What Career Options Are in the Criminal Investigation Field?

A person pursuing a career in the criminal investigation field has several options, depending on areas of interest. People who enjoy the outdoors may consider a career as a fish and game warden or a police officer. The following information provides career options for people wishing to pursue a career in criminal investigation. Schools offering Forensic Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Criminal Investigation Overview

A person pursuing a degree within the criminal investigation field has a variety of options that can influence their career path. Some choices include police and detectives, first-line supervisors, managers of police and detectives, detectives, game wardens, patrol officers and railroad police, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov).

Important Facts About Possible Occupation

Police and Sheriff's Patrol OfficerFish and Game Wardens
Median Salary (2018) $61,380$57,710
Entry-level Education High school diploma or equivalent Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Communication skills, good judgment, physical stamina Physical strength, perceptiveness; communication and leadership skills
Work Environment Outdoors, police stations Outdoors

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Police and Detectives

Police officers and detectives protect property and the lives of citizens. They are expected to keep the peace when necessary, even if off duty. A police officer or detective pursues and apprehends criminals. A great deal of a police officer's time is spent writing reports and maintaining records. Detectives and criminal investigators were projected to see a 5% growth from 2016 to 2026, stated the BLS.

Fish and Game Wardens

Fish and game wardens enforce hunting, fishing and boating laws, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A game warden often investigates reports of crop or property damage or damage by wildlife. Fish and game wardens ensure that hunters and fishermen have licenses and ensure that hunters and fishermen do not take game or fish that are illegal. Fish and game wardens enforce boating safety on inland lakes and rivers. The projected employment growth from 2016 to 2026 was 4% for fish and game wardens, as stated the BLS.

Patrol Officers

Patrol officers maintain order, enforce laws and protect people and property within an assigned patrol district. A patrol officer wears a uniform and is armed. A patrol officer may walk a beat, or patrol city streets in a squad car. Duties include directing traffic, issuing citations and apprehending suspected offenders. Patrol officers are often called upon to testify in court. It is essential that patrol officer has good communication and writing skills to ensure that justice is served. According to the BLS, patrol officers were projected to see a 7% growth in employment opportunities for the 2016-2026 decade.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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