Individuals working in law enforcement or the legal professions hold the position of investigative assistant, which is an entry-level position. They cannot serve search warrants, carry firearms, or make arrests because they are not sworn peace officers. Although a four-year degree is not required to work as an investigative assistant, you must have completed college-level coursework in criminal justice or a related field. If you do not have a formal education beyond high school or its equivalent, you may also need training and work experience in legal procedures and criminal justice. If you want to work as an investigative assistant, you’ll need to be able to understand and apply laws, locate people using computerized systems, and write reports that can be used in court.
Developing administrative skills before becoming an investigative assistant can be extremely beneficial. Working in a support role within a law enforcement agency or investigative firm can provide these skills. It is recommended that you gain as much experience as possible in the field learning the investigative procedures for both the civil and criminal divisions. Working in a legal setting will also help you develop the skills necessary to successfully complete a variety of investigative tasks. When working in the field, you must be able to assist government organizations and law enforcement agencies, and you may be expected to participate in investigation processes even as a new assistant.
You’ll be ready to apply for jobs in the field after completing college coursework and gaining the relevant experience required to become an investigative assistant. Investigative assistants are used law enforcement agencies, government agencies, and private legal professionals. To find out about job openings in your area, you should contact local agencies. You may be subjected to a lengthy interview process, a thorough background check, and drug testing, depending on the agency or organization.
Investigative assistants help with routine investigations as well; you’ll need to be good at researching and finding information from a variety of sources. Delivering legal documents, serving subpoenas, and conducting surveillance are all examples of investigative assistant responsibilities. Because you may be called upon to give testimony in court to support reports written about your investigative activities, you must be able to communicate effectively.
When you work as an investigative assistant, you should be prepared to work a variety of shifts and schedules in addition to meeting the educational requirements and gaining the necessary experience. You may be required to work nights, days, weekends, and even holidays if you work in law enforcement.