Steps required to become a homicide detective include earning a high school diploma and obtaining law enforcement certification. Another track involves earning a college degree, training at a police academy and working as a police officer. Police departments set their own standards when it comes to homicide detective unit qualifications. While attending college isn't necessary in some departments, many police jurisdictions prefer candidates who have either an associate degree or bachelor's degree in criminal justice or law enforcement.Continue Reading
Criminal justice courses teach future homicide detectives important fundamentals pertaining to basic legal procedures, investigative methods, forensics and the role that court systems play in criminal proceedings. Taking one or more foreign language classes, such as Spanish, can help homicide detectives to communicate with non-English speaking people served by law enforcement. After earning a degree, the next step is typically gaining acceptance into a police academy and passing its rigorous training.
Working as a police officer in a community provides aspiring homicide detectives with on-the-job experience responding to calls for help, encountering various criminal behaviors, patrolling the community, arresting criminal suspects and filing police incident reports. Job performance is one key factor in being promoted to detective positions in the homicide division.Learn more about Career Aspirations