Police - Detective

Police - Detective

Career Overview

Police officers protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes.

Education

Educational requirements for becoming a police officer may vary by geographic area. A high school diploma or equivalent is required to obtain this position. Graduating from an agency police academy is also often required. Completing a two-year college program or four-year bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field will definitely help one to move up within a police department.

Future Outlook

Employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. While a continued desire for public safety is expected to result in a need for more officers, demand for employment is expected to vary depending on location, driven largely by local and state budgets.

Work Environment

Police and detective work can be physically demanding, stressful, and dangerous. Police and sheriff's patrol officers and transit and railroad police have some of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Working around the clock in shifts is common.

Recommended High School Courses

  • Psychology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Communication
  • Government
  • Foreign Languages

  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
  • Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
  • Check physical condition of people or animals.
  • Interview people to gather information about criminal activities.
  • Examine crime scenes to obtain evidence.
  • Prepare investigation or incident reports.
  • Prevent unauthorized individuals from entering restricted areas.
  • Record information about suspects or criminals.
  • Analyze crime scene evidence.
  • Document legal or regulatory information.
  • Process forensic or legal evidence in accordance with procedures.
  • Record crime or accident scene evidence with video or still cameras.
  • Examine records or other types of data to investigate criminal activities.
  • Detain suspects or witnesses.
  • Use databases to locate investigation details or other information.
  • Communicate situation details to appropriate personnel.
  • Observe individuals' activities to gather information or compile evidence.
  • Serve court ordered documents.
  • Apprehend criminal suspects.
  • Direct criminal investigations.
  • Request emergency personnel.
  • Block physical access to restricted areas.
  • Maintain surveillance of individuals or establishments.
  • Record information about environmental conditions.
  • Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to share information.
  • Collaborate with outside groups to develop programs or projects.

