Career and Education Opportunities for Criminal Investigators in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for criminal investigators in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 3,300 jobs for criminal investigators in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow 14% to about 3,750 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for criminal investigators, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.6% over the next eight years. Criminal investigators generally investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
The income of a criminal investigator is about $31 hourly or $65,330 annually on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 per hour or $60,910 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Police and Security, people working as criminal investigators in Pennsylvania earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Police and Security nationally. Criminal investigators work in a variety of jobs, including: special agent, state trooper, and counter intelligence agent.
The Pittsburgh area is home to eighty-three schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree as a criminal investigator. Criminal investigators usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Pittsburgh 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.
- Security Guard. Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.
- 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
International Academy of Design and Technology - Pittsburgh, PA
International Academy of Design and Technology, 555 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. International Academy of Design and Technology is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 73 students. International Academy of Design and Technology has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated eighty-three students in 2008.
Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA
Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.
West Virginia Northern Community College - Wheeling, WV
West Virginia Northern Community College, 1704 Market St., Wheeling, WV 26003-3699. West Virginia Northern Community College is a small college located in Wheeling, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,924 students. West Virginia Northern Community College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated three students in 2008.
Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA
Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science.
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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.
The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.
Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.