Background Investigator (#TP0120)
$33.50-$33.50 Hourly / $5,807.36-$5,807.36 Monthly / $69,688.36-$69,688.36 Yearly


Under direction, conducts background investigations of applicants to determine suitability of employment; and performs other and related work as required.


This is a temporary class in San Joaquin County. An incumbent in this class conducts thorough and objective background investigations of applicants to determine employment suitability; researches information and prepares written recommendations based on findings.


  • Conducts thorough and complete background investigations according to department policies, applicable laws, and procedural requirements; reviews applications for completeness and directs applicants to provide additional information if needed; obtains proper information release documents.
  • Contacts and conducts investigative interviews of applicants, applicant personal references and applicant employment references; develops and pursues lines of inquiry.
  • Gathers, verifies, and analyzes personal, professional, credit/financial, and educational documents; contacts other agencies, governments, and professional organizations to obtain and verify information.
  • Researches, obtains, and reviews data from various databases and information systems to verify information and/or check for inconsistencies related to applicant information.
  • Prepares letters, reports and written summary of findings; analyzes investigation results and draws logical and objective conclusions; confers with hiring managers; makes recommendations regarding suitability for employment.
  • Responds to requests for information; assists outside agencies when appropriately requested to provide background information regarding pervious applicant background investigation; answers applicant questions; refers requests or questions to managers, as appropriate.
  • Attends training sessions, seminars and conferences; trains and advises others as required.
  • May be required to travel to interview sources and verify information.


Experience:  Either:  1) Two years performing law enforcement investigative work for a government or private investigative agency; or 2) four years as a peace officer in a government law enforcement agency.

Substitution:  Completion of a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) approved Background Investigator course may substitute for six months of the above-required experience.

License:  Possession of a valid California driver’s license.


Principles and practices of investigation and research, including interviewing techniques, conflict management, and methods and techniques of negotiation;  electronic information systems to access data; principles of identification, report writing and techniques; principles and procedures of recordkeeping and reporting; research techniques, statistical analysis and data collection; basic computer and modern office automation technology and computer software programs relevant to department operations; relevant federal, state and local laws, codes, and ordinances related to the legal requirements of background investigations and hiring practices of applicants.


Effectively evaluate suitability of an applicant and prepare sound recommendations based on research and analysis; demonstrate sensitivity of diverse cultures and individuals; work within stringent deadlines; organize, prioritize and perform multiple tasks to complete work; work independently; read, comprehend and interpret complex written materials; perform detailed work with accuracy; exercise good judgment in safeguarding confidential and sensitive information; exercise diplomacy when dealing with people in sensitive situations; operate computers and related software; establish and maintain effective working relationships with applicants, agencies, employees, and the general public; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.


Mobility-Frequent operation of a data entry device; repetitive motion; sitting, standing, walking for extended periods of time; driving; occasional pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, climbing;  Lifting-Frequently 5 pounds or less; occasional 5 to 30 pounds; Visual-Constant good overall vision and reading/close-up work; frequent color perception and use eye/hand coordination; occasional use of depth perception and peripheral vision;  Dexterity-Occasional reaching; grasping; frequent repetitive motion; writing; Hearing/Talking-Frequent hearing of normal speech, hearing/talking on the telephone, talking in person;  Emotional/Psychological-Constant decision making, concentration, and public contact; public speaking; dealing with emergency situations; Special Requirements-May require working overtime, weekends and nights; working alone;  Environmental-Occasional exposure to varied weather conditions.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: TP0120; EST: 10/10/2006; REV: 3/14/2007;