Although there is no specific training or certificate required to legally call yourself a paranormal investigator, to be seen as a professional you do need to obtain some basic training. Whether the training is in the form of formal classes offered through accredited universities, or consists of on-the-job training working with an experienced investigator is a matter of personal choice. An interest in the paranormal is rarely enough to earn you a position as a paranormal investigator.
Seek opportunities to participate in training offered by established groups. The North Atlantic Paranormal Society better known as TAPS offers training in paranormal techniques and investigative procedures. If they do not offer training in your area, contact your local paranormal society to find training near you.
Consider participating in the International Ghost Hunter Society’s home study course for paranormal investigators. The course is offered via DVDs or printed version and covers a wide range of topics including the investigative procedure from the first contact with a client to completing the investigation. Also included are lessons on variant beliefs about the paranormal. A Paranormal Investigator’s Certificate is awarded when course requirements have been met. Although the degree is not required to work in the field, it may lend some credibility to your position as a paranormal investigator. (See resources at end of article)
Sign up for classes or enter a degree program at an accredited university that offers paranormal studies. Although parapsychology is gaining a more popular view and some of the stigma associated with ghosts and otherworldly phenomena, many colleges are still reluctant to label course or programs in this light.
The University of Arizona offers the Center for Consciousness Studies, which proves beneficial for those who wish to become paranormal investigators. Courses are offered both online and on site.
The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program explores human consciousness and related physical phenomena. Courses available explore remote perception and other areas beneficial to paranormal investigators.
Visit the Rhine Research Center at Duke University to view resources and information about their parapsychology program. Explore the site for resources and links to online learning opportunities and training videos to learn more about parapsychology and paranormal topics.
Contact local paranormal associations and ask to join them on paranormal investigations. Although participating in training and courses provides you with a solid knowledge base, it cannot substitute for first hand experience in the field.
Once you have established a solid knowledge base in paranormal topics and investigative techniques, go ahead and join an existing paranormal group or consider starting your own. After all, you have worked hard to develop the skills necessary for the job and have earned the right to be called a paranormal investigator.
International Ghost Hunter Society’s home study course
The University of Arizona Center for Consciousness Studies
Rhine Research Center at Duke University
The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR)
Paranormal 101 by Christyn Gartland (TAPS member)