Criminal Investigators and Special Agents

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What do they do?

Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.

Also known as:

Agent, Criminal Investigative Agent, Criminal Investigator, Detective, Detective Sergeant, FBI Special Agent (Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent), Gang Investigator, Investigator, Major Case Detective, Master Police Detective, Narcotics Detective, Police Detective, Special Agent, Special Crimes Investigator, Violent Crimes Detective

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Detectives and Criminal Investigators is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028.

★ You’re seeing projected growth rate for Detectives and Criminal Investigators because we don’t have information for Criminal Investigators and Special Agents.
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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For Virginia:

  • 0.9%

    Percent Change

    Ranks #25 in job growth rate
  • 220

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Ranks #10 in net job growth
★ You’re seeing projected employment information for Detectives and Criminal Investigators because we don’t have information for Criminal Investigators and Special Agents.

Select Type of Degree:

Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Criminal Investigators and Special Agents:

Indicates your preferred majors

★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, Award of less than 1 academic year, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (3.1%)
  • Master's degree (13%)
  • Bachelor's degree (41.7%)
  • Associate's degree (12.3%)
  • Some college, no degree (22.5%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (6.8%)
  • Less than high school diploma (0.6%)

Percent of workers in this field

★ You’re seeing education information for Detectives and criminal investigators because we don’t have information for Criminal Investigators and Special Agents. Please note the information may not be the same for both occupations.

Colleges that Prepare

Colleges with the most graduates that become Criminal Investigators and Special Agents:

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Prepare investigation or incident reports.
  • Examine records or other types of data to investigate criminal activities.
  • Observe individuals' activities to gather information or compile evidence.
  • Interview people to gather information about criminal activities.
  • Investigate accidents to determine causes.
  • Investigate illegal or suspicious activities.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 24.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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