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Career and Education Opportunities for Criminal Investigators in Charlotte, North Carolina

If you want to be a criminal investigator, the Charlotte, North Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 2,790 people are currently employed as criminal investigators in North Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 28% to 3,570 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for criminal investigators are expected to grow by about 16.6%. In general, criminal investigators investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.

Income for criminal investigators is about $21 per hour or $43,750 per year on average in North Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $29 hourly or $60,910 annually. Incomes for criminal investigators are better than in the overall category of Police and Security in North Carolina, and better than the overall Police and Security category nationally. Jobs in this field include: child support investigator, crime investigator special agent, and child support officer.

There are forty-three schools of higher education in the Charlotte area, including five within twenty-five miles of Charlotte where you can get a degree to start your career as a criminal investigator. The most common level of education for criminal investigators is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a criminal investigator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Criminal Investigator

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

Criminal investigators obtain and verify evidence by interviewing and observing suspects and witnesses or by analyzing records. They also collaborate with other offices and agencies to share data and direct efforts. Equally important, criminal investigators have to record evidence and documents, using equipment such as cameras and photocopy machines. They are often called upon to testify before grand juries concerning criminal activity investigations. They are expected to ready reports that detail investigation findings. Finally, criminal investigators identify case issues and evidence needed, on the basis of analysis of charges or allegations of law violations.

Every day, criminal investigators are expected to be able to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for criminal investigators to analyze evidence in laboratories or in the field. They are often called upon to serve subpoenas or other official papers. They also investigate organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, copyright infringement, civil rights violations and other violations of federal or state statutes. They are sometimes expected to design relationships with informants to obtain data pertaining to cases. Somewhat less frequently, criminal investigators are also expected to obtain and use search and arrest warrants.

Criminal investigators sometimes are asked to furnish protection for individuals, such as government leaders and visiting foreign dignitaries. They also have to be able to administer counterterrorism and counternarcotics reward programs And finally, they sometimes have to furnish protection for individuals, such as government leaders and visiting foreign dignitaries.

Like many other jobs, criminal investigators must have exceptional integrity and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charlotte include:

  • Bailiff. Maintain order in courts of law.
  • Chief of Police. Supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
  • Correctional Officer. Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institution in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
  • Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
  • Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
  • Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
  • Police Officer. Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
  • Police Records Officer. Collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.
  • Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.
  • Transportation Security Officer. Inspect baggage or cargo and screen passengers to detect and prevent potentially dangerous objects from being transported into secure areas or onto aircraft.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Criminal Investigator Training

Catawba Valley Community College - Hickory, NC

Catawba Valley Community College, 2550 Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, NC 28602-0699. Catawba Valley Community College is a small college located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,011 students. Catawba Valley Community College has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Gaston College - Dallas, NC

Gaston College, 201 Hwy 321 S, Dallas, NC 28034. Gaston College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,557 students. Gaston College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated forty and zero students respectively in 2008.

Mitchell Community College - Statesville, NC

Mitchell Community College, 500 W Broad Street, Statesville, NC 28677-5293. Mitchell Community College is a small college located in Statesville, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,911 students. Mitchell Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated twenty-seven and six students respectively in 2008.

Central Piedmont Community College - Charlotte, NC

Central Piedmont Community College, 1201 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28204. Central Piedmont Community College is a large college located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,536 students. Central Piedmont Community College has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College - Salisbury, NC

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd, Salisbury, NC 28146-1595. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is a medium sized college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,876 students. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated forty-eight students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Medical Investigator: The spectrum of professions involved in forensic investigation has broadened dramatically over the past 20 years.

For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.

Certified Corrections Manager - Security Threat Groups: Individuals who head a Security Threat Group (STG) program in an adult or juvenile corrections facility, contribute to the development of agency policies/procedures pertaining to STGs, and are involved in the implementation of these policies/procedures.

For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.

Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.

For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.

Computer Forensics: The primary goals we have for our certification programs are to both assist law enforcement and organizations requiring highly skilled investigators in the identification of highly skilled individuals, and to promote the training and education efforts within the computer investigation, computer forensic and computer security industries.

For more information, see the Cyber Enforcement Resources Incorporated website.

Certified Cyber-Crime Expert: High-profile cases of corporate malfeasance and increased attention paid to cybercrime and cyberterrorism have elevated electronic evidence discovery to an indispensable component of any organization's security plan.

For more information, see the E-Business Process Solutions website.

LICENSES

Counterintelligence Licensee

Licensing agency: NC Department of Justice
Address: Private Protective Services Board, 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001

Phone: (919) 875-3611
Website: NC Department of Justice Private Protective Services Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina photo by Alaskan Assassin

Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 687,456, which has grown by 27.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charlotte, 86, is well below the national average.

The three big industries for women in Charlotte are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 36.4% of Charlotte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 9.7%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Charlotte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.0%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. New Hampton Church, New Emmanuel Church and New East Stonewall Church are all churches located in Charlotte. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charlotte is home to the Crown Point Plaza and the Providence Square as well as Kilborne District Park and Little Rock Road District Park. Shopping malls in the area include Heckinger Shopping Center, Hampshire Hills Shopping Center and Providence Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Charlotte can choose from American Motel, Extended Stay America - Charlotte/Tyvola and Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte for temporary stays in the area.