A Description of Supervisory Criminal Investigator Jobs


Supervisory criminal investigator jobs require a blend of appropriate background, experience, skills and attitudes to perform the job functions successfully. Besides managing subordinates and determining their duties and responsibilities, these supervisors can also be called upon to coordinate their own agency's work with that of other entities. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in this field are expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate through 2018.


  • Criminal investigator supervisors coordinate the activities of law-enforcement groups such as inspectors, federal agents and special investigators. Supervisors evaluate personnel and organize their work through scheduling, selecting personnel for positions and promotions, applying policies, investigating complaints regarding conflicts of interest and other grievances, planning and perhaps providing training activities and applying disciplinary actions. As a leader, the supervisor must create a positive, encouraging atmosphere. The supervisor "encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity," cultivating a work environment that "fosters commitment and team spirit," according to guidelines published by the Iowa Department of Investigative Services.


  • The supervisory criminal investigator must possess good communications skills and the ability to clearly and properly prepare and present information during courtroom or other legal proceedings or administrative hearings and meetings. Supervisors assist prosecutors in preparing for trials, indictments, arraignments, appeals and sentencing events. These activities require a good understanding of legal concepts and language, ability to interpret business and agency records and good observational techniques to help the supervisor create more complete and effective documentation.

Education and Experience

  • Education and training requirements vary according to the agency and department. Some require a four-year degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, accounting, finance, political science or criminology along with at least one year of on-the-job experience investigating criminal cases. Applicants without the appropriate amount of education or experience may be able to utilize a combination of the two to illustrate the necessary background. Applicants must have some experience in criminal investigations for consideration.

Job Outlook

  • According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), criminal investigators will be in high demand through 2018, with job prospects for private detectives and investigators growing by 22 percent, a much faster than average rate for the U.S. Increased concerns regarding security of information, facilities and personnel are creating a need for additional security measures and jobs. The BLS indicates competition for investigatory jobs is intense due to the competitive nature of employees in the field, and fewer supervisory positions exist. Investigators working in computer forensics may have the most opportunities for employment and promotion.

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