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Career and Education Opportunities for Criminal Investigators in Laredo, Texas

If you want to be a criminal investigator, the Laredo, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 13,100 jobs for criminal investigators in Texas and this is projected to grow by 30% to about 16,990 jobs 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%. Criminal investigators generally investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.

A person working as a criminal investigator can expect to earn about $25 per hour or $53,790 yearly on average in Texas and about $29 per hour or $60,910 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Police and Security, people working as criminal investigators in Texas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Police and Security nationally. Jobs in this field include: state trooper, police inspector, and investigation officer.

The Laredo area is home to five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Laredo where you can get a degree as a criminal investigator. Criminal investigators usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn 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 Laredo include:

  • Bailiff. Maintain order in courts of law.
  • Chief of Police. Supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
  • 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

Texas A & M International University - Laredo, TX

Texas A & M International University, 5201 University Blvd, Laredo, TX 78041-1900. Texas A & M International University is a medium sized university located in Laredo, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,859 students and an admission rate of 63%. Texas A & M International University has a bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated forty-six students in 2008.

Laredo Community College - Laredo, TX

Laredo Community College, West End Washington St, Laredo, TX 78040-4395. Laredo Community College is a medium sized college located in Laredo, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,196 students. Laredo Community College has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated forty-four students 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.


Laredo, Texas
Laredo, Texas photo by Billy_Hathorn

Laredo is situated in Webb County, Texas. It has a population of over 221,659, which has grown by 25.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Laredo, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Laredo cost $137,000 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred sixty-eight new homes were constructed in Laredo, down from 1,257 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Laredo are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, other transportation, and support activities, and couriers, and public administration. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 14.7% of Laredo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Laredo is 8.1%, which is the same as Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Laredo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. El Buen Pastor Assembly of God Church, El Mesias United Methodist Church and Heights Baptist Church are among the churches located in Laredo. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Laredo is home to the Webb County Courthouse and the Dolores Ranch as well as Shirley Field and Laredo Entertainment Center. Visitors to Laredo can choose from Blue Caribbean Ventures, Motel 9 and Bender Hotel for temporary stays in the area.