Retired fed investigator-interested in BIs

Hello all,

I recently retired from the fed govt as an investigator. I “had” a TS clearance for many years.

My questions are-- how hard would it be to get a job as a BI now and does my TS clearance still count even though I retired a week ago?

What is a “credentialed background investigator”? I’m assuming it’s someone who has a current TS clearance and required training done?

I’m just looking into this as investigations is my specialty, although my experience is more related to criminal matters. I don’t care about making tons of $ or potential benefits as I have a pension and a healthy retirement account. I’m just going to be bored most likely.

Thanks for any insight.

One of the vendors will pick you up for sure and sponsor your clearance/creds. The work itself is demanding in its own right, but also rewarding if you have the right mindset. You can always go work for a vendor for a year, then go 1099 and choose your workload accordingly. Best of luck!


Reach out to the two primes, CACI and Peraton. I believe that they are the only ones providing training, which you will need to be DCSA credentialed. It might depend on your location, if they are hiring in your area. If you’re anywhere near DMV, or a major military installation you should be good to go.

Work it for a year, decide if you like it, and then look at going 1099, where you have more control over your schedule and work. I know a few retired military/former feds who are now working as 1099 BIs and love it.

Good luck, always love seeing new people enter the field.


I was in a similar position to you 7 years ago. I was convinced by an associate to work for ADC Limited. I put in MANY (40 - 80 hours) of unpaid computer-based and Zoom training. After being credentialed by Homeland Security and DOD I waited over 6 months with ZERO assignments. I was then told contract standards had changed and I would have to sit through another 40 hours of unpaid online training. I declined to do so and returned my creds. I also had the misfortune of doing this during the height of COVID. I have good friends who have worked for FBI BICS and other companies. For the most part they have not found the work rewarding, but they are comparing it to long careers as special agents.
My takeaway is that the companies abuse contractors by imposing unpaid mandates so they qualify for new government contracts. If you have hobbies or can find volunteer work, I think it would be more rewarding.


If you don’t need the benefits and aren’t concerned with making tons of money initially, start off as a 1099. Likely about three weeks of unpaid training and then you will have OJT for a week or two where you are working items and getting paid by the item. After you get through the learning curve of 6-12 months, you will likely be making way more money per hour on average than a FT employee and you will have way less stress. And you can work as much or as little as you want as long as you complete at least one item per month. Your clearance eligibility should be good for two years after you retire (unless the rules have changed recently). And if you live in a fantasy world, you can brag about how you stopped the next Snowden every time you discover a subject who didn’t list they smoked pot in high school or forgot to list their two weeks of employment at McDonald’s.


To answer your clearance question…unless things have changed recently, your T/S can be “reactivated” (not the real term but it escapes me at the moment) up to 24 months after you leave your cleared position. Once you make contact with an employer, they should be able to look up your clearance and verify that is can be activated.

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Believe me I am very familiar with both “demanding” as well as “rewarding” work. If you only knew what I’ve had to deal with in the past with my career. Thanks for the response! Much appreciated

Thank you so much for this input. I definitely would love to do it on my own terms. I’m tired and I really don’t feel like working a 40+ hour work week any longer. I just wasn’t sure if this was possible.

Thank you, I did not know this!

Thank you Cal! Now how do I go about being a 1099 BI? :grimacing:

Sorry, I was just a dumb field agent for over 20 yrs. and not savvy on much in the real world of employment.

Oh I’m sure! Best of luck!

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I think both DCSA primes (GDIT and Peraton) are hiring 1099’s. Check their websites. If you know anyone currently employed at one of the primes, have them refer you and then split their hiring bonus with them :moneybag:

DCSA has the majority of the work. But there are other opportunities like DHS, etc. I think GDIT used to hire inexperienced 1099’s for DHS but not sure if that still applies. I think most investigators get experience on DCSA before they move on to other contract opportunities. And as a 1099, you can be on as many contracts for as many different companies as you want. But multiple companies can be a headache. Depending on what government agencies are in your area, it may make sense to get on specific contracts.

Note: retransmitted 4/5/2024 as a result of first RZ for multiple spelling and grammatical errors and incomplete source testimony.

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The primes are CACI and Peraton,

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Oh yes, GDIT is prime on DHS and no longer on DCSA— RZ me for unclear source testimony. Did I mention that having relationships with multiple companies can be a headache? :face_with_head_bandage:

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If you don’t need the money there are quite literally thousands of other things that would be better to do.
Do you enjoy stress and frustration? Then this is a good fit.

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Thank you so much, once again, for your knowledge and response!

As a 1099 who doesn’t need the money he can make this job as stressful or non-stressful as he wants. At least that has been my experience. He will still have the frustration of dealing with review. But that frustration can be minimized by realizing that review is often wrong and if you take the time to research the citations you can often prove that what they are asking for is incorrect. What other job gives you the flexibility to work as much or as little as you want on a week by week basis, with a completely flexible schedule with little oversight from anyone and only one (optional) meeting per month? Having to pay the full FICA self employment tax isn’t great. But being able to deduct every mile driven, family health insurance premiums, 20% QBI, home office etc. makes up for it IMO.


Since it doesn’t look like anyone has answered the question yet, a credentialed investigator is going to be someone already trained on the DCSA contact unless specifically stated otherwise like they are looking for DHS trained or another contract.

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Thank you so much for this information :slight_smile: