What does an Investigator do?

Investigators work with law enforcement agencies, individuals, and businesses to investigate and solve crimes to secure a successful conviction. They conduct detailed investigations of complex criminal activities and other violations of local, federal, or state law and collect, analyze, and preserve evidence. They direct crime scene investigators and other law enforcement members while at crime scenes and utilize deductive reasoning and analysis to make informed decisions and conclusions that lead to prosecution.

Investigators write detailed case reports, file and maintain records, coordinate search and arrest warrants, arresting suspects as needed. They operate firearms and electronic surveillance equipment and testify in court regarding case evidence and findings to secure a conviction. Investigators undergo continuous training and development as required and must maintain strict confidentiality. Investigators need a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or related fields and equivalent training at a federal law enforcement college.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience0-1 Year

Investigator Salaries

Average Base Pay

$100,000 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $100K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Investigator Career Path

Learn how to become an Investigator, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

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Investigator Insights

Read what Investigator professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Covid-19 Case Investigator
23 Aug 2021

“I love the fact that the process was quick and I was able to start right away.”

Paladin Risk Solutions
16 Apr 2020

“About the only con I can think of is that there is alot of work and everyone is pretty busy.”

Pinnacle InvestigationsPinnacle Investigations
Background Investigator
13 Sep 2020

“The remote online training (due to COVID) was the best job training that I have received.”

Pinnacle InvestigationsPinnacle Investigations
Investigations Specialist
8 Jun 2021

“There is no incentive to make a career out of this job because there are no opportunities to do so.”

CACI InternationalCACI International
Background Investigator
8 Oct 2019

“The pay is really good especially that you can work how ever much overtime you want to.”

Worcester County Jail
For Special Services Investigation Unit
23 Aug 2019

“The Worcester County Jail is an exceptional career starter for any undergraduate/college graduate looking to enter the law enforcement arena.”

24 Jan 2020

“Good luck being burnt out by month 5 and having no way out unless you want to pay back >$7k.”

U.S. BankU.S. Bank
AML Investigator
8 Dec 2020

“Everyone is nice and helpful and the job itself is interesting”

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Investigator Interviews

Related Careers

Public Affairs Specialist
No skills overlap
Compliance Analyst
13% skills overlap
Compliance Officer
No skills overlap
Fraud Analyst
13% skills overlap

Investigator jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of an investigator

When working as an investigator, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Positive Attitude, Raising, Written Communication, VERBAL Communication and Proteomics.

The most similar professions to investigator are:
  • Public Affairs Specialist
  • Compliance Analyst
  • Compliance Officer
  • Fraud Analyst

The most common qualifications to become an investigator is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.