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How do I become a Detective?

Detective work is one of the most rewarding occupations for people who are committed to criminal justice and the legal system, so many people wonder how to become a detective. The most common quality police departments want in a detective is a solid education and excellent work habits. A high stress occupation can be dull and repetitious. The training required can be wide and diverse. It can involve fields like computer forensics and victimology, for instance. Develop these important qualities and it will give you an advantage in hiring.

Academic Considerations
Once you have figured out how to become a detective, it is time to go to school and study criminal justice. The course of study includes criminal law, legal procedures, criminal evidence, criminology, the courts and corrections. People can start careers as uniformed officers after only two years study with an associates degree. If they continue their education on the job and in school, they can submit to testing in order to become a detective.

Enhanced career opportunities is one of the most common reasons students cite for attending a four year degree program instead of settling for a two-year degree. A four-year degree in criminal justice enhances career opportunities. In some communities, people hired with four year degrees do not do any uniformed police work, though it varies.

Police Officer Jobs
Putting in time in police officer jobs may seem hard, but it can make a difference when a detective position opens up. Most police departments want experienced applicants, and if you have worked in a police department, you have the advantage of knowing a department job and how you best fit the position. When you apply for a detective position, thoroughly understand the opening, the abilities you bring to it and how you can contribute. It could put you at the head of the hiring list.

Towing the line is the simplest way to handle your career and avoid workplace pitfalls. Keep an eye out for opportunities to continue training and honing your detective skills. The job is considered a physical one, so keep in good shape with a workout routine. Though police officers are required to be on the job constantly, try to grow outside of the workplace with recreational interests to remedy stress problems. Consider other areas of interest that you experienced and pursue leisure opportunities that are not job-related.

Private Detective Work
Private detective work is one of those professions that are glamorized on television, but the road to take is not as well known — yet, it is very common. There are many ways to become a private detective. In some communities, an applicant for a private detective license must pass a test and have an investigative work background. Often, that comes from working as a police detective, but applicants from the insurance investigating business and legal occupations with investigative work may qualify. If you do not have the investigation background, ask the agency issuing licenses what kind of background the licensing requires. That could be your starting point to become a private detective.

Check out our Top Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs for 2015

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2 thoughts on “How do I become a Detective?”

  1. Gabriela says:

    How can one skip the 2 years of a city cop, to become a detective?

    1. Chris says:

      Requirements vary from department to department. The best thing you can do is check on the requirements of the department you are interested in.

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