How to Become a Criminal Profiler: All You Need to Know

Criminal profilers, also known as Criminal Investigative Analysts, examine evidence at crime scenes in an effort to identify common behaviors and traits of a perpetrator. By analyzing data from similar crimes and offenders, they are able to draw up a profile of a suspect to help law enforcement determine who might have committed the crime. If you want to be a crime profiler, you need to need to know the steps to follow.

7 Steps to becoming criminal profilers

We gave you a relatively simple introduction to a criminal profiler job. Next, we will make a detailed and in-depth introduction on how to become a professional criminal profiler through the following aspects.

Step 1: understand criminal profiler description and responsibilities

A criminal profiler is a highly trained expert in solving crimes with extensive knowledge of criminal behavior, statistical probabilities and investigation techniques. While the term profiler is often heard on television, few law enforcement agencies list it as a job title. If you want to be a criminal profiler, you should first know what the job is for and then what are the job responsibilities.

Responsibilities of criminal profilers:

  • Identify behavior patterns, personality traits, psychological status, demographic, and geographic information based on crime scenes to develop offender profiles.
  • Working knowledge of personality assessments, investigative strategy, geographic profiling, interviewing techniques, and crime analyses.
  • Provide advice and guidance to police officers and investigators.
  • Conduct research and analyze data from similar case files in order to reach a conclusion.
  • Engage in ongoing training to remain knowledgeable and learn about new developments in the field.
  • Conduct yourself in a professional manner and adhere to local laws and regulations.
  • Provide expert testimony in a court trial as required.

Step 2: Think before you do: whether is it worth to be a criminal profiler

Before you decide to be a criminal profiler, you should first understand whether it is worth being a criminal profiler for you, because it will bring you both advantages and disadvantages. So we've listed some of the advantages of being a crime writer and the disadvantages of this job.

Advantages of becoming a Criminal Profiler:

1. It provides useful investigative information.

If no one was able to see who committed a crime and there is no CCTV available, then the best way to get an idea of who to look for based on gathered evidence is criminal profiling. It can even predict where a future unlawful act may take place.

2. It gives investigators some information to work on how little it may be.

Even with the modern technology today, such as internet tracking and facial recognition, criminals can still escape the network. But by examining the criminal conduct at the crime scene, it would be possible to get an idea of the kind of person who is capable of committing it, allowing for leads to be pursued even if there is a lack of the actual identity of the offender.

3. It creates a heightened level of victim protection.

If law enforcers know that an unknown criminal is targeting a particular demographic, then they will be able to warn this group of people and move to protect them from becoming victims of a crime.

Disadvantages of becoming a Criminal Profiler:

1. It profiles based only on educated assumptions.

For an offense that is being investigated through criminal profiling, the suspect can just be outside of the profile to get away with it. Law enforcers would be looking within the assumed but wrong profile, instead of one where the real culprit is in.

2. It adds information to a profile that is not based on facts.

One definitive drawback of criminal profiling is making personal assumptions about the perpetrator. It should be considered that not all bank robbers are living in poverty and not all serial rapists are single. As you can see, including stereotypes can lead to looking for the wrong suspects and excluding those who are guilty from suspicion.

3. It relies on facts about a crime scene that may not actually be facts.

Somehow related to the previous disadvantage, there are easy assumptions that are made when creating criminal profiles. For example, people steal food because they are hungry and steal money because they are brokers. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, people would steal certain things just for fun, while others would do it for the thrill.

Step 3: Research Best colleges and universities for Criminal Profiler

1. The Oxford University

2. Harvard University

3. Yale University

4. The Cambridge University

5. The Stanford University

6. The University of Melbourne

7. LSE

8. UC Berkeley

9. Columbia University

10. New York University

11. University of Chicago

12. University of Sydney

13. NUS

14. UNSW

15. ANU

16. UCL

17. Georgetown University

18. HKU

19. KCL

20. University of Toronto

Step 4: Go through College

Getting started in law enforcement in general does not require a specific type of degree, but undergraduate programs in psychology, criminal justice, or forensics are a good starting point. Prospective criminal profilers often enhance their chances by pursuing advanced degrees in those or similar fields. Professional schools offer students a lot of high-quality courses and will award students bachelor's degrees and master's degrees about crime, law, etc. The curriculum is intense and comprehensive, with most students completing their programs in three or four years. In a word, studying at university is very important to become a professional criminal profiler. It can help you learn all kinds of related knowledge systematically and lay a solid foundation for your future career.

Step 5: Internship Opportunity

During college, while learning all kinds of criminal and investigating knowledge systematically, you should seize the opportunity to do some related part-time work, and improve your ability through practice at the same time. O'Toole states that even after joining the BAU, which requires completing FBI Academy training--agents undergo an additional two or three years of training that involves classroom work and working with an experienced profiler. You can search for relevant part-time criminal profiler interns through some special part-time websites, send your resume to companies that need part-time students, and you can also learn about relevant part-time information through the employment service center of the school.

Step 6: Prepare relevant skills for Criminal profiler

1. Perception: Good profilers are able to see things most people might miss. More than just recognizing clues at a crime scene, they are able to pick up on the social cues of others and see patterns where they are not obvious.

2. Attention to detail: Even the smallest piece of information can be relevant. Good profilers recognize this and make note of small details even if they don't seem relevant at the time. They may turn out to be relevant once other evidence is uncovered or analyzed.

3. Analytical skills: The job often involves putting together a profile of a person the profilers have not met. This requires identifying behaviors and traits based on the way crimes were committed, where they were committed, and when and how, and why they might have been committed.

4. Communication skills: Because they often consult with other police agencies, criminal profilers need to have excellent communication skills. This often involves helping to walk other law enforcement officials through the process of seeing how profilers reached the conclusions they have reached.

5. Physical fitness: Those working as FBI agents especially need to maintain a high level of physical fitness. Prospective agents must meet specific requirements, and fitness must be maintained.

Step7: find relevant criminal profiler jobs, and apply it

Where can I find relevant jobs? If you're ready to become a criminal profiler, you may want to know where to find a relevant job. Now we provide you with a website where you can research for the job you want, you can click on it:

Important Tools for a successful criminal profiler

Advanced knowledge and ability are the keys to becoming a criminal profiler. They can help you develop a variety of career paths and obtain a high salary.

Develop your career path

Criminal profiling is a highly specialized and competitive field. While demand for the expertise criminal profilers can provide is high, it takes several years for investigators to gain the necessary experience and skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not measure job growth for criminal profilers specifically, but it does project growth for forensic science technicians at 17 percent for the decade ending in 2026. This is more than twice the rate of growth projected for police and detectives in general, which suggests a greater potential for investigators with specialized skills. Criminal profilers can serve either as the lead investigators in major crimes or as consultants to other law enforcement agencies who have sought out the assistance and expertise of profilers. The details and nature of many cases can be gruesome or otherwise troubling. Criminal profilers often are working on crimes that are violent in nature or the work of serial criminals. Some profilers consulting on cases may do so from a distance, analyzing evidence and providing insight to lead investigators.