How many years of experience do you need to be a criminal investigator?
I have read that you need to have experience as a police officer before you can be an investigator. What is the minimum number of year before you can begin your job as an investigator, is there any degrees? #investigator #policeofficer #experience
Law Enforcement experience comes in all shapes and sizes. So do Investigators. As a Criminal Investigator, it took me 15 years to achieve the title. However, I’ve been performing the job duties of an Investigator since my second year as an officer. A nearby police department has a Detective who has three years experience as an officer. So, the answer is: it all depends.
Larger law enforcement agencies will require experience as an officer. Most Investigator and Detective positions are promoted from within. With the extensive amount of internal paperwork an Investigator handles, it’s important for them to understand established processes. However, smaller departments are easier to adjust to. Therefore, Investigators often have much broader roles in these departments.
Also, don’t forget there are different types of Investigators: Investigators and Detectives in local Police and Sheriff Offices, Investigators in Prosecutor and Public Defender offices, Death Investigators, Background Investigators, Crime Scene Investigators, and Federal Agency Investigators (Often in an Office of Inspector General).
A degree can help. It depends on what you’re looking to work in though. FBI Special Agents with Accounting Degrees are much more likely to be working Financial Crimes, where someone with a degree in Psychology may be investigating homicides and Major Crimes.
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Also having a bachelor's degree definitely benefits pay increase right away and will be considered an added point for your application for a detective when the time comes.