Homicide Detective

A homicide detective investigates murder cases taking interview of witnesses, interrogating suspects and gathering evidence. We know that murder is not a natural death because it is caused by criminal activities. A homicide detective is a special person whose goal is to solve murder case arresting murderers. Homicide detectives work with other law enforcement officers in order to solve homicide cases. In the USA, they work for local, federal and state law enforcement agencies. In the following article we will tell you about how you can become a homicide detective.

how to become a homicide detective

become a homicide detective

Duties and responsibilities of a homicide detective:

A homicide detective has certain duties and responsibilities which are mentioned below. You have to fulfill following duties if you ever become a detective.

  • The first and foremost duty of a detective is to visit the scene of the crime as this place will provide him or her with evidence.
  • A homicide detective must be available at any time round the clock as his or her working hours are not fixed.
  • One of the most important duties of a homicide detective is to collect information and evidence regarding the murder case without tampering them at any cost.
  • Another responsibility is to make documents or notes of the crime scene, and the evidence gathered.
  • He or she takes photos or videos of the crime scene, collects good samples and sends them to the forensic lab for further investigation. He or she seals the crime scene so that the place does not tamper and then he or she registers the case.
  • His or her next duty is to take interview of the witnesses, the locals, friends, and relatives of the victim for collecting more information and obtaining clues about the death.
  • After that, a homicide detective starts collaborating on statements collected through investigation. He or she gradually but steadily starts getting clues, which help him or her to solve the case.
  • His or her duty includes a discussion with colleagues so that he or she gets a new perspective and new angles of thinking. Sometimes it helps to solve twists to the case. But a homicide detective must not be completely influenced by anybody’s thought.
  • Even after the culprit is arrested, a homicide detective should protect a strong proof against the culprit so that the culprit does not escape the law of justice.

It is to be mentioned here that a homicide detective’s life is always at risk till the case is solved. His or her work begins at the crime scene and ends with the arrest of the culprit.

Duties Description
1.    Visit the crime scene 1.    It helps to provide a homicide detective with evidences.
2.    Available at any time  No fixed working hours.
3.    Collect evidences  Through interview of witnesses, relatives and friends.
4.    Make documents 4.    Of the crime scene and evidences.


5.    Collect samples  To send to forensic lab.
6.    Collaborate statements to get clues
7.    Protect strong proofs  So that the culprit does not escape the law of justice.


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Requirements of a homicide detective career

how to become a homicide detective

If you want to be a homicide detective, you have to be a uniformed officer first. To be a uniformed officer, a high school diploma is necessary. Specialized police training at the end of high school education is an additional requirement of the career. Before applying for the job of an officer, you may complete a police course, which is 18 weeks long. Here you will learn how to use a firearm, manage stress, how to arrest, communicate with witnesses etc.

But to be a homicide detective, you have to complete a four- year- bachelor’s- degree in the field whatever you will choose among criminal justice, law enforcement, criminal administration etc. FBI and DEA prefer a four- year- bachelor’s- degree. An additional knowledge of computer courses, new technical systems, legal studies, communication and skill development will help to solve a murder case in future. if you can fulfill these requirements then you can become a homicide detective

Last but not the least qualification for becoming a homicide detective is to pass a detective examination like The National Detective Test, which includes questions on interview techniques, criminal investigation, and legal matters.

Steps to becoming a homicide detective

You have to follow five general steps to become a homicide detective.

Step 1: Getting the necessary Education:

Would- be detectives must acquire necessary education, i.e. a high school diploma in order to qualify for the post of a police officer. To be a homicide detective, we know that a four- year- bachelor’s- degree is also necessary for the field of forensic science or criminal law or law- enforcement procedures. In addition, foreign language course is helpful for would- be homicide detectives because they have to work with suspects, witnesses, and families who can’t speak English.

Step 2: Become a uniformed police officer:

A candidate may apply to the post of a police officer of his choice, but he must be 21 years of age, must have high school diploma, U.S. citizenship, state driver’s license and a clean criminal record. Then the qualified candidates need training which helps them to apprehend and arrest criminal suspects, prepare incident reports and writing traffic tickets.

Step 3: Become a homicide detective:

become a detective

homicide detective

To be a homicide detective, field training is essential. First, gain enough experience as a police officer and then, apply for promotion to homicide detective. You may have to pass an examination also for promotion. Otherwise, some departments may select homicide detectives on the basis of seniority within the department. But the candidate must be smart, professional and enthusiastic.

Step 4: Must continue education:

Participation in ongoing training is a must for homicide detectives. Law enforcement agencies and professional associations often offer such ongoing training which includes firearm re- certification, seminars, workshops, courses in law- enforcement skill and so on.

Step 5: Develop excellent communication skills:

A homicide detective must develop an excellent interpersonal communication skill so that he or she can communicate fluently with the witness, family members of the victim or with other law- enforcement officers. Communication skill is not only talking to other people but also completely listens to details, understand emotions of the persons he or she is talking to. Even a homicide detective has to talk to grieving family members and has to handle an uncooperative witness or suspect.

video Guide for becoming a homicide detective

Salary of a detective

Homicide detectives are dedicated to the welfare of the society. They are most respected and well- regarded members of the society. They usually don’t work for money. But they can earn a good amount of money along with love of the public. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual average income of a homicide detective is $79,580. This salary may vary based on location. For example, in Washington DC, a homicide detective earns an average income of $118,271 annually. They even get bonuses and allowances. If they work overtime, they earn $30 because the average hourly rate is $15.



Income $
1.    Average annual income 79,580
2.    Bonuses and allowances 5,032
3.    Overtime 30
4.    Average hourly rate 15


Features of a successful homicide detective:

Not everyone is suitable for this kind of job. A successful homicide detective must possess following personality traits and qualities. Make sure you have following skills to become a homicide detective

  1. Curiosity: They must have curiosity because they need to know every detail of their cases and solve their cases.
  2. Observant: They pay attention to the smallest details. So, they are a good observant.
  • Insightful: They need to apprehend emotions and feelings of suspects while talking to them. They must have a keen insight of psychology.
  1. Logical: They must have strong reasoning skills. The successful detective can solve puzzles. They are logical in nature.
  2. Systematic: No doubt, they are efficient and organized enough to solve the cases.
  3. Practical: They are practical and must not handle anything emotionally. They apply realistic concept while solving cases.
  • Personality: The successful detectives must possess a strong personality and must not be influenced by others.
  • Morality: They work following high ethical standards.
  1. Patience: The successful detective must have patience, determination, and commitment.
  2. Take a risk: They must be prepared to take a lot of risks like working long hours, visiting dangerous places, meeting dangerous people.

Conclusion of this guide on how to become a homicide detective

Thus, in conclusion, I must say that if you want to be a successful homicide detective, you must have a sound knowledge of the legal system and keen insight of psychology. In addition, foreign language will help you to deal and work with special populations. If you are a good listener and a critical thinker, your path to become a homicide detective will be easier. And of course, you must have interviewing skills, problem- solving skills and great reasoning skills. If these features match your personality, don’t look at other jobs. Just get the proper education and training to start the ball rolling. A homicide detective not only earns a good amount of money but also achieves respect and love of people. But they must be mentally prepared to take risk and stress as they don’t have any fixed working hours. Now- a- days, as criminal activities are increasing, more and more people are opting for this profession.