Detectives and Criminal Investigators


Salary Median (2020)


Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)

+1.1% (little or no change)

Most Common Level of Education

High school diploma or equivalent


What Detectives and Criminal Investigators Do

Conduct investigations related to suspected violations of federal, state, or local laws to prevent or solve crimes.

Other Job Titles Detectives and Criminal Investigators May Have

Criminal Investigator, Detective, Detective Sergeant, Fugitive Detective, Fugitive Investigator, Investigator, Narcotics Detective, Narcotics Investigator, Police Detective, Special Agent

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Special Agent ,

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

The best thing about my job is that there is no average day. One day I might be sitting at my desk typing out reports all day. Another day, I might not come into the office at all and be out in the field serving search warrants, conducting surveillance, doing arrests, going to court, meeting with defense attorneys, etc. My daily tasks depend on the caseload I have and what each of them requires.

Supervisory Special Agent ,


There is no typical work day in the FBI. For the most part, I review large amounts of data from many different sources in furtherance of the investigations I am conducting. I work with the public and other government agencies regarding national security cyber matters. I make decisions about how to address certain cyber security threats and then act on those decisions accordingly. In cases that I can work towards criminal prosecution, I routinely work with the United States Attorney Office.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • Check victims for signs of life, such as breathing and pulse.
  • Obtain facts or statements from complainants, witnesses, and accused persons and record interviews, using recording device.
  • Secure deceased body and obtain evidence from it, preventing bystanders from tampering with it prior to medical examiner's arrival.
  • Record progress of investigation, maintain informational files on suspects, and submit reports to commanding officer or magistrate to authorize warrants.
  • Prepare charges or responses to charges, or information for court cases, according to formalized procedures.

This page includes information from theO*NET 26.1 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.