Detective Job Description Example

By | September 5, 2016
Detective job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities

Detectives resolve crime cases by investigating and collecting facts.

Detective Job Description Example

What Does a Detective Do?

The job description of a detective entails investigating crime situations as well as collecting facts necessary for crime investigation.

A detective is a law enforcement professional who may also be called a criminal investigator or special agent.

They collect facts or evidence relating to cases by observing suspects, checking physical evidence, and interviewing witnesses or suspects.

Based on the sufficiency of evidence discovered, detectives also charge suspects to court or arrest suspects for further interrogation. They also appear in court as expert testifiers.

During and after crime investigations, a detective is responsible for confidentially recording findings and disseminating necessary information to the appropriate departments.

Recording of statement or findings can be done manually or using a recording device.

It is the duty of the detective to secure crime scene perimeter using rope, and to examine physical evidence present at the crime scene.

They also perform some forensic functions like collection of physical evidence and other samples that may help in unraveling the root cause of crime and the criminal.

It is the role of detectives to contact forensic scientists to examine blood, hair or urine samples.

They also summon physicians or paramedics to treat individuals or suspects injured at crime scenes.

The work description of a detective also includes instructing forensic analysts and laboratory scientists on the kind of test to conduct on each sample. This depends on the aim of carrying out such test.

Detectives work with other law enforcement agents to make sure that justice is done in the cases they handle.

They are expected to assist the police in making arrests or demand for police assistance in carrying out raids and arrests.

They also influence the decision of judges by explaining findings and evidence as it relates to crimes.

Working as a detective can be very rewarding. Statistics from BLS show that low ranking detectives earn an average salary of $80,540 per annum as of 2014. This figure is higher for high ranking agents.

However, being a detective is a job for the brave and strong at heart. To be employed, a minimum academic qualification of Bachelor’s degree in crime investigating related discipline is usually required.

In addition, the candidate must have undergone 3 to 4 months training at the police academy and passed all written, physical, and drug tests.

Also, a minimum of two years experience as a patrol officer and comprehensive knowledge of the criminal justice procedures and legal concepts is mandatory.

Other relevant personal attributes may include exceptional inductive and deductive reasoning skills, excellent far and near vision, composure, good verbal and written communication skills, and great investigative and recording skills.

Detective Job Description Example

Here is a detective job description example showing typical tasks, duties, and responsibilities they are usually expected to perform:

  • Gather facts or evidence related to crimes
  • Observe, and interview witnesses and suspects to obtain facts regarding crime
  • Charge suspects to court and stand as expert testifier
  • Raid and arrests crime suspects for further investigation
  • Record findings manually or using a recording device
  • Disseminate necessary information or findings to appropriate departments
  • Secure crime scene perimeter upon arrival using rope, as well as examine physical evidence present at the crime scene
  • Collect hair, urine, and blood samples for further laboratory testing
  • Inform laboratory scientists or forensic scientists of the desired test to be performed on samples
  • Summon physicians or paramedics to treat individuals or suspects injured at crime scenes
  • Assist the jury in decisions regarding crime cases by explaining findings and evidence related to crime.

Detective Resume Preparation

If you are searching for a detective job, you will be expected to present a resume that adequately captures your skills, experience, and other attributes that make you suitable for the job.

To help in preparing the job experience part of your resume, you can apply the duties and responsibilities given in the sample job description above.

Requirements – Abilities, Skills, and Knowledge – for Detective Role

Below are common skills, qualities, and qualifications you will be required to have to be considered for employment as a detective:

  • Education and experience: A minimum academic qualification of Bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to criminal justice is required of candidates aspiring to be detectives. In addition, a mandatory two years experience as a police officer is necessary
  • Training: To qualify as a detective, an aspiring police officer must undergo a 3 to 4 months training at the police academy at the end of which he or she must pass all necessary written, physical, and drug tests
  • Inductive and deductive reasoning: A detective must be good at combining pieces of data or information to reach meaningful conclusions. Also, he/she must be good at making valid conclusions based on available information
  • Clear vision: He/she must be able to see things very clearly whether at close distance or from afar
  • Good communication skills: A detective should possess excellent skills at communicating verbally and in writing, so as to be able to solicit/convey information from/to people when necessary. He/she should also be good at listening to others to obtain necessary information
  • Outstanding recording and reporting skills: He/she must be good at using recording devices and stationary to record and prepare reports
  • Strength and emotional maturity: The job involves constant physical movement and thinking. Therefore, a detective must have the stamina to perform the job. He/she should also be emotionally mature so as to be able to make judgments free from bias.

Detective Skills for Resume

When making a resume for the role of a detective, the skills section should be included as it tells the hirer that you have the required skills that will enable you to perform excellently on the job.

You can quickly make this section with the help of the detective skills requirements highlighted above.


To have a good understanding of what a detective does, you need a detailed job description for the occupation, which has been provided above for your free use.

Did you find our detective job description useful? Please share your thought with us by making a comment in the box below; you can also share your work experience as a detective if you are one, we will love to read about it.