Homicide detectives are the most telegenic of law enforcement professionals. Prime time is filled with them, looking sharp in suits and high-fashion separates, flashing badges and shouting orders, sparring verbally with wisecracking sidekicks, solving crimes just in the nick of time. However, the day-to-day homicide detective stories don’t resemble what you see on television. The real job involves long hours, hard work, a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and a lot of talking on the phone. In the end, though, the results are all worth it. As how much money does a homicide detective make homicide detective, it’s your job to solve crimes, arrest murderers and prevent new victims. Society doesn’t have many jobs with a higher intrinsic moral value than. Homicide detectives work within existing police departments as part of a team, studying murder cases and looking for clues. Teams can include forensic experts, psychologists, profilers, beat cops, clerks, archivists and other experts brought in specifically for a particular case. The detectives, however, are in charge of the investigation. Its failure or success lies on their shoulders, and a large part of their job is team management and coordination. They sign time sheets, supervise schedules and assign routine administrative duties, in addition to their detecting work.
Steps for Becoming a Homicide Detective
A homicide detective has a very interesting yet challenging law enforcement career. This job typically entails spending time at a crime scene, collecting physical evidence and coordinating an investigation. Being a detective working homicides usually involves interviewing witnesses, gathering information about suspects, and performing data research. In order to become eligible for work as a detective specializing in homicides, a person must first put in at least three years as a police officer. There is a competitive exam to pass, which will then provide the choice of becoming either a sergeant or detective. The first step to a career as a homicide detective is to become a police officer. A potential police officer must hold, at the minimum, a high school diploma or its equivalent. Those who feel confident that they wish to pursue a career in detective work have a better chance at succeeding if they have completed some college courses or, preferably, have a criminal justice degree. Criminal justice degree programs get students ready for their police academy training and the subsequent work involved in becoming a murder investigator. Some of the types of courses offered in a criminal justice or law enforcement program may include:. It typically takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Working for the federal government in this capacity requires a bachelor’s degree. Many law enforcement agencies now also require a bachelor’s degree, though for some, an associate degree is sufficient. An associate degree entails at least two years of coursework. Other bachelor’s or associate degrees that may be acceptable other than criminal justice are in related fields, such as forensic science. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , police and detective employment rates are projected to increase 7 percent over the next eight years, resulting in 53, new jobs by the year Job benefits are usually extensive, with an option to retire at an age earlier than the common retirement age for most other workers. Having a college degree can mean a higher salary and better job opportunities in many police departments. Most police officers and detectives also belong to a strong union that offers more benefits and job protection. A detective working on homicide cases mostly find employment within their local police departments, though there is also work on the state or federal government levels, too. Other helpful skills and experience that a homicide investigator should possess include good communication skills, having an objective point of view and the patience to work through the sometimes long and emotional process of solving a murder. Having a four-year criminal justice degree gives most patrol officers a strong advantage when a promotion to homicide detective is desired. AD Bestvalueschools. Clicking in this box will show you programs related to your search from schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site. Got it!
Experience Affects Homicide Detective Salaries
A homicide detective’s job is to investigate deaths suspected to have been caused by criminal activities, as well as deaths with an unknown cause, in order to rule out criminal activity. Homicide detectives are sworn law enforcement officers. Homicide detectives, who are generally promoted from their initial position as a police officer or another position in law enforcement, often work for local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies. Responsibilities of a homicide detective include gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, conducting background checks on victims and possible suspects, identifying the responsible party or parties , preparing cases for court, and assisting in the successful prosecution of offenders. Working conditions vary greatly depending on the nature of the current investigation. A homicide detective must be prepared to work under any conditions. Homicide detectives are employed by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. Depending on the size and geographic location of the agency, the detective’s jurisdiction may cover the entire agency’s jurisdiction or a sector of the area under that agency’s scope. The nature of the work can be very dangerous and stressful, so the detective must be mentally and physically prepared for the tasks performed. The minimum requirements to become a homicide detective are a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree for federal jobs and experience as a sworn law enforcement officer. More and more agencies are requiring prospective homicide detectives to have at least a two-year degree in criminal justice , forensic science, or a related field, plus prior experience as a sworn law enforcement officer. To become a homicide detective, you can expect a process similar to the one described below. Check the job listing for more details. Please note that a degree cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Additional academy training or education may be required for law enforcement jobs. While police officer training varies depending on the locality of the police department, aspiring homicide detectives should be prepared to attend the police academy and to gain experience as a police officer, a crime scene investigator, or a sheriff’s deputy first. Detectives are generally promoted from police officers. Homicide investigators should possess strong communication skills, the ability to remain objective, and the patience and empathy necessary to work through the often long and emotional process of a homicide investigation. Family and friends of the homicide victim, the general public, and the media often expect an immediate resolution, which may not be realistic, so the ability to set expectations and reset them when necessary is important. Military experience can also be an advantage.
