For the most part people might not know how a person becomes a criminal investigator or a detective. Even though they are interested in pursuing such a career, they may also be scared to find out what it takes. However, just like any professional career choice there are training and of course education needs that must be met. The process, thankfully, is not a difficult one and with the correct commitment and motivation anyone can become one. The information that follows is a short overview of what an individual can expect and the process that needs to be completed before they can go on to be a criminal investigator or detective.
Of course, an education is needed before you can go on. An individual would need to have completed a certain level of education such as a high school diploma, a college degree or a GED. If at college a program in criminal justice is ideal as this will provide you with the necessary skills and information that will help to be a successful detective. Of course, it may be an idea to check what types of programs you would need to take before starting your course. This way you can cover all the initial requirements before realizing too late that you need something else.
As mentioned above you will need to complete a certain level of education as every police department has a different level of education requirement. A prospective detective will also need to pass a physical fitness test, a written exam and undergo a thorough background criminal check. They need to also be at least 21 years old.
After the application has been approved, you should then concentrate on the police academy. While there, trainees will be skilled in the required skills that are necessary in order to maintain a safe community while also keeping yourself safe. An individual can expect the academy to be tough. This is when a trainee will need to show their strength and determination if they want to make it to the end of the training. Training can take up to eight months. During the day, individuals can expect them to be long with physical training, Emergency Vehicle Operations and fire arms courses.
In order for an individual to succeed to the stage of becoming a detective, the trainee needs to complete their training. Once that is completed, they will then move to the next stage of becoming a police officer. After period of probation and their performance has met or even exceeding what the department expected of them, they will reap the rewards of a promotion. However, the probation period can vary from as little as six month to three years.
However, it is important to remember that just because an individual is on a trial period, does not mean they are any less of a police officer. However long on the trial period, the police officer will be learning skills that will help, and better prepare them when they eventually become a detective. Being a police officer is constant job training. Everything they do will only better what they want to be and bring that promotion just that bit closer than the day before.
After you have finally achieved that longed for promotion to detective, you can expect to be allocated to a precise crime unit. You may be working in robbery or burglary, sexual crimes, or even the homicide division.
The typical salary a detective can make, which was estimated in May of 2006 was just over $58,000. The lowest pay is less than $34,000, while the highest for a detective position is over $92,000. This all depends on where you are situation and the department budgets. However, an extremely lucrative job once you are trained in the field.