Becoming a Homicide Detective in Florida is a challenging and rewarding career choice for those who are passionate about solving crimes and seeking justice. Homicide detectives play a crucial role in investigating and solving some of the most serious and complex crimes, including murder cases. With the increasing demand for law enforcement professionals, the role of a homicide detective in Florida is vital in maintaining public safety and upholding the law.

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Should I Become a Detective in Florida?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, all detectives come under the umbrella of “Police and Detectives.” The data reported by BLS in 2021 shows Florida with an employment number of 6,330 for Detectives and Criminal Investigators. This makes Florida the state with the fourth highest level of employment for this occupation.

If you want to work as a detective in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, you have to begin by serving as a Florida State Trooper. Working in this position provides you with the knowledge and skillset that is necessary to work as a detective.

  • Education Required
  • Major Requirement
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2021) –
  • Annual Mean Salary (2021) –
  • Job Outlook (2021-2031) – National
  • Job Outlook (2020-2030) – Florida
  • A college degree is preferred (i.e., associate’s or bachelor’s degree)
  • Criminal Justice or a related subject
  • Not Required
  • Attending a Police Training Academy is mandatory
  • Attention to Detail, Integrity, Physical Stamina & Strength; Problem-solving, Communication, Leadership and Interpersonal Skills etc.
  • $81,850 (Detectives and Criminal Investigators)
  • $90,370 (Detectives and Criminal Investigators)
  • -1% (Detectives and Criminal Investigators)
  • 4%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net OnLine (2021)

Skills and Prerequisites to Become a Homicide Detective in Florida

To become a homicide detective in Florida, aspiring candidates must possess certain skills and meet specific prerequisites. These may include:

  • Law Enforcement Experience: Typically, candidates must first gain experience as a police officer, detective, or other law enforcement roles before becoming eligible for a homicide detective position.
  • Education: A high school diploma or GED is usually the minimum educational requirement, although some agencies may require a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field for higher-ranking positions.
  • Knowledge of Criminal Law and Investigation Techniques: Homicide detectives need a solid understanding of criminal law, evidence collection, crime scene investigation, and interrogation techniques to effectively investigate murder cases.
  • Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills: Homicide detectives must be skilled in analyzing complex situations, interpreting evidence, and developing theories to solve cases. Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential.
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are crucial for homicide detectives to effectively interview witnesses, suspects, and victims, as well as collaborate with other law enforcement agencies and professionals.
  • Physical Fitness: Being in good physical condition is important as homicide detectives may need to chase suspects, apprehend criminals, or engage in other physically demanding activities during investigations.

Best Colleges in Florida for Homicide Detective

Here are some of the best colleges in Florida that offer relevant programs for aspiring homicide detectives:

College Name


Degree TypeCoursesDuration
University of FloridaBachelor’sBachelor of Arts in Criminology4 years
Florida State UniversityBachelor’sBachelor of Science in Criminology4 years
University of Central FloridaBachelor’sBachelor of Science in Criminal Justice4 years
Florida International UniversityBachelor’sBachelor of Science in Criminal Justice4 years
University of South FloridaBachelor’sBachelor of Arts in Criminology4 years

Career Outlook for a Detective in Florida

According to O*Net OnLine, employment for detectives and criminal investigators in Florida is projected to grow by 4% between 2020 and 2030. As of 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were a total of 6,330 detectives and criminal investigators employed in Florida, with numbers expected to rise. With these positive employment growth projections, it is evident that homicide detectives will continue to be in demand in Florida, playing a vital role in maintaining law and order and ensuring public safety.

Another avenue for career advancement for detectives in Florida is through specialized units or divisions within law enforcement agencies. For example, detectives can specialize in areas such as homicide investigations, narcotics investigations, financial crimes, cybercrimes, or other specialized fields. Detectives who demonstrate exceptional skills and knowledge in these areas may be eligible for promotions to leadership positions or higher-paying roles within these specialized units.

Steps to Become a Detective in Florida

If your dream is to become a detective in Florida, then here is the key to make it come true! Follow this simple guideline to achieve your goal!

Get a College Degree

The minimum education requirement for a detective is a 2-year associate’s degree or a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Criminology, Law Enforcement, Police Science or a similar subject.

Go Through Health and Fitness Exams

Typically, all aspiring candidates have to complete certain health and fitness exams. To be considered for this position, you must:

  • Clear the background check by not having any criminal records
  • Have a clear credit and employment history
  • Clear the Polygraph Test & Drug Screening
  • Get a thorough medical exam and clear it
  • Pass the physical stamina test
  • Clear the psychological exam to prove your mental fitness

Graduate from Police Training Academy and Clear the FBAT

It is mandatory for all individuals recruited into law enforcement to graduate from a police training academy. In addition to that, you also have to complete a basic recruiter program from an accredited Commission-certified training school. Moreover, you must pass the Florida Basics Abilities Test.

Experience in the Field

Usually officers already employed in law enforcement are promoted to the position of detective however, that is not always the case. You can also become a detective if you have completed one of the following criteria:

  • At least 1 year of law enforcement experience
  • 2 years of public service/contact experience
  • Continuous and active U.S. military service of 2 years
  • Have completed at least 30 credit hours at an accredited college or university

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

Becoming a detective may take anywhere between 4-6 years or more. It depends on the education you have completed and the experience you have gained.

What Are the Requirements of Becoming a Detective in Florida?

To be employed as a detective in Florida, you must:

  • Be at least a 21 year old legal US citizen
  • Have a college degree in Criminal Justice or related subject
  • Possess a valid Florida driver’s license
  • Have no DUI convictions
  • Graduate from Police Academy
  • Pass the interview and other relevant tests
  • Not have a military dishonorable discharge
  • Be in good physical condition with at least 20/50 eyesight (without correction)

How Much Can I Make as a Detective in Florida?

The field of detective work in Florida offers various opportunities for career advancement and higher salaries. In addition to the annual mean salary of $81,850 reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Florida in 2021, there are several factors that can contribute to even higher pay for detectives in the state.

One significant factor that can result in higher salaries for detectives is experience. With years of experience, detectives can gain expertise in their field, develop specialized skills, and build a reputation, which can lead to promotions and salary increases. Many law enforcement agencies in Florida offer tiered pay scales that reward detectives for their years of service, and experienced detectives often receive higher salaries than those who are just starting out.

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