I want to be a criminal investigator. I read I need to go to the police academy to become a patrolman and then be promoted to a detective but I don't necessarily want to become a police officer. Is there ways I can become a criminal investigator without the police academy and promotion?
I read about becoming a criminal investigator and plan to get a psychology degree as well as criminal justice. I know I can become a social work investigator but I'm not sure if this would work well to become a criminal investigator after this job. If there is anyone who has experience in these fields I would love your advice!
You could join the military and become (depending on the branch) and do military police, security forces, port security, or master-at-arms. Many of which have a criminal investigative division.
You could become a lawyer, private investigator, park ranger, or go into corporate security. In some of these paths there are some avenues that are or are similar to that of a criminal investigator. These are definitely not a straight line to that type of job.
Ryan Mathews CCSA
Most Federal law enforcement agencies conduct their initial academy training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) with the exception of the FBI and DEA. Once you complete the initial training at FLETC, you will complete training specific to the agency in which you will work. Some agencies have their specific training at FLETC while others have their own training facilities. For example, to become a special agent/criminal investigator, I attended FLETC's eleven week Criminal Investigator Training Program. Upon graduation, I then attended my agency's fifteen week agency specific training at the National Criminal Investigator Training Academy, which is located at FLETC in Brunswick, GA. The total time in training was six months during which I lived in dorms located on FLETC. The job postings, including the minimum employment requirements, for many of these jobs can be found on www.usajobs.gov.
Imagine a doctor who did not want to go to med school or do a residency. He/she just wanted to do operations! An airline pilot, who did not want to go to flight school or fool around in those pesky simulators. He/she just wanted to fly a jumbo jet!
Or you may be talking about being a Crime Scene Investigator (CSI). Most are civilians. No police academy, no police officer! Just investigating crime scenes. There are also Forensic investigators, again mostly civilian. Your psychology degree would really come in handy in this field. A coroner investigator would also be an option. As a homicide investigator, I worked hand in hand with all of these investigators.
Whatever you choose, I'm sure you will do well. Good luck.