Crime is a constant issue that will never go away. While law enforcement has a better grip on how to handle and prevent crimes, there will never be a stop to the constant stream of people that turn to crime for whatever reason. By becoming a criminal investigator you will work on a wide range of cases ranging from murder to drug trafficking and make a significant mark on larger perpetrators. Your education will require a bachelor’s degree and certification at a minimum, but considering a criminal investigator salary upon graduation, the time will be worth it. Make sure that you are ready for what some people simply can’t stomach and you will enter into a field that needs you more now than ever before.
Becoming a Criminal Investigator
Criminal investigators (also known as crime scene investigators) are individuals that study and analyze crime scenes to obtain the information needed to find the person behind the crime. It isn’t always an easy job and many times you will have to deal with some very heinous crimes, but you are going after bigger criminals that do more than simply speed and have a warrant for not paying a ticket. There is an importance in keeping the smaller crimes in check, but you will focus on the big crimes and making a significant difference in the community around you by finding and stopping the most dangerous of criminals.
A criminal investigator salary generally starts around $55,000 a year. You’ll find that the salary will vary based on your experience, education and position. You’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree in a forensic science of some sort and you will also have to pass a certification. Continuing your education to earn a master’s degree with a focus on criminal justice is often desired but rarely required. The best way to ensure you are making the most of your education is to talk to a local police department and discuss your goals with them. They can guide you down the right path and let you know what they look for in new hires.
Another consideration that should be at the top of your list while earning your degree is gaining experience. This may come from working in an entry level position or simply spending time on ride-alongs within the department. This will give you real world experience in the field and ensure that you are prepared for the career path you are studying for. Talk to your local precinct about scheduling this type of time with them. The balance is going to be difficult to find when you start school, but there are ways to ensure that you can go to college and gain experience without having to make big changes to your personal life.
Online Degree Programs
Many colleges offer a wide range of online degree programs and you will find that by pursuing this type of education, the scheduling issues that arise from an traditional college schedule will not be as much of an issue.
When you start an online degree program you enter into a virtual classroom and start exploring a wide range of learning tools that are provided to ensure you are able to complete the work effectively. You will also find a schedule that lists the dates that assignments need to be submitted. What you won’t find is an hourly schedule. Instead, you decide, daily, when you want to work on your assignments, with the only responsibility being that you submit the work on time. As long as you are meeting these deadlines you are free to attend college on your schedule. All that is left is to take that first step and get started on a bright and exciting future.