What Are the Steps to Obtain a Career in Criminal Profiling?


Quick Answer

The first step to a career as a criminal profiler begins with earning a master's degree in criminal justice, forensics or psychology. Many criminal profilers have a doctorate degree in behavioral sciences, with specialization in areas of human and criminal behavior. Criminal profilers enhance traditional education with additional training, research, self-study and seminars. Volunteer work in related fields while attending school leads to valuable experience and contacts.

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Full Answer

The next step after education is to search and apply for open criminal profiler positions. Because the number of full-time criminal profiler positions is scarce, this may involve applying at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A majority of profilers are employed as special agents at the FBI-run National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. Some police departments hire criminal profilers. An alternative stepping stone is to work for a police department or the FBI in another capacity.

If it is not possible to find a criminal profiler position, an individual can seek jobs related to profiling, such as criminal investigation, lab or morgue technician, crime victim assistance or EMT. These jobs help build experience, which is an important part of criminal profiling. An alternative to working in law enforcement is to work independently as a criminal-profiling consultant.

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