Steps for Becoming a Homicide Detective
Adrian Monk, Columbo, Sherlock Holmes… Some of the best-known homicide detectives in TV and film — and perhaps the inspiration behind your contemplation of becoming one. If you really are considering this career paththen you might want to know odes thing or two more about what the job is really like, how much it pays and, basically, how to become a homicide detective.
Homicide investigators are responsible for — you got it — investigating and solving murder cases. Their day-to-day duties typically involve:. Working as a homicide detective is no ordinary 9-to-5 job. You can expect long hours, working during the evening, on weekends and overtime. While most of your work will be conducted in the detevtive, you will also spend time in an office writing reports.
It should also be noted that this is also a dangerous profession as confrontation with suspects is common. The job comes with a homciide deal of personal risk or injury, including death. Moreover, there is much scientific reporting on post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD with homicide detectives, as well as high suicide rates. Although not necessary, a college degree in an area related to the profession can be beneficial. Typical areas of study include:. Alternatively, visit the Metropolitan Police website for job opportunities with the Met.
Some of the best universities in the US offering such degrees include:. Ongoing training is necessary for any homicide detective, and includes re-certification or courses in law enforcement skills and procedures.
Many law enforcement agencies, professional associations and third party organisations offer continuing education classes, seminars and training workshops. Through experience and continuing education, you may be able to dkes in rank within your department. For example, you could go on to oversee the work of lower ranking detectives and regular police offers. As a detective working in the UK, you could work your way up to chief inspector and then superintendent, and on to assistant chief constable and chief constable.
Are you considering a career as a homicide detective? Join the conversation down below and share your thoughts and experiences with us! US dollar — Pound sterling conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.
This article was originally published in December Law Enforcement Careers.
2. Get the Qualifications
Homicide investigators require little formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and employment prospects to see if this is the right career for you. A homicide investigator is not an entry-level position, but a role earned through a promotion after many years of experience working as a police officer. While a bachelor’s degree is usually a requirement for working as a homicide investigator at the federal level, a high school diploma is often sufficient education for state and local positions. A homicide investigator, also known as a detective, searches for evidence and clues dettective to identify suspects in murder cases. Training and experience are required to obtain the skills necessary to become a homicide investigator. Homicide investigators usually have at least a high school diploma; they are experienced police officers who have earned promotion to this job title. Some agencies require a college degree. Education requirements for homicide investigators vary depending upon whether the hiring agency is federal, state or local. Generally, state and municipal homicide investigators must have at least a high school education and must also be mxke police officers. Some jurisdictions, and notably federal agencies, also require potential how much money does a homicide detective make to have some postsecondary education. Degree programs in criminal justice, criminology and forensic science are homocide found at community colleges kuch universities, and aspiring homicide investigators may earn an associate degree in two years or a bachelor’s degree in four years. In addition, nearly all jurisdictions train investigators at either a regional or state police academy before giving them their first investigative assignment. Other characteristics like integrity, sense of responsibility and hoicide judgment are requirements of the job. Some agencies require candidates to take a personality test or interview with a psychiatrist or psychologist. In addition, job applicants may also be ddtective to detectvie drug testing or lie detector tests. In the course of solving a murder case, homicide investigators collect evidence such as DNA and fingerprints at the crime scene. They interview suspects and witnesses who may have information about the crime. They prepare reports of investigation findings and, if necessary, testify in court regarding the investigation.