Criminal Investigators and Special Agents

Description

Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.

Tasks

  • Prepare reports that detail investigation findings.
  • Obtain and verify evidence by interviewing and observing suspects and witnesses or by analyzing records.
  • Identify case issues and evidence needed, based on analysis of charges, complaints, or allegations of law violations.
  • Investigate organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and other violations of federal or state statutes.
  • Record evidence and documents, using equipment such as cameras and photocopy machines.
  • Obtain and use search and arrest warrants.
  • Testify before grand juries concerning criminal activity investigations.
  • Search for and collect evidence, such as fingerprints, using investigative equipment.
  • Determine scope, timing, and direction of investigations.
  • Collect and record physical information about arrested suspects, including fingerprints, height and weight measurements, and photographs.
  • Analyze evidence in laboratories or in the field.
  • Collaborate with other offices and agencies to exchange information and coordinate activities.
  • Develop relationships with informants to obtain information related to cases.
  • Perform undercover assignments and maintain surveillance, including monitoring authorized wiretaps.
  • Collaborate with other authorities on activities such as surveillance, transcription, and research.
  • Examine records to locate links in chains of evidence or information.
  • Serve subpoenas or other official papers.
  • Compare crime scene fingerprints with those from suspects or fingerprint files to identify perpetrators, using computers.
  • Manage security programs designed to protect personnel, facilities, and information.
  • Provide protection for individuals, such as government leaders, political candidates, and visiting foreign dignitaries.
  • Administer counterterrorism and counternarcotics reward programs.
  • Issue security clearances.

Knowledge

Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Wrist-Finger Speed
The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Interests

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.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Work Values

Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Lay Titles

Air Marshal
Border Police
Child Support Investigator
Child Support Officer
CIA Agent (Central Intelligence Agency Agent)
Counter Intelligence Agent
Crime Analyst
Crime Investigator Special Agent
Crime Scene Investigator (CSI)
Criminal Investigator
Criminal Profiler
Deputy Sheriff
Deputy United States Marshal
Detective
Drug Enforcement Agent
FBI Investigator (Federal Bureau of Investigation Investigator)
FBI Sharpshooter (Federal Bureau of Investigation Sharpshooter)
FBI Special Agent (Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent)
Fraud Analyst
Identification Officer
Intelligence Officer
Investigation Officer
Investigative Analyst
Investigator
Missing Persons Investigator
Narcotics Agent
Police Detective
Police Inspector
Police Officer
Postal Inspector
Secret Service Agent
Special Agent
Spy
State Trooper
Undercover Cop
Unemployment Examiner
Unemployment Inspector
Unemployment Insurance Fraud Investigator
United States Marshal (US Marshal)

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$35.72 hourly, $74,300 annual.
Employment (2008):
109,230 employees