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Who This Career is For?
Being a detective or criminal investigator requires having a bold & daring personality. This occupation involves extensive amounts of thinking, decision making and working with ideas. Leading & interacting with people, searching for facts and figures, and solving problems mentally are some tasks that are encountered on a daily basis. Therefore, this profession requires attributes such as attentiveness, understanding, logical reasoning, sound judgment and decision making skills, and lastly, time management.

Communication & people skills are of vital importance, and detectives & criminal investigators must be able to effectively communicate verbally and in writing. They should be willing and comfortable speaking with witnesses, suspects or victims, and need to show a sense of compassion whilst simultaneously paying a great deal of attention to detail. Characteristics like honesty, discipline, integrity & responsibility together with good physical fitness are also part of the bargain in this career.

If you feel you have a knack for putting pieces together and joining the dots in order to get to the root of a problem, and if you have a desire to help others to seek justice and be safe, then this may be the right job for you.
Want to know more about it?
Detectives & criminal investigators investigate & solve crimes and apprehend criminals. They specialize in specific types of violations such as homicide, sex crimes or those against people or property. Many work for local, state or federal agencies while others are employed privately. Detectives use modern tools & techniques like computers and other telecommunication equipment, to solve crimes ranging from theft, drug trafficking and kidnapping to mass murder. They gather evidence by observing suspects, interviewing witnesses, victims and suspects, and investigating information. Some detectives and criminal investigators can formally charge a suspect with a crime if there is sufficient evidence. Hence, they often participate in arrests or raids.

There are several categories of detectives & criminal investigators. Police detectives, for example scrutinize criminals' actions and extract sources of information. They often work undercover and are known as plainclothes investigators. Some detectives work privately for detective agencies or individual clients.

Most of them are often ex-police officers, but a few are trained by these agencies themselves. Because they are not part of the police force, private detectives usually have no power to make arrests. In addition, lawyers and other firms hire detectives to gather information for court trials and proceedings, to investigate fraud and other legal matters such as insurance claims. Some parents may hire them to trace missing or abducted children.

In spite of there being several subcategories of detectives, report writing and detailed record keeping are the most important parts of a detective’s job no matter where they work, which is especially important if they are needed to give evidence in court.

Detectives or criminal investigators usually start off with police officer training. Educational requirements or qualifications differ with each department or agency, but many look for applicants who have completed at least two years of college education. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree with a major in a relevant area such as criminal justice, law or police science is preferred by many local agencies, and is compulsory for most federal jobs.

Those applying for police officer training usually must be at least 18 or 21 years old, meet certain height and weight criteria, and have good physical fitness. They may be assigned to carry out detective duties on a trial basis after they have demonstrated the necessary skills.

A few police departments require detectives to pass an examination. Mostly, police detectives are trained for a period of six weeks to several months and those who successfully complete training may be assigned permanent work. In addition, detectives & criminal investigators may be required to take review courses from time to time in order to update their skills and techniques.

What are Salary Prospects?
Salaries for detectives & criminal investigators vary extensively and depend on experience, employer, location, and the responsibilities of the job.

Private detectives earn considerably more. The average salary of private detectives was 1,25,000 to 2,50,000 per year. Experienced and successful private detectives earned more than5,00,000 to 10,00,000 per year.

How is Life?
Detectives' work falls between two extremes; it may be thrilling & dangerous, or routine and harmless, depending on the nature of their work. For example, police


may be exposed to physical violence or other perilous situations that can culminate in death. On the other hand, private


may handle simple routine work such as dealing with legal matters or complaints.

Detectives and criminal investigators who work for law enforcement often have to work erratic hours, including nights, public holidays and weekends. They often work more than forty hours a week on particular cases, although most are generally given time off and paid extra to compensate for their overtime.

Criminal investigators may work 5 days a week depending on their employing agency. However, because crime happens at all hours, crime scene investigators are expected to respond to crime scenes and emergency calls at odd hours during the day and night. A criminal investigator can expect to work long hours, up to 20 hours straight, when first called to investigate a crime scene, because it is vital to collect as much fresh evidence as possible.

Typical detective & investigators are often expected to do some amount physical work, such as kneeling, running, stooping, or climbing. Many types of


& investigators are obligated to carry firearm weapons and are licensed & authorized to use them in accordance to their duties.

Those who work for federal agencies are often required to travel frequently, on short notice. Other investigators, such as those employed by agencies like the US Border Patrol, work in outdoor locations in all kinds of weather conditions and often on rough terrain.
What Perks come along with this career?
Detectives & criminal investigators commonly receive benefits such as paid sick days and vacations, life and health insurance policies, and retirement plans & pensions. They get the honor & privilege of being able to solve mysteries, seek justice for other people, and keep them safe. Additionally, the pay in this profession is quite decent and detectives are highly respected amongst society.
Which Downsides are there in this career?
There are few disadvantages in this career. Injuries and accidents can be extremely prevalent for those working in law enforcement. Detectives and criminal investigators should always be prepared for different threatening, dangerous situations that can occur. They need to deal with criminals who may be violent and abusive.

The work of a detective and criminal investigator can have an effect on personal lives since many of them witness adversity, suffering or even death from situations such as homicides and car accidents. Detective work can often be depressing and stressful. Moreover, detectives and criminal investigators usually have to work on holidays and weekends.
How is Competition?
The employment outlook for


& criminal investigators is very good. Employment is expected to grow at a faster rate than the average for all occupations. Increasing security concerns and an abundance of criminal activity stimulate this job growth. In addition, the demand for investigators will be boosted by the rise in crime related to the internet such as spamming, identity theft, plagiarism and unlawful downloading of copyrighted resources. Moreover, a proliferation of global financial activities will increase the demand for investigators to deal with financial crime.

Therefore, openings in the private field will grow much faster than those in police forces, which will be extremely limited. More companies, hotels, and restaurants will use private


on a large scale for protection of property.

Job outlook in this field is fair. Police


with experience can advance to chief positions. Private


can progress to senior positions in agencies or supervisory of security positions in private companies. Successful


can initiate their own detective agencies.
Locations where this career is good?
Job opportunities exist in virtually every country. However, the pay is best in countries such as India, USA, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand.
Career Path
You may not need any qualifications to become a trainee investigator. A paid traineeship will be difficult to come by if you do not have relevant skills and knowledge. You can set up your detective agency, but attracting clients and providing good service requires appropriate skills. It is useful to have a good education plus some experience in field work

Necessary Qualifications
Institutes for this career
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