mug brownI am often asked, “Where can I go to learn how to be a professional tracer?” Or the question comes up, “Are there training courses offered that teach a person how to be a tracer, where are they and what is the cost?”

I will attempt to answer these questions in this article.

First, anyone desiring to be a professional tracer should understand a few basic facts about the profession.

1. Everyone Is Born with a “Hunter Instinct”

A baby, fresh from the womb will hunt for a food source, the warmth of their mother’s body and things that make them feel comfortable and secure.

2. As a Person Matures, So Does the “Hunter Instinct”

Men and women hunt for the perfect mate or hunt for the answers to questions as part of their educational process. Each shopping trip is essentially a hunt.

3. The “Hunter Instinct” Is Stronger in Some People Than Others

The traits of a hunter may be developed and nurtured but not all people are receptive, and many will never develop the “Hunter’s Intuition” which is required if they are to be successful.

4. There are No Formal Requirements to Be a Professional Tracer

However, note that the actions of a tracer may fall under numerous laws or statute requirements which may include, but not be limited to, private investigator training and licensing, federal and state collection laws, repossession laws, privacy laws and even surveillance laws. The professional tracer must be familiar with issues relevant to their endeavors.

Now let us address the questions, “Where can I go to learn to be a professional tracer and how much will it cost?”

Many tracers receive their training on the job, working for collection agencies, private investigation firms or repossession agencies. A good working knowledge of computer systems and databases is required as well as the ability to communicate and extract information from people.

One source of training is online. The net offers many courses both free and for pay.

For “free,” I would direct the readers to an excellent article written by Christina Smiley at , “Skip Tracing, 7 Basic Steps.” Another excellent source of information related to training is, which has numerous training articles related to best skip tracing practices, skip tracing compliance, finding people and database searches. The information at many of these sites is free and offers good basic training.

Also online are numerous YouTube training videos related to skip tracing including a few I have recorded myself. Just Google “TFA Ron Brown Skiptracing Videos.” All of these are free for use.

For a fee, there are formal training programs offered for training which may be attained through online seminars and workshops. This training is offered through internationally recognized professional associations.

ACA International - ACA has, what I consider to be, superlative training programs presented by professional tracers and instructors at a very reasonable cost.

Udemy - 101/ Aspiring tracers might also check out this site which offers a training program for a cost of $49.99. This price is often reduced depending on when you visit.

Lorman - locating-assets-techniques This site offers programs ranging in cost from $99 to $699.

CAUTION: Beware of how and where you spend your money. Be cautious of programs offered by people who claim to be the “best,” able to find “anyone or anything.” Check out the creation date of programs as the laws, techniques and tools of a tracer are constantly changing and what was legal or worked yesterday may not be legal or work today.

Until next time, good luck and good hunting!

Ron Brown is a member of the National Association of Fraud Investigators and the author of “MANHUNT: The Book.” Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..