and procedures. Don’t let the small stuff sweat you. The job title of Carpenter and Woodworker may technically be “discrepant” but this isn’t a crime we are investigating. A wise trainer once told me…If a zip code is the only thing you got wrong that day you are doing fabulous!!!

Wow! Thank you all for your insights/responses. Very helpful.

Would you guys mind sharing how long your waiting period for security clearances took? I’m a little over 3 months in.

Everyone’s is different. I had my subject interview in February and I was granted an interim clearance in April/May…no one ever told me when I was fully adjudicated lol.