How Do You Become A Detective?


11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
My 13 year old told me that she wanted to make the world a safer place. She had watched a program about a murder(can't remember what we were watching) and she was outraged that there are people who can hurt others. So, she announced that she wanted to either be a prosecutor or a detective.

She asked me how to become either one.

I know that lawyers need prelaw and then law school but I don't know what kind of education that detectives need.

I always like to encourage my children's dreams so I am curious if any of you know the requirements needed to become a detective.

Aww, I love it when kids get inspired to help others! I'm not entirely sure of the process, hopefully someone else will hop on here soon!
If you are talking a police detective, you first join the police force, do your time on the street and work your way up.
Actually, if she wants to be a detective I suggest NOT to get a crim justice major. Police employers actually like to see people with a varied background. So tell her to focus on what interests her and when its time for college (she has quite a few years yet) she should register for a major that she can do well in and enjoys. Police LOVE to hire people with science and math backgrounds. Bio, Chem, Accounting...all are great majors!

She can start getting involved now though! She may need a few years yet, but when she is old enough, you may want to encourage to become an EMT. That's a GREAT way to get involved with law enforcement. There are also junior police academy programs that take people around her age. I know the tech highschool near us actually has a jr. police program. You may want to search for something like that too!

Unfortunately she will have to start out as a road cop and work her way up to detective. My dad is a detective sergeant. Took him a few years to get up there, bt benefits are great and a lot of police forces pay about $50,000 starting, which is pretty darn good for a starting salary. Also, tell her to check out state police. They are typically a better way to go. Usually a little more strict, but the benefits are paid by government and a little more stable than municiple cops. Another plus is you get to retire in 25 years. Also, tell her to check out all the avenues in law enforcement! There really are a lot!

Most of my family is involved with law enforcement. I'm currently going to school for biology, but I still think I'd like to get into law enforcement somehow. Just not sure in what area yet! Good luck to her!
Administrative of Justice BA to start (NOT criminal justice), then the police academy. Stay in school for that Masters in A of J. The more education you have the faster you can move from foot/car patrol to other areas of law enforcement. A Detective's shield is an earned honor, and it can be many years before the honor is bestowed upon someone.

If this is something she really wants, I would certainly enourage her!!!!

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