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What Makes an Effective Criminal Investigator?

Categories: Law and Finance
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Crime investigator at work

Crime investigator at workA career in criminal investigation is perhaps one of the most exciting professional paths one could pursue. Although stressful, this job is highly rewarding, not only in terms of remuneration but, moreover, in terms of acquiring a sense of personal achievement and satisfaction should you be able to close demanding criminal cases on your favor.

To land a position in law enforcement agencies—whether local, state, or federal—your best shot is completing a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Certifications from accredited criminal investigation training programs can also boost your professional profile, notes The Center For Legal Studies.

Aside from your educational background though, it is just as crucial that you are equipped with these three qualities.


Here, knowledge encompasses a variety of subjects. These include knowledge of laws and regulations, knowledge of technology used in handling criminal cases, knowledge of recognized strategies in problem solving, and knowledge of accepted research methodologies, among others.


Much of criminal investigation will rely on your analytical skills. From reviewing hundreds of pages of documents to transcribing hours of court testimonies, a considerable bulk of the job will require utmost discernment on your part. Throughout your career, your main goal is to look for answers, and your success in this endeavor is contingent on your ability to analyze just how and where to find these answers.


Law enforcement and, consequently, criminal investigation, is one of those vocations highly prone to ethical breaches. This is why before jumping into this profession, it is crucial that you first assess the strength of your moral fiber. Gauging your capacity to stick to your ethical standards despite stress and pressure is what will save you from committing legal and moral trespasses throughout your career.

Criminal investigation is not for the faint of heart. This job is one of the most demanding careers out there. But if done right, the level of personal satisfaction this profession can give you is tantamount to charity work. It is public service, after all.