Schools

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Abilene Christian Univers...
Abraham Lincoln Universit...
Alfred State College
Alfred University
Alvernia University
American Intercontinental...
American International Co...
American University
Angelo State University
Anna Maria College
Antioch College
Appalachian State Univers...
Arcadia University
Arkansas Tech University
Ashworth College- Norcros...
Assumption College
Azusa Pacific University
Baker College Online
Ball State University
Barry University
Bellevue University
Bemidji State University
Berkeley College Online
Berkeley College- Nyc Mid...
Bethany College- Lindsbor...
Bethel University (indian...
Bluefield College
Bluefield State College-...
Bob Jones University
Boise State University
Boston University
Bowling Green State Unive...
Bradley University
Brazosport College
Buena Vista University
California Coast Universi...
California University- Pe...
Carlow University
Central Methodist Univers...
Charleston Southern Unive...
Colorado Christian Univer...
Colorado State University...
Columbia Southern Univers...
Columbus State University
Concordia College- New Yo...
Concordia University- Tex...
Corban University
Cuny John Jay College Of...
Des Moines Area Community...
Desales University
Drury University
East Central University -...
East Stroudsburg Universi...
East Tennessee State Univ...
Eastern Illinois Universi...
Eastern Michigan Universi...
Excelsior College
Fairleigh Dickinson Unive...
Fairmont State University
Faulkner University
Fayetteville State Univer...
Ferris State University
Flagler College
Florida Gulf Coast Univer...
Florida International Uni...
Florida State University
Framingham State Universi...
Fresno Pacific University...
Gannon University- Erie C...
Gardner-webb University
George Washington Univers...
Georgia Southwestern Stat...
Hamline University
Hartwick College
High Point University
Indian River State Colleg...
Indiana State University
Indiana University Of Pen...
Indiana University-purdue...
Jackson State University
Johnson And Wales Univers...
Lakeland University
Lamar University
Lasalle University
Letourneau University
Liberty University
Limestone University
Lindenwood University
Lock Haven University
Loma Linda University
Loyola University - Chica...
Loyola University- New Or...
Lynn University
Maccormac College
Manhattanville College
Marshall University
Mcneese State University
Merrimack College
Midwestern State Universi...
Minot State University
Mississippi College
Missouri Baptist Universi...
Monmouth University
Montana State University-...
Mount Aloysius College
New England College
Newman University
North Greenville Universi...
Northeastern State Univer...
Northern State University
Northwestern State Univer...
Norwich University
Nova Southeastern Univers...
Oakland City University
Ohio Christian University
Ohio State University- Ma...
Ohio State University- Ma...
Oral Roberts University
Penn Foster Career School
Pennsylvania State Univer...
Pennsylvania State Univer...
Pennsylvania State Univer...
Pennsylvania State Univer...
Pennsylvania State Univer...
Pennsylvania State Univer...
Pennsylvania State Univer...
Pennsylvania State Univer...
Pennsylvania State Univer...
Pfeiffer University
Point Park University
Post University
Quinnipiac University
Regis University
Rochester Institute Of Te...
Rogers State University
Rowan University
Sacred Heart University
Saint Anselm College
Saint Joseph's College -...
Saint Joseph's College -...
Saint Joseph's University
Saint Mary-of-the-woods C...
Saint Mary's University O...
Sam Houston State Univers...
Southeastern Oklahoma Sta...
Southern Illinois Univers...
Southern University And A...
Southwestern Assemblies O...
Southwestern Oklahoma Sta...
Spring Arbor University
St. Bonaventure Universit...
St. John's University- Qu...
Stevenson University
Sul Ross State University
Suny At Old Westbury
Suny At Oneonta
Suny Buffalo State Colleg...
Suny Plattsburgh
Texas A & M University- C...
Trine University
Troy University
Truett Mcconnell Universi...
University Of Alabama- Tu...
University Of Arkansas- F...
University Of Arkansas- L...
University Of Central Mis...
University Of Cincinnati
University Of Houston- Cl...
University Of Houston- Do...
University Of La Verne
University Of Louisville
University Of Lynchburg
University Of Maryland -...
University Of Maryland- E...
University Of Mississippi
University Of Mount Olive
University Of North Alaba...
University Of North Carol...
University Of Northwester...
University Of Pittsburgh-...
University Of Sioux Falls
University Of South Carol...
University Of South Flori...
University Of Southern Mi...
University Of Texas- Dall...
University Of Texas- Perm...
University Of Texas- Tyle...
University Of The Cumberl...
University Of The Southwe...
University Of West Georgi...
University Of Wisconsin-...
University Of Wisconsin-...
University Of Wyoming
Ursuline College
Valley City State Univers...
Virginia Wesleyan Univers...
Viterbo University
Walden University
Waldorf University
Walla Walla Community Col...
Warner University
Waubonsee Community Colle...
Wayland Baptist Universit...
Weber State University- D...
West Texas A & M Universi...
Western Texas College
Wheeling Jesuit Univesity
Widener University
Wilkes University
canada_school
Algoma University- Sau...
Athabasca University
Bishop's University
Bow Valley College- Do...
Campion College
Conestoga College- Doo...
Douglas College- Coqui...
Douglas College- New W...
Fanshawe College- Lond...
Humber College- Lakesh...
King's University Coll...
Kwantlen Polytechnic I...
Kwantlen Polytechnic U...
Kwantlen Polytechnic U...
Lakehead University- O...
Laurentian University
Macewan University- Ci...
Maritime Business Coll...
Medicine Hat College
Memorial University
Mount Royal University...
Ontario Tech Universit...
Saint Mary's Universit...
St. Mary's University
St. Thomas University
Trent University- Durh...
Universite De Montreal...
Universite De Montreal...
University Of Toronto-...
University Of Winnipeg
Wilfred Laurier Univer...
Yukon University

Potential Scholarships

5 Strong Scholarship
Agnes M. Lindsay Scholars...

Approx Salary Expectation

Currency:
Low End:
$37,710.00 /yr
Avg/Med:
$65,170.00 /yr
High End:
$109,620.00 /yr

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/.
Trend Analysis - Explorer the Market, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/trend-analysis.
O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, https://www.onetonline.org/.