Also known as “Investigators,” Detectives within a police department perform different tasks such as crime scene analysis, witness interviews, monitoring and tracking of suspects, case-specific data evaluation, apprehending criminals and raiding criminal hideouts, etc.

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As of 2021, there are close to 3,590 Detectives and Criminal Investigators in Georgia (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). Here is a useful piece if you are interested in joining this profession. It contains all important information about becoming a Detective in the Empire State of the South.

Should I Become a Detective in Georgia?

  • Education
  • Area of Study/Major Requirement
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Experience/Training
  • Key Skills
  • Annual Mean Salary (2021) – National
  • Job Outlook (2021-2031) – National
  • Annual Mean Salary (2021) -Georgia
  • Job Outlook (2020-2030) – Georgia
  • High School Diploma / General Educational Development (GED) Certificate.
    *Higher qualifications are not compulsory but can help you get ahead in your career.
  • Criminal Justice, Crime Scene Analysis, Forensic Science, Criminal Law, Judicial Function, Human Relations, etc.
  • N/A
  • Required
  • Management and Administration, Public Safety and Security, Monitoring and Coordination, Resource Management, Communication.
  • $90,370 (Detectives and Criminal Investigators)
  • -1% (Detectives and Criminal Investigators)
  • $73,720 (Detectives and Criminal Investigators)
  • 7%

Like most careers in law enforcement, the job of a detective carries considerable risk. Confrontations with criminals of all sorts are quite frequent. As a result, there is often a danger of injury and even death. Work hours are long too. However, overtime pay is usually provided.

Career Outlook

Employment opportunities for Police and Detectives are projected to grow by 5% from 2018 to 2028 (as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics). This will be driven primarily by the constantly increasing public safety demands. However, local crime rates and police budgets will also affect the availability of jobs.

Steps to Become a Detective in Georgia

Employment opportunities for Detectives and Criminal Investigators are projected to decline by -1% nationally from 2021 to 2031 (as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics). In Georgia, however, things are looking better. Detectives and Criminal Investigators are expected to enjoy 7% growth in job opportunities between 2020 and 2030 according to O*Net OnLine.


To be eligible for employment with a Georgia police unit, you should have at least a High School Diploma or GED (General Educational Development) Certificate. Higher credentials may be required by some police departments in the state.
As an aspiring detective, attaining specialized post-secondary education will give you the edge over your peers. Therefore, if possible, you are advised to go for an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, Judicial Function and Criminology, etc.

Initial Selection Procedure

When you apply for employment with any police department in Georgia, they conduct various tests to gauge your suitability. These usually include a written assessment, medical and physical examination, background checks, polygraph test and drug evaluation, etc.

Police Academy Training

After clearing the initial screening phase, you will undergo police academy training for about 6 months. Upon completion, you will be able to join the police force as a probationary officer.

Gain the Required Police Officer Experience

To be promoted to the rank of detective, you need to work as a police officer for a specified number of years. The requirement tends to vary for different police departments in the Empire State of the South.

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

It normally takes about 6 or so years to become a detective in Georgia. Of these, the first 1.5 to 2 years will be taken by the initial selection and training phase. The rest of the time will be spent working as a police officer.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Detective in Georgia?

Aspiring detectives in Georgia must fulfill the requirements listed below.

  • Should be at least 20. Different police forces in the state may have different age requirements.
  • Must be a lawful American citizen.
  • Should possess at least a High School Diploma or a GED Certificate. Some police departments may demand higher educational credentials.
  • Must not have any type of criminal record.
  • Should have a legal Georgia driving license.
  • Candidates with a background of military service must not have a dishonorable discharge against their name.
  • Acquire the needed police officer experience.

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

In 2021, Georgia’s Detectives and Criminal Investigators had an annual mean salary of $73,720. This is according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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