Criminal Investigators and Special Agents investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
- Prepare reports that detail investigation findings.
- Obtain and verify evidence by interviewing and observing suspects and witnesses or by analyzing records.
- Identify case issues and evidence needed, based on analysis of charges, complaints, or allegations of law violations.
- Investigate organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and other violations of federal or state statutes.
Criminal Investigators with little to no experience tend to make between $43800 and $57560 while the more experienced ones can earn over $107000 per year.
|Top 5 paying states||Hourly||Annual|
One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Criminal Investigators are DC, AK, CA, HI and NJ.
However, a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.
Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.
We asked other Criminal Investigators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a College Certificate.
Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.
|Natural Resources Law Enforcement and Protective Services|
|Criminal Justice/Police Science|
|Criminalistics and Criminal Science|
|Law Enforcement Investigation and Interviewing|
|Law Enforcement Record-Keeping and Evidence Management|
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent.
|Suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects|
|Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented|
|This career is perfect for people who love to work both indoors and outdoors.|
|It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.|
|Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs|
|Demand for this career is growing very slowly|
|Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)|
What is the job like
74% of Criminal Investigators said they were satisfied with their job and 78% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.
Is this right for me
You can read more about these career personality types here.
People who are suitable for this job tends to like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business..
They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
collect evidence at crime scene, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
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control and extinguish municipal fires, protect life and property and conduct rescue efforts.
investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, goods, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
guide or control vehicular or pedestrian traffic at such places as streets, schools, railroad crossings, or construction sites.
Related career information
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