Find Trade Colleges

Study Area & Zipcode

Criminal Investigator or Special Agent

Find Schools Near

Life As a Criminal Investigator or Special Agent

Criminal Investigator or Special Agent Job Description Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.

Criminal Investigator or Special Agent Responsibilities

  • Determine scope, timing, and direction of investigations.
  • Collaborate with other offices and agencies to exchange information and coordinate activities.
  • Record evidence and documents, using equipment such as cameras and photocopy machines.
  • Manage security programs designed to protect personnel, facilities, and information.
  • Collaborate with other authorities on activities, such as surveillance, transcription, and research.
  • Prepare reports that detail investigation findings.

Criminal Investigator or Special Agent Skills

These are the skills Criminal Investigators and Special Agents say are the most useful in their careers:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

  • Child Support Agent
  • Crime Analyst
  • FBI Profiler (Federal Bureau of Investigation Profiler)
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Deputy United States Marshal

What Kind of Criminal Investigator or Special Agent Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 110,900 jobs for Criminal Investigator or Special Agent in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.5% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,000 new jobs for Criminal Investigator or Special Agent by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 7,500 job openings in this field each year.

undefined

The states with the most job growth for Criminal Investigator or Special Agent are Nevada, Utah, and Arkansas. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Maryland, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Criminal Investigator or Special Agent Average Salary

The salary for Criminal Investigators and Special Agents ranges between about $43,800 and $138,860 a year.

undefined

Criminal Investigators and Special Agents who work in District of Columbia, Alaska, or Hawaii, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Criminal Investigators and Special Agents in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $64,750
Alaska $118,360
Arizona $81,810
Arkansas $60,340
California $107,120
Colorado $87,280
Connecticut $90,470
Delaware $89,930
District of Columbia $122,460
Florida $76,560
Georgia $66,430
Hawaii $107,010
Idaho $73,510
Illinois $87,470
Indiana $75,150
Iowa $73,320
Kansas $62,260
Kentucky $71,300
Louisiana $65,090
Maine $70,620
Maryland $102,370
Massachusetts $101,800
Michigan $86,580
Minnesota $76,640
Mississippi $64,150
Missouri $70,860
Montana $81,210
Nebraska $73,480
Nevada $87,680
New Hampshire $80,370
New Jersey $102,600
New Mexico $77,890
New York $91,250
North Carolina $60,810
North Dakota $84,340
Ohio $75,310
Oklahoma $66,130
Oregon $93,840
Pennsylvania $85,730
Rhode Island $86,580
South Carolina $60,420
South Dakota $72,050
Tennessee $71,940
Texas $79,950
Utah $80,840
Vermont $83,060
Virginia $98,850
Washington $85,440
West Virginia $86,340
Wisconsin $76,590
Wyoming $81,750

What Tools & Technology do Criminal Investigators and Special Agents Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Criminal Investigators and Special Agents:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Graphics software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Corel WordPerfect
  • National Crime Information Center NCIC database
  • Law enforcement information databases
  • Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS
  • National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN
  • Crime mapping software
  • Computer aided composite drawing software
  • Case management software

How do I Become a Criminal Investigator or Special Agent?

Are there Criminal Investigators and Special Agents education requirements?

undefined

How many years of work experience do I need?

undefined

Where Criminal Investigators and Special Agents Work

undefined

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

undefined

Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Criminal Investigator or Special Agent may also be interested in:

References:

Image Credit: via

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Trade Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited trade schools across the U.S.