Are you a bit “snoopy?”
Then you may be interested today’s career.
A detective’s primary job is to uncover evidence and search for clues. These people use their skills to solve crimes.
A detective can be hired to watch a person or people. Sometimes the individual may be involved in a crime. Other times, a detective may be hired to find a missing relative or friend.
In corporations, detectives will scour financial records and digital files looking for possible wrongdoing.
Though the settings can be different, the spirit of the work – discovering clues to create a whole picture – is all part of being a detective.
Let’s “uncover” more about this exciting career.
What Do I Need to Be a Detective?
The first thing you will need to be a detective is a great appreciation for helping people. You should also be very detail-oriented and observant.
Here are some other qualities most detectives have;
- Possess a personal intuition about situations or people
- Logical thinking
- A charismatic personality
- The ability to communicate effectively with people who may not want to share information
- Be technological savvy – using cameras, understanding computer forensics, and operating a wiretap, using handcuffs, polygraphs, and fingerprinting
- Physical stamina
- Ability to do many tasks at one time
What Type of Schooling Do I Need to Become a Detective?
In most cases, detectives need to have at least a high school diploma. However, a college or university degree is often considered an asset.
In school, you will want to focus on the areas of criminology, forensics, and even business courses.
For many, though, hands-on experience is worth more than book learning. Most detectives start out as rookie police officers or work as assistants to private detectives to build up their basic skills.
What Can I Do as a Detective?
Once you have become a detective, there are many areas where you can work. These include;
These people often solve mysteries or settle personal disputes on a per-case basis. As a “PI” you may track down someone’s biological parent or do surveillance (“spy”) on a particular individual.
Many private investigators uncover details of a crime (but usually only after a case has gone “cold”). A family of a missing or deceased person might engage the services of a private investigator to continue searching for clues. These inquiries might pose possible solutions to a crime or provide enough evidence for police to reopen a case.
Some detectives work for the police station. This type of career will have you visiting crime scenes, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing lab reports, and suspect profiles.
This type of detective will assist other investigators in narrowing down a suspect or piecing together an unknown series of events. He or she can also sometimes be responsible for making arrests. In some cases, detectives must testify in court about their findings, beliefs, and processes.
Large corporations occasionally hire detectives. Here you would conduct internal investigations in cases of suspected fraud or embezzlement (taking company money that does not belong to you). Good detectives can piece through the paperwork to determine if anything is amiss
Law firms may also keep detectives on staff to help attorneys. In major trials, there is often a lot of paperwork and electronic data that needs to be sorted, and evaluated. While lawyers can do this work, a detective’s expertise is better suited to identifying potential “question areas.”
Is Being a Detective the Right Career for You?
Becoming a detective will take a lot of hard work and determination. But just think, once you become a detective, you may find a missing person or even put a bad guy in jail.