How to Get a Job like on TV’s “Criminal Minds” … in Real Life

How to Get a Job like TV’s “Criminal Minds” in Real LifeIf you are interested in a job like Criminal Minds, then you need to become an investigator. Investigators specializing in the inductive and deductive reasoning to create a criminal profile based on characteristics are sometimes referred to as criminal profilers.

The majority of profilers are actually law enforcement investigators that have several years of experience in violent crimes, have completed specialized training, and received degrees in psychology and forensic science.

Skill Requirements and Education

There are numerous professions in the field of forensic psychology, criminal profiling is just one of them. A profiler must undergo extensive training and meet particular educational requirements. He must also have experience in relation to violent crimes. To be a successful criminal profiler, you will need to have no less than a master’s degree.

Most profilers hold doctorates in behavioral sciences. These behavioral sciences include psychology, specializing in human and criminal behavior.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

The FBI does not have employees who are referred to as FBI profilers; the agents who perform criminal profiling also provide threat assessments, case management advice and interviewing strategies to law enforcement agencies all over the world.

The National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC)

The NCAVC is located in Quantico, Virginia. To become a special agent at the NCAVC, you must have at least three years of service as an FBI special agent. Because there are numerous candidates for these positions, generally the successful candidates have up to 10 years of experience investigating abductions as well as violent and sexual crimes. Preferred educational requirements for this type of position include an advanced degree in Forensic or Behavioral Science.

That said, it is possible to become employed at the NCAVC without becoming a special agent.

Other positions available include:

  • Violent Crime Resource Specialists
  • Intelligence Research Specialists
  • Crime Analysts

These careers are research positions requiring an in-depth knowledge of data collection, research methodology and analysis.

Homicide Detective

A career that is similar to a profiler is a homicide detective. If you decide you would like to become a homicide detective, you should take online courses related to criminal justice and/or law enforcement.

  • angel

    awesome cant wait to be an FBI agent !!!

    • CCU – CAGS

      Great career choice!

  • joanna1995

    I can’t wait to be an FBI agent

    • CCU – CAGS

      It’s an exciting career choice!

  • Aydin Montoya

    I’m in 11th grade and I don’t know what to take class wise to be prepared to go to college for this can you help?

    • CCU – CAGS

      Thank you for reaching out! Our team will get back to you with more info shortly.

    • CCU – CAGS

      We apologize for the hold up with our response! We appreciate you following up. If you are interested in a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, you can see which classes you need to take in order to graduate from the program here: You can also see if there are any prerequisites. Please note that different jobs within this field might require additional education/training. Thank you again, and please let us know if we can assist you with anything else!

  • Leslie

    I just started college and I explained how I wanted to become a profiler. My major is now Administration of Justice. My question is, if i further my degree (hopefully up to doctorate) will I be able to become a profiler? Or should i change my major?

    • CCU – CAGS

      Hi Leslie,
      Thanks for your question! Via our Public Administration director, here’s some information that can help:

      Profilers use clues to gain insight into criminal behavior. Profilers normally will have terminal degrees (Ph.D.) with an emphasis in psychology/psychiatry/sociology. An undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice or Administration of Justice is fine as a foundation, but advanced degrees will most likely be necessary if the goal is to be a profiler.

      An alternative is a Crime Analyst, who is generally a civilian who will work closely with police department personnel to analyze and spot trends, hot spots, and predict where/who/when the next crime(s) will occur. A Crime Analyst will also need an advanced degree in something like criminology, plus volunteering or internships are good credentials for such a position.

      Let us know if you have additional questions and/or would like to speak with someone about a degree that can help you pursue a career you’re interested in!

  • Soldier 3rdID

    how can I talk with a recruiter

    • CCU – CAGS

      Hello, thanks for reaching out! We can have an enrollment counselor send you an email if you prefer, or you can give them a call at: 303.963.3311.