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How to Become a Detective

Rujuta Borkar
Being a detective is no way as adventurous and exciting as is portrayed in films. Read on to know more on how to become a detective.
Think detective, and you picture top hats, large overcoats, and over sized glares... the typical detective's attire. You see him running through dark alleys, stopping to look over his shoulders and always saving the damsel in distress from the bad goons. Guess what? That's not what a detective does all the time.
And certainly not in that order. Movies tend to show a highly glamorized picture of the detective. Being a detective is no easy feat. In the following paragraphs, I will give you the lowdown on how to become a detective and explain what his duties are.

Requirements to Become a Detective


  • A detective's education requirements make it a pre-requisite to hold a college degree in order to facilitate his chances at becoming a detective. Applicants who have a degree in subjects like criminal justice or political science have better prospects of being accepted in the police department.
  • Along with that, some basic knowledge in English, math, biology, and chemistry is required.
  • An applicant should also know how to work the computers efficiently.
  • It would give an applicant a greater advantage if he has attended a military school, as this would mean that they have related experience and knowledge in that field.

Other Requirements

  • A person who has great interpersonal and communication skills is at an advantage of being accepted into the academy.
  • He should not have color blindness. He must have vision correctable to 20/20.
  • He must have a clean record of driving and no violations.
  • Knowledge of a second language will give him an edge over others.
  • He can apply for a civil service examination and take their tests which include a physical exam, a lie detector test, several written tests, and drug tests.
Having all or most of these factors will gain him precedence over the others and he will be accepted into a police academy. There they will train him for a period of 12 weeks or a year. After the training is over, he will be put into the patrol division. It is a good idea to spend roughly 1-2 years in the patrol team and learn everything about the job.
Once that is done, he should try and implement all that is taught into the patrol rounds and it'll make it easier to shift to a detective position. However, shifting to a detective position is not easy and will require that someone notices your skills. Therefore, it is important to constantly be on your toes and do your duty really well.
Duties of a Detective
  • He has to gather evidence and clues from the scene of the crime.
  • He has to question witnesses and suspects.
  • He has to also question those people who are in some way or the other connected to the witnesses or suspects and try to gather more information through them.
  • He needs to study the case thoroughly to identify any missing clues and links.
  • He has to raid regular haunts of criminals and keep contacts with people who can supply information about any untoward activities.
  • He has to make thorough criminal background checks on other criminals to get more clues or to get an insight into how criminals think.
  • He has to write reports on the different aspects of the case and submit it to his seniors.
  • He has to assist his seniors in on-field activities like arrests and questioning as well as do clerical and paperwork.
  • He has to prepare all the necessary papers and gather information prior to the hearing in court.
  • He needs to testify in the court, if he is required to stand in.
  • Many detectives will work undercover for which they will don civilian clothes. In such a case, where he cannot divulge his true identity, he has to use his communication skills to get the story out.
  • Detectives have very strenuous work programs. They have to work late nights and weekends and the hours of working are never regular.
After having told you about the varied ways of becoming a detective, you must have realized that it is a highly stressful job requiring courage, strength, and character, along with the ability and competence to take on risks and face danger.