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Criminal Investigator?

How many degrees go I need to become a Criminal Investigator?

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Danny’s Answer

Hi Yamilka. What a great question! For most police agencies in the Southern California area you need exactly ZERO degrees! Yup. That is what I said. ZERO! There are a variety of positions that encompass "criminal investigator." Everything from civilian private criminal investigators to district attorney criminal investigators to military criminal investigators. But the most common is the sworn police officer criminal investigator which I was for 18 of my 30 years. Most of that was as a homicide criminal investigator. I DO NOT have a degree! However, if you want to move up faster and potentially be paid more, a degree will help, be it a 2-yr community college degree or a 4-yr under grad degree. The more education, the higher likelihood of an educational bonus, and the more desirable you will be for promotion.

The most direct route to becoming a police criminal investigator is first go through a police academy and become a police officer. Once hired, it usually takes a few years pushing a black and white before you are eligible. The STREETS are where you will get your 'education.' Then, you usually have to test to become a criminal investigator, taking both a written, and oral test. Your prior job performance will also be relevant. That's it in a nutshell. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you Danny for your response, I'll take notice of this and I know that this advice will be very helpful for me in the future. Yamilka
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Michael’s Answer

Both of the above answers are spot on for local agencies in most of the United States. For Federal Agencies, the areas for a degree may be specific (like accounting for Treasury, etc) and a Second language is always a real plus (particularly middle eastern or related languages).

Great Question!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Michael. Yamilka
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Shane’s Answer

I think that a Bachelor degree in criminal justice would be a great place to start.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Yamilka
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