What Do Criminal Investigators Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

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daily life of a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent
are Criminal Investigators and Special Agents happy with their job

Criminal Investigators and Special Agents

Other names for this job might include Agent, Air Marshal, Border Police, Child Support Investigator, Child Support Officer, CIA Agent (Central Intelligence Agency Agent), Counter Intelligence Agent, Crime Analyst, Crime Investigator Special Agent, Crime Scene Investigator (CSI)


  • $79620
    Salary
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

B+



Being A Criminal Investigator: What You Really Do


In this job description guide, you will find out what do Criminal Investigators and Special Agents do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent or not.



Job summary

Criminal Investigators investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.

We asked Criminal Investigators how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

74%

How meaningful is this job

78%


74% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 78% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical day

On a daily basis, Criminal Investigators Obtain and verify evidence by interviewing and observing suspects and witnesses or by analyzing records. They Prepare reports that detail investigation findings.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Criminal Investigator is to Determine scope, timing, and direction of investigations.

Some may also Identify case issues and evidence needed, based on analysis of charges, complaints, or allegations of law violations.

A typical day for A Criminal Investigator look like this:

Examine records or other types of data to investigate criminal activities.
Observe individuals’ activities to gather information or compile evidence.
Interview people to gather information about criminal activities.
Prepare investigation or incident reports.
Determine operational procedures.

We asked some Criminal Investigators a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?100% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?80% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?62% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?75% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?13% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?66% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?37% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?61% said yes



Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Criminal Investigators do, they Record evidence and documents, using equipment such as cameras and photocopy machines. They might also Examine records to locate links in chains of evidence or information.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Criminal Investigators Collaborate with other offices and agencies to exchange information and coordinate activities. and Analyze evidence in laboratories or in the field.

In addition, they Investigate organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and other violations of federal or state statutes.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Obtain and use search and arrest warrants.

To some Criminal Investigators, it is also their responsibility to Serve subpoenas or other official papers.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Record crime or accident scene evidence with video or still cameras.
Examine records or other types of data to investigate criminal activities.
Collaborate with law enforcement or security agencies to share information.
Analyze crime scene evidence.
Investigate illegal or suspicious activities.



Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)


In a typical work week as A Criminal Investigator, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Criminal Investigators work in an office-style work environment?

Everyday
56.1%

Once a week
18.61%

Once a month
6.14%

Once a year
0%

Never
19.15%

Do Criminal Investigators work in a warehouse-style work environment?

Everyday
25.91%

Once a week
41.18%

Once a month
0.45%

Once a year
12.81%

Never
19.65%

Do Criminal Investigators work outdoors?

Everyday
43.14%

Once a week
29.71%

Once a month
15.65%

Once a year
11.5%

Never
0%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Persuaders and The Thinkers


You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

You also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.



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Career type

Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement
Law Enforcement Services

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Related to Criminal Investigators and Special Agents Job Description

Criminal Investigators and Special Agents job description, what do Criminal Investigators and Special Agents do, typical day for Criminal Investigators and Special Agents, what is it like to work as a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent, how many hours do Criminal Investigators and Special Agents work, day to day work of a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm
https://www.bja.gov/
http://www.theiacp.org/
http://www.dhs.gov/

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Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
Written by: Stanley Tan
Criminal Investigators investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
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