What Is Required to Earn a Certificate in Fraud Investigation?

A career in commercial, corporate, insurance, computer or financial fraud investigation involves using analytic techniques to determine the causes of specific fraud cases. A certificate program in fraud investigation can prepare students to use these techniques in professional settings. Read on to find out what is required to earn this certificate. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview and Professional Requirements for Fraud Investigators

The requirements for becoming a professional investigator vary widely, and often depend on an aspiring investigator's desired specialty as well as on local factors such as state laws. Fraud investigators are no exception. Some positions may only call for a high school diploma accompanied by on-the-job training, while other roles may demand a 4-year degree. To earn certification from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), individuals must show proof of education and/or professional experience that is deemed equivalent to a Bachelor's degree in any field of study. Earning a certificate in fraud investigation from an accredited university can help complete this requirement.

Important Facts About Professional Fraud Investigation

Average Annual Salary (2019) $59,682*
Similar Occupations Financial examiners, financial analysts, accountants, auditors, bill collection agents, claims adjusters, financial advisers
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 1% decline (for all claims adjusters, examiners and investigators)**
Work Environment Fraud investigators must sometimes visit the sites of alleged wrongdoing to confirm details about their case; They must also sometimes conduct interviews with affected or involved parties to collect statements as evidence

Sources: *Payscale.com', **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'

Professional Certificates for Fraud Investigators

The requirements to earn a certificate in fraud investigation differ by school and by program type. Read on to learn about the requirements from a few example programs in fraud investigation:

Purdue University - Calumet

Purdue University - Calumet in Hammond, Indiana, offers a certificate in forensic accounting and fraud investigation for both accounting and non-accounting professionals. This is an on-campus program that is affiliated with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. All students are required to complete four courses in order to earn this certificate; students with non-accounting backgrounds are required to take an extra course in financial accounting. The required courses cover topics in:

  • Fraud identification and investigation
  • Fraud prevention
  • Fraud data analysis
  • Criminology and legal issues

West Virginia University

West Virginia University in Huntington offers students three options for earning a graduate certificate in forensic accounting and fraud investigation. Students can complete the 4-course program on campus during the summer, or complete the program online with two on-campus residencies spanning two semesters, or they can earn a Master of Professional Accountancy and also complete two of the courses in the certificate curriculum over 11 months. The four courses cover types of fraud, methods in fraud prevention, fraud legalities and complex fraud cases.

Colorado State University - Global Campus

The online campus of Colorado State University offers a fraud management certificate of completion program for professionals who already work - or wish to work - in fraud investigation. Students must complete four courses in fraud investigation. These courses cover fraud data analysis, fraud detection and prevention, legal aspects of fraud and the basic types of fraud.

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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