What it Takes to Become a Police Detective for Secret Service

To begin this security job guide, let us talk about how you can become a detective. It is a job that many people find interesting in doing. You need some specific things to get there, like education and being of a certain age. In this guide, you will find what it takes to become a detective step by step, in plain and simple words.

Now that you are a police officer, let us talk about becoming a police detective. I will share with you a step-by-step plan to help you achieve this highly sought-after promotion.

A detective is usually a police officer who has moved up to that role because of their outstanding investigative skills.

To reach this point, you need to have completed your education, finished your studies, and earned promotions by gaining enough experience.

Meanwhile, a private detective is often someone who used to be a police officer but now works independently or for a company on specific contracts or within an institution.

Who is a Detective?

Police officers who have received specialized training and possess the necessary skills to investigate crimes are called detectives.

Their responsibilities include interviewing suspects and witnesses, collecting evidence, conducting surveillance, finding and arresting suspects, creating reports, and giving testimony in court.

Detectives can focus on various types of crimes and investigations, such as narcotics, internal affairs, traffic accidents, or homicide, depending on their specialization.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Detective?

Becoming a police officer usually requires about six months of training. After that, it generally takes four to five years of on-the-job experience before an officer can take the promotion exam to become a detective.

In some police departments, having a college degree can substitute for a year of experience, which can extend the time needed to become a detective. So, keep in mind that becoming a detective can take a while, depending on your circumstances.

1. Education

To become a public detective, you need to start as a police officer. To achieve this, you should graduate from high school and then attend the police academy for training.

But here is an important tip, having a degree makes it more likely for you to get promoted or hired by the police. So, consider enrolling in a college or university program in criminology or a similar field. It typically takes about four years for an undergraduate degree and about two years for a graduate degree.

2. Get Hired As an Officer

The next step is becoming a police officer. To start, you will need to apply, and it may take about three months for the initial processing before the recruiting process begins.

The hiring process can be quite thorough, involving written tests, interviews, physical assessments, mental and psychological evaluations, and even medical checks. This whole procedure might take up to four months.

After successfully completing all these steps, including interviews with the chief and passing background and polygraph checks, you will be accepted into the police academy

3. Gain Experience as an Officer

Experience is the most valuable teacher, especially for aspiring detectives. Therefore, as a patrol officer, it is essential to pay close attention to every case.

This practice will help you spot similarities and trends in different crimes and develop the analytical thinking skills required for a detective.

In most police departments, promotions usually occur after at least two years of service.

4. Gain Experience as a Detective

To work for a company or be hired by a client as a private investigator, you need prior experience in conducting investigations.

You can choose from various investigative roles, including working as a criminal investigator or conducting research for the public defender’s office or investigating financial frauds.

FAQs on How Long Does it Take to Become a Detective

1. What is the youngest age to be a detective?

Many police departments do not specify a minimum age to become a detective, but they typically require you to work as a police officer for at least three years before being eligible to take the detective exam.

2. How do I become an informer

In many instances, you need to finish the Certificate III in Investigative Services course from a recognized training organization like TAFE or ASSI before you can get your license.

3. Is being a detective fun?

Becoming a detective can be thrilling, but it demands dedication, persistence, and many hours invested in tracking clues and waiting for progress.

There are primarily two kinds of detectives: police detectives and private detectives.

4. What types of detectives are there?

  • Public Detectives
  • Private Detectives
  • Undercover Detectives
  • Missing Persons Detectives
  • Missing Property Detectives
  • Insurance Claim Detectives
  • Due Diligence Detectives
  • Homicide Detectives

5. Who is the highest payed detective?

  • Principal Investigator
  • Polygraph Examiner
  • Forensic Engineer
  • Forensic Analyst
  • Director of Investigations
  • Investigations Manager
  • Corporate Investigator
  • Criminalist

6. Who is the world’s best agent?

Sherlock Holmes has been an iconic figure ever since he was featured in stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He is been brought to life in numerous movies and television adaptations, making him a beloved character for generations.

7. Are informers happy?

Detectives tend to rate their happiness as higher than average. In fact, they typically give their career a rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars, placing them in the top 24% of professions when it comes to job satisfaction.

8. How smart do you have to be before you can be an agent?

Education: While the minimum requirement to become a detective is a high school diploma, many agencies prefer candidates with a higher level of education. Having a college degree in fields like criminology, criminal justice, political science, psychology, sociology, or forensic science can be a significant advantage in pursuing a career as a detective.

9. How can I be a detective?

To become a detective, you typically need to:

  • Meet the educational requirements.
  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Meet the physical requirements.

10. Who is the smartest detective in real life?

These are the people or notable figures that are in the field of investigation and law enforcement:

  • Izzy Einstein and Moe Smith
  • Kiran Bedi
  • Jay J. Armes
  • Alice Clement
  • Dave Toschi
  • William E. Fairbairn
  • Francois Vidocq
  • Allan Pinkerton


Becoming a detective takes some work, first, you need to get the right education, then, make sure that you are at least 21 years old and meet the physical requirements. It is not always easy, but with determination and the right qualifications, you can follow this path and become a detective.

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