You may wonder how do you become a detective or an investigator? Well, the answer is twofold for those considering a career in law enforcement.
If you would like to become a detective, you may want to consider which department you would like to work for, first. Do you want to handle robberies, homicides, car thefts, or something else? But before then, you will most likely have to be a police officer. You will have to go through a probation period which may last anywhere from 6 to 24 months, depending on the Police Department. Exams might not be offered to you until you complete a certain number of years on the force.
In most cases an educational requirement must be met in order to qualify for the detective exam. This also varies by the Police Department, but usually requires no more than a bachelor degree.
Once you have that covered, you apply for the detective exam. Granted you pass the exam, you will be stationed in a precinct where your newly acquired skill may be needed the most. If you passed the exam with flying colors you may have the opportunity to pick your new precinct, but don’t count on it.
If you would like to become an investigator then you have to consider what type of investigator you would like to be:
- Would you like to become a homicide detective or one that handles, robberies and other crimes?
- Would you like to become a forensic investigator? This definitely requires more schooling, but is a very rewarding position which has many opportunities in local, state, and federal law enforcement.
- Would you like to become an arson investigator? If so, your skills can be used in local law enforcement, as well as federal positions, like: ATF, FBI, or US Forest Service (which has a law-enforcement branch).
The investigator and the detective positions pay considerably more when compared with the title of a police officer. However, with higher pay come higher expectations. These expectations may include a sharp mind and a higher level of education.
Both positions are usually a step beyond the entry-level position and either require additional training, examination, or both.
If you are busy expanding your career, then you should consider criminal justice online courses, certificates, and degree programs. I hope this blog could be of an assistance to you.