Career and Education Opportunities for Criminal Investigators in Fort Worth, Texas
If you want to be a criminal investigator, the Fort Worth, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 13,100 working criminal investigators in Texas; this should grow by 30% to about 16,990 working criminal investigators in the state by 2016. 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.
The income of a criminal investigator is about $25 per hour or $53,790 annually on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 hourly or $60,910 per year on average. Earnings for criminal investigators are better than earnings in the general category of Police and Security in Texas and better than general Police and Security category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: drug enforcement agent, unemployment insurance fraud investigator, and crime scene investigator .
There are ninety-one schools of higher education in the Fort Worth area, including four within twenty-five miles of Fort Worth where you can get a degree to start your career as a criminal investigator. Given that the most common education level for criminal investigators is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be 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 Fort Worth 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.
- Forest Fire Lookout. Enforce fire regulations and inspect for forest fire hazards. Report forest fires and weather conditions.
- 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
High-Tech Institute-Dallas - Irving, TX
High-Tech Institute-Dallas, 4250 N Beltline Road, Irving, TX 75038. High-Tech Institute-Dallas is a small school located in Irving, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 629 students. High-Tech Institute-Dallas has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated twelve students in 2008.
Collin County Community College District - Plano, TX
Collin County Community College District, 4800 Preston Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093. Collin County Community College District is a large college located in Plano, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,000 students. Collin County Community College District has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated fifty-nine and zero students respectively in 2008.
Tarrant County College District - Fort Worth, TX
Tarrant County College District, 1500 Houston St, Fort Worth, TX 76102-6599. Tarrant County College District is a large college located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 39,596 students. Tarrant County College District has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated eighty-two and zero students respectively in 2008.
Weatherford College - Weatherford, TX
Weatherford College, 225 College Park Drive, Weatherford, TX 76086-5699. Weatherford College is a small college located in Weatherford, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,799 students. Weatherford College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated nine and four students respectively in 2008.
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: Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is situated in Tarrant County, Texas. It has a population of over 703,073, which has grown by 31.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Worth, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Worth are valued at $145,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 3,790 new homes were constructed in Fort Worth, down from 5,669 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Fort Worth are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 22.3% of Fort Worth residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Fort Worth is 8.3%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Fort Worth residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, Pentecostal Water of Life Church and Petra Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Worth. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Fort Worth is home to the Hurst Sewage Disposal and the Hart Spur as well as Trinity Valley School Softball Field and Circle Park. Shopping malls in the area include Overton Park Plaza Shopping Center, Ridgmar Town Square Shopping Center and Fair Oaks Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Worth can choose from Azalea Plantation Bed & Breakfast, Central Motel and Best Western Fort Worth Inn for temporary stays in the area.