Average Salary
$53,354
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
39,561
Job Openings

Criminal Investigator Careers

Criminal Investigators research criminal cases and solve mysteries. They are on the lookout for suspicious activities preventing future crimes, and identifying suspects.

There are various areas you might specialize in as a criminal investigator. You might become an expert in conducting surveillance, collecting and analyzing evidence, or questioning suspects. Whatever your particular area, you will use specialized equipment to perform your duties and work as a team or department member.

Criminal investigators are usually highly driven and self-motivated people. Their mind is logical, and their body is fit. They are highly observant and able to read the signs and draw conclusions from most of us pass by as irrelevant. They have the technical skills necessary to use their equipment, and they can notice connections between details and events to assemble the disparate and scant pieces of a situation.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a criminal investigator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $25.65 an hour? That's $53,354 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 37,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Criminal Investigator Do

There are certain skills that many criminal investigators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed empathy, good judgment and leadership skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a criminal investigator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 27.2% of criminal investigators included investigative reports, while 13.3% of resumes included firearms, and 7.8% of resumes included irs. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the criminal investigator job title. But what industry to start with? Most criminal investigators actually find jobs in the government and non profits industries.

How To Become a Criminal Investigator

If you're interested in becoming a criminal investigator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 58.9% of criminal investigators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 11.0% of criminal investigators have master's degrees. Even though most criminal investigators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a criminal investigator. When we researched the most common majors for a criminal investigator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on criminal investigator resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a criminal investigator. In fact, many criminal investigator jobs require experience in a role such as police officer. Meanwhile, many criminal investigators also have previous career experience in roles such as patrol officer or deputy sheriff.

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Average Salary
$53,354
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
39,561
Job Openings

Criminal Investigator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Criminal Investigator

Top Careers After Criminal Investigator

Criminal Investigator Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a Criminal Investigator

Criminal Investigators in America make an average salary of $53,354 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $75,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Salary
$53,354
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Best Paying Cities For Criminal Investigators

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Washington, DC
Salary Range71k - 127k$95k$95,455
Los Angeles, CA
Salary Range59k - 102k$78k$78,368
Norfolk, VA
Salary Range49k - 87k$66k$65,916
Chicago, IL
Salary Range53k - 80k$66k$65,574
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range48k - 86k$65k$65,163
Denver, CO
Salary Range54k - 73k$63k$63,199
Des Moines, IA
Salary Range54k - 73k$63k$62,898
Wichita, KS
Salary Range52k - 73k$63k$62,539
Urban Honolulu, HI
Salary Range53k - 73k$62k$62,486
Wilmington, DE
Salary Range46k - 81k$61k$61,479
Jackson, MS
Salary Range48k - 74k$60k$60,042
Omaha, NE
Salary Range51k - 68k$59k$59,162
Newark, NJ
Salary Range45k - 76k$59k$59,031
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range44k - 77k$59k$58,753
New York, NY
Salary Range45k - 75k$58k$58,452
Las Vegas, NV
Salary Range44k - 74k$58k$57,606
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range44k - 73k$57k$57,273
Boston, MA
Salary Range48k - 68k$57k$57,265
Anchorage, AK
Salary Range50k - 63k$57k$56,761
Detroit, MI
Salary Range43k - 71k$56k$55,737
$43k
$127k

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Supervisory Criminal Investigstor
Department of Homeland Security
08/04/2021
$144,12808/04/2021
Chief Criminal Investigator
County of Sonoma, California
08/04/2021
$177,61408/04/2021
Criminal Investigator-Neafo
Us Government Other Agencies and Independent Organizations
08/01/2021
$89,53708/01/2021
Cdoc Criminal Investigator II (Canon City)
State of Colorado
08/01/2021
$75,03608/01/2021
Criminal Investigator-Neafo
Office of The Inspector General, USPS
08/01/2021
$89,53708/01/2021
See More Recent Salaries

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Criminal Investigator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Criminal Investigator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Criminal Investigator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Criminal Investigator resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Criminal Investigator Resume Examples And Templates

Criminal Investigator Demographics

Gender

male

76.3 %

female

20.6 %

unknown

3.1 %

Ethnicity

White

64.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

16.6 %

Black or African American

12.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.7 %

Russian

6.8 %

French

4.5 %
Show More Criminal Investigator Demographics

Criminal Investigator Education

Majors

Business
10.2 %

Degrees

Bachelors

58.9 %

Associate

21.0 %

Masters

11.0 %
Show More Criminal Investigator Education Requirements

Online Courses For Criminal Investigator That You May Like

Introduction to Criminal Law
ed2go

An in-depth look at criminal law and the real world of prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the paralegals who work closely with them...

International Law In Action: Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes
coursera

'Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes' is the second course in Leiden University's new series on International Law in Action. The first course covered international courts and tribunals in The Hague in general. This second course provides an insider perspective into the work of international criminal courts and tribunals. You will learn about the investigation and prosecution of international crimes in The Hague. Atrocities produce unspeakable forms of violence. We will explore whe...

Criminal Law in 120 Minutes: A Fast Track Course
udemy
4.4
(280)

A 2 hour fast track summary of Criminal Law, targeting all common law LL.B examinations!...

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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Criminal Investigator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 27.2% of criminal investigators listed investigative reports on their resume, but soft skills such as empathy and good judgment are important as well.

Best States For a Criminal Investigator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a criminal investigator. The best states for people in this position are California, North Dakota, Virginia, and Illinois. Criminal investigators make the most in California with an average salary of $78,841. Whereas in North Dakota and Virginia, they would average $66,659 and $65,437, respectively. While criminal investigators would only make an average of $65,299 in Illinois, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Criminal Investigator Jobs:
156
Highest 10% Earn:
$161,000
Location Quotient:
1.42
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Criminal Investigator Jobs:
2,236
Highest 10% Earn:
$130,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nebraska

Total Criminal Investigator Jobs:
236
Highest 10% Earn:
$77,000
Location Quotient:
1.63
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Criminal Investigators

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Top Criminal Investigator Employers

1. Department of Homeland Security
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$51,134
Criminal Investigators Hired: 
264+
2. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$57,102
Criminal Investigators Hired: 
97+
3. United States Secret Service
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$52,118
Criminal Investigators Hired: 
84+
4. United States Marine
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$57,227
Criminal Investigators Hired: 
46+
5. PSECU
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$56,516
Criminal Investigators Hired: 
32+
6. United States Navy
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$57,053
Criminal Investigators Hired: 
25+

Criminal Investigator Videos

Updated August 18, 2021