Detectives and Criminal Investigators
Skills & Knowledge
Most Important Skills for Detectives and Criminal Investigators
- 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.
- Thinking Critically—Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking—Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Being Aware of Others—Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Reading—Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Solving Complex Problems—Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Learning New Things—Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Making Decisions—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.
- Negotiating—Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Most Important Knowledge Areas for Detectives and Criminal Investigators
- 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.
- 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.
- Law and Government—Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- 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.
- 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.
- English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics—Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Therapy and Counseling—Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- 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.
Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:
- 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.
Learn more about your interests. Take the MnCareers Interest Assessment.
Describe Your Skills
People who have worked in this career typically perform the following tasks. These statements can help a prospective employer understand what you can do, on a resume or during an interview.
- Collecting information from different sources.
- Making decisions or solving problems.
- Communicating with supervisors, co-workers, or people that work under you.
- Documenting or recording information.
- Communicating with people outside your organization.
- Working directly with the public.
- Identifying information by categorizing, comparing, or detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Keeping up-to-date with new knowledge.
The following careers use skills, knowledge, and abilities that are similar to those used for Detectives and Criminal Investigators.
- Social and Human Service Assistants
- Correctional Officers and Jailers
- Detectives and Criminal Investigators
- Forensic Science Technicians
- Compliance Officers
- Supervisors of Correctional Officers
- Fire Inspectors and Investigators
- Animal Control Workers
- Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
- Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers
- Transit and Railroad Police
- Supervisors of Police Officers
- Agricultural Inspectors
- Airfield Operations Specialists
- Fish and Game Wardens
This page includes information from the O*NET 22.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.