Thinking of Becoming a Detective? Start With Our Guide.

Is It the Right Career For You?

If you think being a detective sounds fun, you may want to reconsider. Detective work is challenging and requires your absolute full attention at all times. There may be a lot at stake. Missing just one clue could lead to a case never being solved. That’s a weight most careers don’t carry. The flip-side of that is the job can be extremely rewarding. Detectives are capable for making a real difference in people’s lives!

Consider whether you are suited for the job if this sounds like you: patient; eye for detail; hard worker; persistent (but not stubborn!); instinctive; excellent problem solver. If you mostly fit that description, then you can make a great detective!

Detective Career Pros:

  • Respectable salary in the $30K-$100K range.
  • Challenging – mentally and physically (which some people thrive on)
  • Rewarding – catching the bad guy and bringing closure to families
  • Noble career – police detectives carry a certain pedigree
  • Interesting – no two cases are the same!

detective_at_workDetective Career Cons:

  • Hard to leave the work at the office
  • Long hours
  • Mentally draining, stressful
  • Frustration with the system and bureaucracy

Key steps to becoming a detective:

  • Get a college (university) degree – earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Biology, chemistry, psychology, and other sciences can also be useful.
  • Acquire in-demand skills such as knowledge of a second language; knowledge of computers / new technologies like web security.
  • Complete basic police training. After which you’ll probably work as a police officer for several years before being considered for a detective position.
  • Stay in shape! Maintain good physical and mental health.
  • Keep learning new skills. Talk to supervisors and see what types of skills and courses are valued highly. They’ll likely have to do with new techniques and technologies being used in the field. You want to be cutting edge, to make you better at your job and stand out against other applicants.

See our complete guide to becoming a detective.

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