If you’re thinking of becoming a criminal researcher, you’re in luck. The need for criminal justice professionals is always growing and the career is both demanding and rewarding. You can be part of a bigger picture that involves assisting in the solving of crimes and contributing the greater justice system as a whole. The information provided in this article will tell you what a criminal researcher is, what kind of careers you could enter, and what education you need to get there.
What is a Criminal Researcher?
Criminal researchers can go by other names, like criminal investigators or criminal research specialists. The tasks of this career can vary greatly, but is usually determined by your education or specialty. Criminal researchers use the research gathered during a case to analyze information and make important determinations. Researchers can determine if a case is worth pursuing, gather information regarding the case, and present findings that can help the case.
A criminal researcher can work both privately or publicly; in law enforcement agencies, businesses, or for individuals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most of these careers are in local government, while the federal government takes up the second position of most people employed in this position.
Criminal researchers or investigators can become detectives, crime scene investigators, laboratory specialists, computer crimes investigators, or international crime investigators; just to name a few. Criminal researchers can even find jobs outside of the justice branch, working as auditors, personal financial advisors, or financial examiners. The possibilities are endless.
How Do You Become a Criminal Researcher?
For entry level jobs, you must at least acquire a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminal investigation, or another major related to criminal justice. Some states require licensing for certain careers or jobs, but many jobs can be found with just a degree. Criminal researchers should have superior critical thinking and problem solving abilities, as well as be able to make quick decisions and have top-notch written and oral communication skills.
Experience is very important in this job. Interning at various positions can help, but usually on-the-job training is how many criminal researchers obtain their specializations. Many criminal researchers start off analyzing data and working with computer/paper records. After a few years of experience, you can usually get into the more exciting aspects of the job, like investigating crimes and working on more serious cases.
Criminal researchers are usually required to pass background tests, in addition to drug tests or physical exams. Your physical condition may also play a serious role in your career. This job is not for the unstable, as there may be times where you are working with sensitive cases that demand a strong mindset. If you are on an assignment, you may be on your feet for a long time and may even be required to travel. A criminal researcher must also have superb eyesight, as most of the job entails researching and analyzing records and data. These records and data must be precise and accurate.
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The criminal justice system is always in need of educated, excellent criminal researchers. Even the public sector has its need for researchers that are experts at analyzing and collecting information. This complex career can be very demanding, but extremely rewarding for those who wish to pursue the world of criminal researching or investigating. You’ll never have a dull day as a criminal researcher.