Within a police unit, Detectives (or Investigators)have some specific duties. These include analyzing a crime scene, interviewing witnesses, tracking suspects, studying all facts and records pertaining to a case and participating in raids to arrest criminals, etc.
As of 2019, there are over 6,500 First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives in Texas. If you want to join their ranks in the coming years, then this piece is for you. Read on to understand how to become a Detective in The Lone Star State.

Should I Become a Detective in Texas?

The following table highlights the basics of this career.

  • Education
  • Area of Study/Major Requirement
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-National
  • Job Outlook (2018-28)
  • Annual Mean Salary (2019)-Texas
  • High School Diploma / GED (General Educational Development) Certificate.
  • Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Forensic Science, Judicial Function, etc.
  • N/A
  • Required
  • Active Listening, Coordination and Monitoring, Critical and Creative Thinking, Problem Sensitivity
  • $94,950 (First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives)
  • 5% (Police and Detectives)
  • $88,600(First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives)

Sources:US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net Online

Like all law enforcement jobs, the day-to-day work of a detective involves significant risk. Since they have to regularly confront criminals, there is always a danger of injury and even death. Moreover, the hours on the job are long with frequent night and weekend shifts. But, most detectives are likely to be paid for overtime.

Career Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the period from 2018 to 2028 will witness a 5% rise in employment opportunities for Police and Detectives. This increase will be driven by continued public safety concerns. Nevertheless, the availability of vacancies will also depend on crime rates and local police department budgets. Texas is currently the top fourth state in terms of employment for First-Line Supervisors of Police Detectives.

Steps to Become a Detective in Texas

Detectives usually start off as police officers. They have to work in this capacity for a specified number of years before earning promotion. The procedure discussed here will help you become a detective in Texas.

Obtaining the Necessary Education

Unless specified by a particular police department in the state, you will need just a High School Diploma or a GED (General Educational Development) Certificate to be eligible for employment. However, attaining higher education will give you the edge both during initial recruitment and later on in your career. If possible, aspiring detectives are recommended to go for an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Criminal Law and Judicial Function, etc.

Pass the Initial Recruitment Phase

After you apply for employment with a police department in Texas, there are a number of assessments that must be cleared. These usually include a written entrance examination, physical test, background scrutiny, medical evaluation, polygraph exam and drugs test.

Finish Police Academy Training

It takes about 6 months to complete police academy training. At the conclusion of this phase, you will be eligible to join the police department as an officer.

Gain Experience as a Police Officer

Depending on your chosen police unit, you will have to work as an officer for a few years to be eligible for the role of a Detective.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Detective in Texas?

The initial recruitment and training phases take around 1.5 to 2 years. After that, you must work for a few years as a police officer. So, you are looking at a timeframe of about 5 to 6 years.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Detective in Texas?

To become a detective in Texas, you have to fulfill the following set of requirements.

  • Be at least 20 years old. Some police units in the state may keep the minimum age requirement at 19 or 21.
  • Be a legal American citizen (through birth or naturalization).
  • Have a High School Diploma or GED Certificate. Some police departments may require higher qualification.
  • Hold a legitimate Texas driver’s license.
  • Must not be a convicted criminal.
  • Must not have a dishonorable discharge in case of military service background.
  • Attain the required work experience as a police officer.

How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Detective in Texas?

The most up-to-date records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives in Texas took home $88,600 in annual mean wage in 2019.