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Criminal Investigators & Special Agents

Also called: Criminal Investigator, Detective, Investigator, Special Agent

Where in the Coast Guard? In the Coast Guard: CWO - Intelligence; CWO - Security; Explosive Ordnance Disposal; Investigator; LDO - Intelligence; LDO - Security; Operations Intelligence; RL - Special Duty Officer - Intelligence Officer; Special Investigations

What they do:
Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
On the job, you would:
  • Prepare reports that detail investigation findings.
  • Obtain and verify evidence by interviewing and observing suspects and witnesses or by analyzing records.
  • Identify case issues and evidence needed, based on analysis of charges, complaints, or allegations of law violations.


Safety and Government
  • law and government
  • public safety and security
  • customer service
  • administrative services
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design


Basic Skills
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
  • understanding people's reactions
  • changing what is done based on other people's actions


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • use rules to solve problems
  • do two or more things at the same time
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
Hearing and Speech
  • speak clearly


People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Integrity
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Self Control
  • Dependability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Cooperation


You might use software like this on the job:

Data base user interface and query software
  • Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System IAFIS
  • Law enforcement information databases
Electronic mail software
  • Email software
  • Microsoft Outlook
Graphics or photo imaging software
  • Computer aided composite drawing software
  • Graphics software


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
some college
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about criminal investigators and special agents.