Undisclosed Careers

Nancy Drew. Sherlock Holmes. Magnum P.I. These are the television characters that I was fascinated with growing up. I was intrigued by the way they solved mysteries and contemplated becoming a private investigator at one point because I felt it would be an exciting job to have. If you have a love for mysteries and consider yourself to be somewhat of a sleuth, then there are several undisclosed careers to choose from.

Criminal justice is the study of the causes, consequences and control of crime. Like other new and developing fields, criminal justice draws from a number of different disciplines, including psychology, public administration, philosophy, political science, sociology and law.

Private Investigator

A criminal justice degree is well-suited to someone who might like to work as a private investigator.

They may work for individuals or businesses to find and uncover information. Typically it relates to information about financials, personal matters or legal matters. There are many specialties that a private investigator can pursue including that of a computer forensic investigator, legal investigator, corporate investigator and financial investigator.

Some private investigators have years of police experience and take that experience to retail stores and hotels where they help with loss prevention from shoplifters, employee theft, and vendor theft.

Depending on the specialty one is interested in, while there is no formal education requirement for a general private detective, those aspiring to work in a more specialized field have pursued postsecondary degrees in the related field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is projected to increase by 22 percent for the 2008-2018 decade. This is attributed to increased demand for identity theft, security concerns, increased lawsuits and litigation, and employee background checks plus the proliferation of financial fraud activities and corporate espionage.

The median wage of a salaried private detective and investigator was $41,760 in May 2008 with the highest ten percent earning more than $76,640.

Secret Service

The United States Secret Service is one of the nation’s oldest federal investigative law enforcement agencies. Those who are part of the Secret Service primarily provide protection for the president and vice president of the Untied States, their families, former presidents and visiting heads of states and governments.

We have all seen the dark suit and sun glassed agents whenever the President or other high level government official makes a public appearance. But did you know that they are also responsible for investigating crimes against our financial infrastructure. In fact, the original purpose of this agency was to combat counterfeiting of U.S. currency which was an enormous problem after the Civil War.

To apply, you will need to have a four year college degree or a combination of education and criminal investigative experience, be in good physical condition and have no criminal record. All new agents attend an 11 week training course followed by an additional 16 weeks of training in Washington, D.C. for all agents and officers.

The median salary for a secret service agent depends on the grade level they are hired at. Most start at the GL-7 or GL-9 level which has an average starting salary of $43,964- $74,891.

Undercover Officer

For police officers who thrive on the risk of the job, one of the more dangerous roles is that of an undercover officer. In this position, the primary responsibility is to obtain enough information that will lead to prosecution. This may involve drugs, contraband or a crime ring and other illicit activities.

Some operations may last three months; others years depending on the scope of the criminal activity and the safety of the undercover officer. Many undercover officers have worked in the police field and movie into this role with on-the-job training and perhaps courses in criminal law and procedure.

Many undercover officers are selected because they have a certain look or fit the mold of the specific assignment which may require an ethnic looking agent, female agent or someone with foreign language skills. The more civilian looking may be the better as undercover agents who act and look too much like a police officer may not be able to infiltrate a drug or crime ring in a convincing manner.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not separate out employment projections for this specific job as undercover officers are typically selected from current police officers or new recruits, the overall employment of police and detectives is expected to grow 10 percent over the 2008–18 decade.

According to Simplyhired.com, the average salary of an undercover police officer is $41,000. Average undercover police officer salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits.

These are some of the specializations that individuals interested in an undercover role may pursue.

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