Homicide Investigator: Job Description & Salary

Discover how to become a homicide investigator. Learn about job duties, education requirements, salary, and job outlook to see if you've still interested in this career. Schools offering Law Enforcement degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Homicide investigators, also referred to as detectives, gather information as it pertains to criminal murder investigations. Investigators usually get promoted to this rank after years of reputable work as a police officer. Check out the table below for quick info on the requirements and responsibilities of this career.

Education Required High school diploma at a minimum; associate's or bachelor's degree preferred
Educational Field of Study Law enforcement, criminal justice, or a similar field
Training Required Training academy
Key Responsibilities Communication skills, leadership skills, perceptiveness, good judgment, physical strength and stamina
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 5% (detectives and criminal investigators)
Median Salary (2017)* $79, 970 (detectives and criminal investigators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Homicide Investigators Do?

Homicide investigators are responsible for collecting facts and evidence pertaining to criminal homicide cases. As investigators, they conduct interviews with potential witnesses and suspects, review records, monitor the activities of suspects, and participate in arrests. Homicide investigators are usually assigned cases and continue to work on them until an arrest has been made and a trial has ended.

What Are The Education Requirements?

All applicants wishing to become homicide investigators must have at least a high school diploma, with many departments requiring or preferring candidates to have some college coursework or a degree in law enforcement, criminal justice or a similar field. Those who possess an associate's or bachelor's degree increase their chances of being hired or promoted.

What Are The Training Requirements?

Nearly all investigators start their careers as police officers before being promoted to the rank of investigator. Most homicide investigator candidates also must have graduated from their agency's training academy prior to going through the required on-the-job training. Training includes a blend of classroom instruction, which covers various areas of civil rights, ethics, and law, along with a supervised experience. Additional areas of training can include emergency response, firearm use, and self-defense.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for detectives and criminal investigators, including homicide investigators, was $79,970 as of May 2017. Homicide investigators tend to work full-time with provisions for overtime as well. The top industries these investigators worked in were the federal, state, and local government, as well as state, local, and private educational services.

What Is The Job Outlook?

The BLS projects the role of detectives and criminal investigators to experience growth of 5% between 2016-2026 which is on par with the average among all occupations. There may be slight variations in demand for employment as driven primarily by local and state budgets. However, the push for continued public safety will ensure this role remains in demand.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Post University

    Post University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Post University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Central Christian College of Kansas

    Central Christian College of Kansas responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Central Christian College of Kansas:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »