Criminal investigator jobs are also known as crime scene investigator jobs. You will learn quickly that this career path is always in demand, but also requires a specific type of individual to be truly successful. Since crime is never going away, you will always have cases to work on and most of them are violent in nature. This means that you will need to be able to stomach some very gruesome scenes and take the time to closely investigate what the general populace would find very disturbing. You will also need to earn a bachelor’s degree and a certification to get started, but it all starts with a first step towards an education.
Working as a Criminal Investigator
Criminal investigators work day and night on a number of cases. These range from violent crimes to drug trafficking and other major crimes. They inspect a crime scene and will break down the evidence to start to figure out who the perpetrator of the crime may be. Their investigations are key to bringing down some of the worst offenders currently walking the streets, but they need to start with some time in a classroom, online or on campus.
Once you decide to take the first step to earn a degree in a forensic science with a focus on entering the criminal investigation field, you will find that you can start as soon as you earn a bachelor’s degree and certification. This gives you the ability to start working very quickly and with another two years spent on a master’s degree, with a focus on criminal justice, you will also be more likely to move up in the ranks of the criminal investigation career path.
The starting salary for a criminal investigator is generally in the range of $55,000 a year, but that will vary based on any specialized education, level of education, employer, precinct, state, experience and other factors. The best way to ensure you get the most out of your salary is to start by talking to a local criminal investigation unit and see what they are looking for specifically. The desires of employers vary by state and city, so making sure that you understand what is needed in a specific area will give you an edge once you start working.
Experience is as important as education, so finding a way to enter the police force and earn some experience will give you an edge over other applicants as you start to enter the field. The issue is often that college and work are difficult schedules to balance. Colleges are aware of this and they have implemented online degree programs to ensure that you are able to attend college on any schedule.
Earning a Degree Online
To earn a degree online, you simply need to decide on what it is that you wish to do in school, find the right school, and then enroll in an online degree program. The advantage of doing this is that you can earn the degree on your schedule and a college will ensure that you have all of the tools you need to be successful.
At the start of an online course you will find plenty of tools that will help you with your education. On top of that you will find a schedule that lists the due dates for your graded work or tests. As long as you are completing and submitting that work on time, it is up to you to decide when you do your school work each day. This freedom to attend college on a schedule of your choice, daily, should give you the confidence to start talking to the colleges you are interested in and start moving towards this important career.