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Career as Detectives

In the law enforcement department, the role of a detective is significant. Detectives are also known as investigating officers who are deployed in certain situations. Both in public as well as private agencies the role of detectives has been crucial, as these officials collect evidence from the crime scene and analyse the evidence to find the motif of the crime and help other officials to detect the criminals. As investigators are involved directly into the investigation of crime scenes and the confrontation process of the criminals, that is why this job profile contains higher than average risk and threat factors.

Job Profile

Career as Detectives

The Central Bureau of Investigation is the part of the central governing body, which is responsible for the criminal activities that involve harm to the entire nation. The investigating officers of this governing body are responsible for ensuring safety and security to the public fund, and major crime incidents. However, various other agencies include detectives, and those agencies are the police department, army, armed forces, and ED. These departments also require detectives to investigate different types of crime scenes. 

The primary responsibility of detectives involves the execution of the entire investigation process of a specific crime scene and analyse the evidence to confront the criminals. 

As these detective agencies are a part of the governing body, that is why the organisation structure follows a bureaucratic structure. The professional growth of an employee is dependent upon a specific factor, like their experience in that particular department, success rate, and professional performance. However, professionals need to go through an internal test process to change their professional position. 

Detectives of the state law enforcement department receive the basic salary of Rs 20,000. However, the salary of the state government employee is subject to the state government permitted salary scale. However, the salary of the Central Investigation Bureau official starts from Rs 40,000 and it can go up to Rs 90,000.


Future Growth Prospect and How to go there faster

The professional growth of a detective is dependent upon the hierarchy system authorised by the state and central government. However, employees can achieve faster growth by performing well in their assignments. However, professionals who are willing to achieve faster growth need to clear the internal examinations that have been conducted by the respected department.

Pros and Cons of being a Detective


  • This profession is rewarding for those who are willing to serve society

  • Very high demand, as the required skill set, is very high

  • Challenging tasks which require out of the box thinking which can ensure job satisfaction among many people

  • People who don't want to get a typical 9 to 5 desk oriented job can achieve satisfaction through this profession

  • Challenging field tasks involving a high amount of risk factors which can cause serious adrenalin rush

  • People who want to take serious steps against various socially challenging situations can achieve a sense of satisfaction through this profession


  • Lack of a fixed schedule can cause a physical and psychological challenge for many people

  • High-risk factors present, and professionals are exposed to life threats

  • Extremely challenging and demanding profession

How do I get there?

Individuals who are interested in becoming a detective can join the agency by clearing the primary entrance test conducted by the law enforcement department. However, the applicants must have a degree certificate in any stream. Both the candidates from science as well as humanities can participate in this common selection process. However, the candidates need to clear the basic 3 tier screening process conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Furthermore, the candidates can also become a part of the law enforcement department by clearing the tests conducted by the state governing body. The primary screening test will check the physical endurance of the candidates and their analytical abilities as well.

How much does it cost?

Well, the entire course of detectives is being operated by the governing bodies as this is an integral part of the law enforcement department. However, the students need to pay for the registration of the examination, which revolves around Rs 100 to 200. Another aspect that needs to be considered in this context and that is the cost of the registration process is also dependent upon the governing body, which is conducting the selection process. If the state governing body is conducting the examination, the cost of the registration process will vary from Rs 200 to Rs 1000. However, the examinations conducted by UPSC or PSC or any other central governing body, then the cost of registration will be around 100 rupees. However, students need to have a graduation degree from a UGC recognised university.

What are the Top Colleges where one should be studying to become a detective?

The appointment of detectives and the entire training process is conducted and monitored by the governing bodies. The governing bodies only allow graduates into the training program who have successfully cleared the competitive screening test. The screening test includes both physical endurance test and the analytical ability of the participants. 

The selected candidates then complete their training program from the government-regulated institutes. Participants, who have been selected for the Central Investigation Bureau go to CBI Academy Ghaziabad, which is situated in UP. The entire training program is 24 months long, and in these 24 months, the trainee officers go through various stages of the training program. The whole training program is aimed towards the development of the critical analytical ability of a crime scene and makes the candidates aware of real-life situations.


Books and Study Material

As the government conducts the entire training program, that is why the whole training program is not revealed for the common people. However, students can get a basic idea from the previous year's question papers that have been asked by the UPSC. However, the screening process demands basic analytical ability from the professionals, and NCERT books will help the candidates to clear the test effectively.

What if the career doesn't work for me ? What are the other options for the person with the same credentials ?

The job responsibilities of a detective are extremely challenging, and the individuals require very high critical thinking ability. However, if the career doesn't work for an individual, then they can opt for other law enforcement departments like police, armed forces, civil services, etc.
However, another important perspective needs to be discussed in this context and that is professionals who have already cleared the screening process can apply for interdepartmental vacancies to change their professional position. To secure the position, the professionals need to clear the interdepartmental examination.

Content on this page is by Career Expert
Mrs. Kum Kum Tandon
MA (Psychology), M.Ed, Diploma in Educational Psychology, Vocational Guidance & Counseling (NCERT, Delhi) | View Complete Profile

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