Growing up watching detective serials and movies, everyone wants to become a detective. The thrill of deducing never really leaves us especially after getting to know the character of Sherlock Holmes. However, somewhere along the way, we forget this dream of ours and work towards more “realistic” goals. In recent years, due to the increased rate of crime, there is a greater need for detectives to solve them. This is where some police officers step up and exhibit the Sherlock Holmes in them. For those of you who still haven’t given up on your detective dreams, here is how to become a detective.
It is important to note that there are two kinds of detectives. Some of them are private investigators who can be hired by the general public to investigate on certain things. The others are employed by the government and reach this post after being promoted from a police officer. Here we shall explore both the avenues.
Complete High School
A detective is generally a police officer who has been promoted to that position because of his or her skills of deduction. Thus, a general way in becoming a detective is to first complete high school and get into the police academy to become a police officer. To become a private investigator, a high school degree is a must too.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
Usually, you don’t require a bachelor’s degree to get into the police academy. However, some police officers prefer to have one as a means of employment after they retire. A bachelor’s degree is also required to pursue any jobs at the federal level or become a detective.
Many institutions require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in law, criminal justice or psychology to become a detective. Anyone with an associate’s degree is given training up to 5000 hours. On the other hand, someone with a bachelor’s degree needs only 4000 hours of training.
To become a professional detective (not employed by the state), you need to have some professional experience as an investigator. There are many ways to get this. However, the most common way is to be employed by the government first. If you have any experience as an arson investigator, criminal investigator or a law enforcement investigator, you are qualified as a person with experience. Other than these, you can also choose to Public defender’s office investigator or a licensed repossessor.
Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. Some states require you to have 3 years of experience while others require 5 years.
Get firearms permits
Investigators that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. Some firearms require a full training course after which they are issued with the permits. So, if you are planning to become an armed investigator, you will need to go through weapons training course and then get the permit for the required weapons.
After completing all the education and experience requirements, you are required to undergo a state licensing test. This test usually contains some multiple choice questions about state laws and some procedures that often need to be carried out. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.
File for insurance
Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. This is generally medical insurance of about $10,000. However, it is important to also get a higher amount if you carry a firearm since you need to protect yourself from greater dangers and insure the gun itself.
Complete all these steps and then voila! You can finally fulfill your dream and become a detective! But be careful – as mentioned before, this can be a dangerous line of work. If you are still up for it, find out all the education requirements in detail and get started on them right away!