Polygraph Examiners

Chandler Hopkins

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Job Description

In a typical day of being a polygraph examiner, you are responsible of giving and conducting a lie detector test to a suspect, witness, or other person involved in the crime scene. Usually polygraphic examiners will start at local police stations to have tests on criminals. The bigger polygraph examiners will work in a court and test the people who are involved in the court case. The law states that one polygraph examiner cannot conduct more than three tests a day. Most polygraphs will take about 3 - 4 hours. If you are an independent polygraph examiner, you can take time off whenever you like, but if you work for an agency, you may get vacation time.
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Working Conditions

As a polygraph examiner, you are on your feet a little bit to start the test and get the client all set up with the equipment. Next, you are at a desk with your computer that is getting all of the results for each answer that the client gives you. There isn't too much stress that comes with polygraph examining, especially if you are an individual polygraph examiner. If you work for a local government, the hours are pretty regular throughout the day, seeing as you cannot conduct more than 3 tests in a day. If you are an individual polygraph examiner, you may have to travel depending on where the work is.

Training/Education Requirements

To get a job as a polygraph examiner, you must be certified in the American Polygraph Association. There is no actual degree in Polygraph examination, but most examiners will have bachelors degrees in psychology, journalism, or communications. After they get degrees in those subjects, they will usually go to get their certification.
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Personal Characterisitics

A successful polygraph examiner is talkative, because they are always going to have to clearly communicate. Fluent, hard-working, because the tests can last up to 3-4 hours. You must be intelligent in psychology, and you must be studious.

Earnings & Job Outlook

The average salary for a polygraph examiner is $67,000, but your salary can significantly increase as you move along the ranks from a local city government to the FBI or CIA. If you move up the ranks the salary just keeps rising with it. You're not restricted to a small city or a big city, because you can move up the ranks as you like. It is not too hard to find work in this field, simply because there aren't a ton of people who do this kind of thing.
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Education Spotlight

Backster School of Lie Detection - San Diego, California

International Academy of Polygraph - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

New England Polygraph Institute - Center Harbor, New Hampshire

How it Works: Polygraph Test


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Job Description

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Polygraph Schools