Careers in paranormal investigation
Posted by mandyf on May 12, 2012
Careers in paranormal investigation are hardly limited to the people you see conducting investigations on television. Over the past quarter century, there has been a greater acceptance in western culture that there are unexplainable phenomena which people credit to those whom are no longer living, or to entities that come from the great beyond we as people have little understanding of. When confronted with such things, people often want answers which is where paranormal investigators come in.
Paranormal investigation offers several areas of employment – off the beaten path in some cases – but still a part of the a field. A person need not necessarily be a believer in the paranormal to enter a career in paranormal investigation. Skeptics with a open mind are invaluable as a legitimate paranormal investigation is with the focus to first debunk the possibility of paranormal activity, and only if that proves rationally/scientifically impossible to move forward with a paranormal investigation.
In most cases, paranormal investigation is conducted by a team in which each member has a specific area of knowledge. Not all teams are constructed exactly the same, but the general billets that would normally comprise a paranormal investigative unit are as follows.
Electronics technicians are a very important part of the team. They are charged with maintaining, placing, and monitoring all electronic devices that would be used by a paranormal investigative team. That could include anything from motion detection sensors, audio monitoring equipment, cameras, thermal imaging cameras, or more exotic fare.
Analysts in most cases will also be a technician, however that is not a rule. An analyst will go through all the data collected by electronic devices with an eye toward finding any rational explanation for images and sounds that have been recorded.
A team leader is a person that makes sure everyone performs their jobs properly, interacts with clients, and makes decisions regarding how an investigation will be conducted. A team leader may not be an expert in any particular area, but they will have a deeper than usual knowledge of all associated tasks involved in an investigation. A good way to think of a team leader is as the face of the organization.
Investigators are the hands on portion of a paranormal investigative team that spend time on the site collecting data and looking for clues as to what phenomena may
be present. They place themselves in any variety of scenarios often trying to replicate actions that have been reported to cause paranormal activity, and to observe the active scene for any clues that may explain a practical reason for what is believed to be paranormal.
Any good team needs a strong researcher. Researchers are the team bookworms that dig into the history of a location including the people that have lived or worked there. In a basic sense, they are detectives. They conduct interviews with people that may have any information about a location or people that are not recorded elsewhere, they compile it all to create a timeline, and they then use that to determine what or who may be causing paranormal activity if it is determined claims of such are valid.
These may not be full-time positions on a team, but any legitimate investigation will employ the use of a person trained to detect and deal with issues of mental illness to see if perhaps the person(s) making claims are delusional, mistaken, or somehow dealing with some form of mental instability they may be passing to others via transference. If such determinations are made, then an appropriate care plan would be laid out.
These are people whom would almost certainly not be a full time member of any paranormal investigative team, however they would likely consult on some sort of formal basis. As the validity of mediums is often in dispute, and the value of demonologists accepted in most cases only by those that do believe in true evil, they may not always be welcomed by a client. Members of the clergy are however nearly universally accepted. In many cases, a member of the clergy that a person has faith in can often quell the real or imagined paranormal activity through prayer, blessings, and sometimes their presence alone.
Financially, career in the paranormal field have a wide gap in pay scales. On the low end, a new and unknown paranormal investigative team may struggle to make $25,000 annually which when divided among a few people and used to cover overhead demonstrates it is not very lucrative. On the other hand, more established and respected teams operating in areas where paranormal activity is accepted more broadly can earn in the low to mid six-figure range and be a legitimate full-time job. Team leaders, technicians, and analysts usually take the lion’s share of the income, those who consult on a part-time basis generally charge their normal rate plus a premium.