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Summary Report for:
33-3021.01 - Police Detectives

Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.

Sample of reported job titles: Detective, Fugitive Detective, Investigator, Police Detective, Narcotics Detective, Fugitive Investigator, Narcotics Investigator, Detective Sergeant, Detective Supervisor, Sex Crimes Detective

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Provide testimony as a witness in court.
  • Secure deceased body and obtain evidence from it, preventing bystanders from tampering with it prior to medical examiner's arrival.
  • Examine crime scenes to obtain clues and evidence, such as loose hairs, fibers, clothing, or weapons.
  • Obtain evidence from suspects.
  • Record progress of investigation, maintain informational files on suspects, and submit reports to commanding officer or magistrate to authorize warrants.
  • Check victims for signs of life, such as breathing and pulse.
  • Prepare charges or responses to charges, or information for court cases, according to formalized procedures.
  • Obtain facts or statements from complainants, witnesses, and accused persons and record interviews, using recording device.
  • Prepare and serve search and arrest warrants.
  • Note, mark, and photograph location of objects found, such as footprints, tire tracks, bullets and bloodstains, and take measurements of the scene.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Footprint lifters — Electrostatic dust lifters; Impression casting kits
Handcuffs — Metal handcuffs; Plastic handcuffs
Notebook computers — Laptop computers; Mobile data computers
Physiological recorders — Polygraphs; Voice stress analyzers
Surveillance video or audio recorders — Audio recording equipment; Digital tape recorders

Technology used in this occupation:

Data base user interface and query software — DataWorks Plus Digital CrimeScene; Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS; National Crime Information Center NCIC database; National Integrated Ballistics Information Network NIBIN *
Graphics or photo imaging software — DeChant Consulting Services iWitness; DesignWare 3D EyeWitness; Digital Image Management Solutions Crime Scene; The CAD Zone The Crime Zone
Map creation software — Crime mapping software; Geographic information system GIS software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Corel WordPerfect software; Microsoft Word

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

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.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
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.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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.
Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

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Skills

Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

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Abilities

Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
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.
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.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

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Work Activities

Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Work Context

Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — How often does this job require working in a closed vehicle or equipment (e.g., car)?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
45   High school diploma or equivalent Help
21   Associate's degree
16   Some college, no degree

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

Interest code: EI

Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Styles

Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

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Work Values

Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Related Occupations

29-2041.00 Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics Bright Outlook
33-1011.00 First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers
33-1012.00 First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
33-2021.01 Fire Inspectors
33-2021.02 Fire Investigators
33-3012.00 Correctional Officers and Jailers Bright Outlook
33-3021.03 Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
33-3051.01 Police Patrol Officers Bright Outlook
33-3051.03 Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
53-2022.00 Airfield Operations Specialists

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Detectives and Criminal Investigators.
Employment data collected from Detectives and Criminal Investigators.
Industry data collected from Detectives and Criminal Investigators.

Median wages (2013) $36.89 hourly, $76,730 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 115,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Little or no change (-2% to 2%) Little or no change (-2% to 2%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 27,700
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Police and Detectives external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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