What does a Criminal Investigator do?

Learn all about Criminal Investigator duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Criminal Investigator.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A criminal investigator is a professional who gathers evidence and information to help solve crimes. They may work for the police, private companies, or the government.

Criminal Investigator job duties include:

  • Investigate crimes by interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, and following leads
  • Conduct surveillance and gather intelligence on criminal activity
  • Develop and maintain informants and tipsters
  • Prepare search warrants and execute searches of premises
  • Make arrests and participate in interrogations and lineups
  • Gather information on suspects’ backgrounds and associates
  • Analyze evidence collected from crime scenes
  • Write reports documenting findings and present cases to prosecutors
  • Testify in court as needed

Criminal Investigator Job Requirements

Criminal investigators typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, although some jobs may require a master’s degree. Many agencies require certification, and some may require experience as well. Investigators must have strong research, writing, and analytical skills. They must be able to think critically and solve problems. They must also be able to communicate effectively with others.

Criminal Investigator Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Observation skills
  • Research skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Writing skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity

Related: Top Criminal Investigator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Criminal Investigator

A criminal investigator is someone who looks into crimes and tries to solve them. There are many different types of criminal investigators, from police detectives to private investigators. If you’re interested in becoming a criminal investigator, there are a few things you need to know.

First, it’s important to have strong critical thinking skills. Criminal investigators need to be able to look at a situation and figure out what really happened. They need to be able to ask the right questions and gather all the evidence they can.

Second, you need to be good at communicating with people. Criminal investigators often have to interview witnesses and suspects. They need to be able to get information out of people and build relationships.

Third, you need to have patience. Investigating a crime can take a long time, and it’s important not to give up. You also need to be able to handle stress, since investigating crimes can be very stressful.

If you have these skills, then you might make a good criminal investigator. There are many different types of criminal investigations, so you might want to specialize in one area. For example, you could become a homicide detective or a fraud investigator. There are many different paths you can take as a criminal investigator, so find the one that interests you the most and go for it!

Related: Criminal Investigator Resume Example

Related: Criminal Investigator Interview Questions (With Example Answers)