What Does a Detective Do?
A detective is a specialist police officer that works to solve specific crimes. They work alongside regular police officers and bring unique skills to investigations. The word ‘detective’ is not actually a rank but a description of the role, demonstrating the specialist knowledge and skills involved.
As a detective, you could be responsible for solving crimes involving violence, theft, drugs, fraud or homicide, to name just a few. As technology advances, new roles are also appearing in fields such as cybercrime. Detectives are responsible for investigations within these fields, gathering and examining evidence with the ultimate aim of solving cases and bringing criminals to justice.
Being a detective suits people with inquisitive minds. You’ll have to be patient and work well in teams, potentially handling many cases at once. You’ll also need to be tenacious and determined, especially with cases that take a long time. The rewards are fantastic – you’ll go to bed every night knowing that you’ve done your bit to keep society safe.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Detective?
Depending on your background, there are different ways to become a detective. If you work for the police already, you can apply for in-house training on the specialist detective pathway. This will train you on the additional skills required.
It’s also possible to become a detective without already being a police officer. You’ll first need to achieve a minimum 2:2 result at undergraduate degree level in any discipline. It could be advantageous if you have relevant qualifications, such as a Law A-Level. You can also build knowledge and prove your enthusiasm by completing criminology courses before applying.
You’ll then apply for the Police Now detective graduate scheme. The scheme lasts for two years and trains future detectives in how to investigate serious and complicated crimes, spending time between the classroom and actual police work. Upon completion, you’ll earn the graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice and begin work as a detective.
What Kind of Person Would Suit Being a Detective?
It takes a particular type of person to become a detective. It can often be a frustrating job, with long periods between successes. If you want to become a detective, you’ll have to be patient, determined and persistent – as well as having a strong desire to see justice done.
Solving crimes requires an analytical mind. You’ll need to piece together evidence and look for clues everywhere, leaving no stone unturned. You should have strong people skills. Crime investigations often involve many colleagues, stakeholders and witnesses, and it takes a trustworthy and confident person to manage those relationships.
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Detective?
Being a detective is a hugely rewarding career where you see the direct results of your work. Your efforts help to keep people safe and hold wrongdoers to account. You’ll experience a powerful team bond with other police officers as you work together to solve cases.
Detective work is also mentally stimulating. No two investigations will present the same challenges, and you’ll have to use all of your experience and initiative to crack the case. You can eventually work in an area that interests you, such as fraud, homicide, firearms or child protection.
How Much Does a Detective Earn?
Working for the police comes with many perks. You’ll earn a good salary starting at around £25,000 per year, rising to around £40,000 with experience. A generous pension, holiday allowance, and support network come as standard. You’ll also have the opportunity to work your way into more advanced roles.
What Career Progression Can You Expect as a Detective?
Becoming a detective means many future career paths are open to you. In the police, you’ll have the chance to work up the ladder, achieving ranks like Detective Sergeant (£45,000 per year) and Detective Inspector (£50,000+). These promotions are based on performance reviews and further exams.
How much does a Detective earn?
Some detectives eventually choose to leave the police to pursue other roles. With their vast skills and experience, some might become private investigators – working exclusively for clients to solve various issues. Others move to jobs in security or personal protection, while some take up teaching roles instructing new detectives.
Start your career as a detective with courses from Oxbridge
If you’ve got a keen eye for problem-solving and want a challenging but rewarding career, becoming a detective is ideal. We offer a range of courses to help you take the first step. Contact us today to begin your career as a detective.