How to Become a Criminal Investigator

June 27th, 2013 by

Thanks to the popularity of books, movies and television shows about criminal investigations, there are a growing number of individuals who want to become criminal investigators. However, securing this kind of career is not as simple as showing up for an interview. It takes training, patience and dedication, and not everyone is the right candidate for this challenging carer choice. If you are serious about becoming a criminal investigator, then work your way through these steps and decide if this is the right career for you.

Make Sure You Have a Clean Background

Criminal investigators work around crime scenes and spend a lot of time with alleged criminals as well as sensitive or even classified police information. In order to be trusted by the people you work with and even hired at all, you will need to have a clean background. No matter how much you might have reformed since a conviction or a legal matter in the past, having warning signs like violent crime, theft or even bankruptcy come up on your background check could mean that you are unsuitable for the position. Explore the programs available in Criminal Justice.

Learn About Daily Life as a Criminal Investigator

One of the biggest problem faced by aspiring criminal investigators is that they only see the glamorous side of the job. Keep in mind that even shows about criminal investigators are highly fictionalized, and you should know the reality of this career before you begin training. A criminal investigator might secure crime scenes, interview witnesses or catalog evidence immediately after a crime. Afterwards, they may spend much of their time analyzing evidence and reviewing photographs. It is important to note that criminal investigators spend a large portion of their time doing paperwork and creating reports about each of their actions during the course of a typical day.

Earn an Associate of Criminal Investigations

If the career appeals to you after you understand the details of a typical day, then you will want to consider your education options. One of the best choices is an associate degree in criminal investigations. This degrees takes just two years to complete, and it can be a great way to find an entry-level career in the field. If you decide you want to complete a bachelor’s degree in the future, credits can easily be applied to that degree. Thanks to online degree programs, you can study to become a criminal investigator from the comfort of your own home.

Get Proper Licensing or Certification For Your State

Make sure that you research what qualifications a criminal investigator has to have in your state. Whether you want to work as a police identification specialist, a a latent print technician or an actual crime scene investigator, you may need to register with your state government and receive clearance before you can find a secure position in the field.

To begin exploring your options and learning more about criminal investigations, check out the associate degree programs offered by the many different accredited online colleges that might be suitable for you.

Find out more about earning your degree online by visiting

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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