Becoming a criminal investigator is not as easy as it seems. Browse through for more information on how to become a criminal investigator.

How To Become A Criminal Investigator

It is critical to handle a crime scene with utmost care as there is a lot in it that involves painstaking scrutiny. For the uncovering of essential clues, it is important that the scene is handled correctly or else, the criminal might go scot free. This is where crime scene investigators come into picture. Crime scene investigation is an amalgamation of science, logic and law, and there are various areas an investigator can specialize in. Analyzing evidence and information from a crime scene, conducting interviews and searches and performing surveillance are some of the areas of specialisation. They can even focus on theft related to intellectual property and conduct probes into acts of piracy or assist clients in ending illegal activities and even furnish the prosecution with evidence and intelligence reports. They can even carry out searches in order to delve into the financial profiles of the concerned people (for income tax scams). Once detained, the suspect is interrogated by the criminal investigator to find out more facts and clues. If you are looking for more information on how to become a criminal investigator, read on.
Becoming A Criminal Investigator
For a high school student interested in becoming a criminal investigator, taking science subjects like biology, chemistry and physics is useful. A background in psychology helps to explore the criminal’s mind better and perform interrogations effectively. Equally important are ‘police preparation courses’ to know police procedures thoroughly. For this, you need to enroll in a local or state college where you can pursue a degree in criminal justice. Once done with your degree, you ought to join a police academy wherein you can learn the basics of being a police officer. After clearing the tests and getting certificates of completion, you must associate yourself with a number of local police departments. This gives job experience in various fields such as insurance, collections, military or law enforcement.
Skills Required
  • Criminal investigation requires excellent social skills as the job entails interacting with different kinds of people.
  • Patience and persistence are two essential qualities you can't do without. You may need to spend days dealing with a single subject or just procuring some obscure documents.
  • Being open-minded is another important attribute as one cannot be priggish or squeamish when confronted with things like observing photographs to establish infidelity or while investigating serious and disfiguring deaths or road accidents.
  • You must maintain an optimum level of fitness as you may need to chase and capture suspects. Furthermore, mental and physical stamina is important so that your interest does not ebb.
  • Unflagging curiosity is the hallmark of a good criminal investigator.
  • An objective and detached outlook is the crux here as harboring bias goes against the whole essence of investigation.
  • A criminal investigator has no fixed work timings. Hard work, dedication and toil are words that go hand in hand with this job profile.
 Roles And Responsibilities
  • The primary duty of a crime investigator is to ensure that all evidence is intact on the crime scene in order to document and collect it. S/he has to take notes, photographs or even sketch the scenes at times. Evidence can be as conspicuous like a dead body or as inconspicuous like ‘deoxyribonucleic acid’ (DNA).
  • Proper storing and maintaining of these evidences is the chief responsibility of an investigator.
  • A lot of time is devoted to filing reports on crimes and the documentation. The written reports have to be updated from time to time. The investigators also need to coordinate with other departments, such as law enforcement agencies, and report findings to them.
  • Analyzing the evidence collected, in order to, arrive at the most logical conclusions is obviously the most important task of criminal investigators. They need to work in crime laboratories to piece together the data collected.
  • Interviewing the witnesses, victims or suspects is also another major task to be performed. Discrepancies in the stories can suggest important missing clues.
  • Another role that investigators perform is that of spying and surveillance to gather evidence or catch the suspect red-handed. This can include taking photographs or going in disguise.
Career Prospects
A career in criminal investigation is well-suited for those who enjoy tough challenges and have the grit to solve problems and seek justice. Recent reports estimate that this field shows strong career prospects and and a good growth rate is anticipated in the combined employment rates at local, state and federal levels.
If you are competent and passionate about securing justice, have a nose for clues and evidences and have a deeply analytical mind, criminal investigation can be a tailor made career for you.

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