The 3 Essential Skills of a Criminal Investigator

Crime investigators on their headquartersBecoming a criminal investigator is an attractive career path. The pay is decent and the work is reasonably challenging, especially when you have to dig through information to make inferences. For anybody who likes excitement, this sounds great.

It’s not that hard to pursue this path either. You can even take criminal investigation courses online for convenience. The problem is that not everyone is equipped with the skills to become a good criminal investigator such as the following:


At its core, investigations are highly dependent on communication. Investigators have to dig deep to unearth previously unknown information. Knowing how to approach and talk to people, do some critical thinking, and have social perceptiveness are all highly crucial for this job. It’s important to know how to convey the right kind of information so you can get the exact details you’re looking for.

Critical thinking helps with understanding the subtext and context of a situation or an event. Social perceptiveness, meanwhile, keeps you aware of how others would react to a certain situation and why.


There is a legal aspect to being a criminal investigator. That said, you cannot simply obtain information the way you want. Your methods have to stay within the confines of the law. Courts dismiss charges on technical mistakes and your work can easily be considered one if done improperly. The last thing you want to happen is for the other side to use the information you found against the case you are building.

Technical Know-how

Lastly, technical knowledge is always beneficial for criminal investigators. The technology you use may vary depending on what you’re working on, but it never hurts to have general knowledge of particular tools and equipment. Examples include fingerprint scanners and surveillance equipment.

If you want to be a criminal investigator, these skills are true must-haves. Build on them, so you can excel on your chosen career path.