Criminal Investigator

By: Katelyn Grabow


  • Prepare reports that detail investigation findings.
  • Obtain and verify evidence by interviewing and observing suspects and witnesses or by analyzing records.
  • Identify case issues and evidence needed, based on analysis of charges, complaints, or allegations of law violations.
  • Investigate organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and other violations of federal or state statutes.
  • Record evidence and documents, using equipment such as cameras and photocopy machines.
  • Testify before grand juries concerning criminal activity investigations.
  • Obtain and use search and arrest warrants.
  • Search for and collect evidence, such as fingerprints, using investigative equipment.
  • Determine scope, timing, and direction of investigations.
  • Collect and record physical information about arrested suspects, including fingerprints, height and weight measurements, and photographs.
  • Analyze evidence in laboratories or in the field.
  • Collaborate with other offices and agencies to exchange information and coordinate activities.
  • Develop relationships with informants to obtain information related to cases.
  • Perform undercover assignments and maintain surveillance, including monitoring authorized wiretaps.
  • Collaborate with other authorities on activities such as surveillance, transcription, and research.
  • Examine records to locate links in chains of evidence or information.
  • Compare crime scene fingerprints with those from suspects or fingerprint files to identify perpetrators, using computers.
  • Manage security programs designed to protect personnel, facilities, and information.
  • Provide protection for individuals, such as government leaders, political candidates, and visiting foreign dignitaries.
  • Serve subpoenas or other official papers.
  • Administer counterterrorism and counternarcotics reward programs.
  • Issue security clearances.

Pros of this job


Some pros of this job is, employment of private detectives and investigators is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Payment per year: 68,260 Payment per hour: $33

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2 Best Colleges For This Profession

  • Saint Joseph’s College
  • Tennessee Technological University
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