Last updated on February 9th, 2024 at 01:28 pm

A career as a crime analyst is an excellent way to exercise your analytical prowess while supporting the criminal justice system. This job requires the use of advanced computing technology and data-analysis software. Analysts play an essential role in criminal justice, identifying trends to predict and prevent future crimes. If you want to become a crime analyst, it’s a good idea to understand the various types of crime analysis, the average crime analyst’s salary, and the educational requirements to become one.

What Is a Crime Analyst?

The crime analysis field requires professionals with a strong understanding of criminology and an extensive background in statistical analysis. Crime analysts create comprehensive reports on emerging trends in criminal activity, using information from various sources, such as phone calls and incident reports. Crime analysts often reference data regarding criminals, victims, disorderly conduct, and the overall quality of life in a particular area. These individuals observe historical crime patterns, allowing them to build proactive plans to reduce crime.

What Does a Crime Analyst Do?

Crime analysts gather data about crimes, analyze it, and present their findings to law enforcement and supervisors. These findings can inform resource allocation or help in investigative work. In some cases, crime analysis contributes to sweeping policy and procedure reform.

Some analysts may engage directly with communities to better understand underlying social factors contributing to criminal behavior. Additionally, they may assist in creating programs to reduce crime rates while performing high-quality investigation-related research.

What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Crime Analyst?

Most crime analysis roles require an undergraduate education from an accredited institution. Having a degree in statistics generally makes applicants more appealing to hiring officials.

Still, the ideal qualifications are usually degrees pertaining directly to subjects like criminal justice and criminology. For example, Salem University’s Bachelor of Administration of Justice program will teach you everything you need to know about this field. This program covers many foundational elements required for crime analysis, such as critical thinking and ethical decision-making. You’ll learn about the concepts needed for influencing and altering human behavior. 

Although many jobs only require a bachelor’s degree, obtaining a master’s degree in data analytics, criminology, or criminal justice can make you a competitive candidate for high-paying crime analysis roles.

What Courses Should You Take in College?

Criminal justice courses are a necessity for those interested in a crime analysis career. Courses in criminology and statistics will make you stand out, as crime analysts are expected to have a strong understanding of statistical analysis. Analysts must utilize advanced computer programs, so adding computer science courses to your curriculum is a good idea.

Choosing a curriculum that touches on the foundational elements of criminal justice and human behavior is best. Aside from analyzing data, crime analysts recommend programs and methodologies that reduce crime. For this reason, understanding human behavior is a must.

Do You Need a Certification?

Some employers favor candidates with an official certification from an authorized agency, such as the International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) or the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA). These certifications demonstrate a willingness to continue your education and can enhance your crime analysis competency. Still, in many cases, certificates are optional.

Types of Crime Analysis Jobs

Law enforcement crime analysts help prevent or solve crimes after they have occurred. These professionals conduct detailed examinations of available information to discover trends that can be used to prevent potential crimes. Often, law enforcement crime analysts work alongside law enforcement personnel and report directly to the department’s sergeant of investigations.

Law enforcement and government crime analysts generally work in three disciplines; tactical, strategic, and administrative crime analysis. Tactical analysts are responsible for short-term developments, such as informing resource allocation and investigative priority. Strategic crime analysts focus on long-term results, such as policies and prevention techniques. Administrative analysts deal with the organizational needs of a department, such as recommending how many officers to deploy.

Government crime analysts are similar to law enforcement crime analysts, but they work directly with governmental agencies, such as the FBI. Private sector crime analysts work for private companies, such as insurance companies and security firms. They use their knowledge of crime and statistics to help private companies reduce crime and protect their assets.

Salary Ranges and Job Outlook

Salary ranges fluctuate based on your experience, education, and geographic location.

Employment opportunities for crime analysts are increasing rapidly; between now and 2029, these roles are expected to grow by an impressive 8 percent, faster than the expected growth rate for all jobs. Salaries for crime analysts are on the rise as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage is around $60,220.

How to Get Experience in Crime Analysis

Aspiring crime analysts can gain experience by volunteering with local law enforcement or crime prevention organizations. Keep an eye peeled for internship opportunities and enhance your knowledge with relevant coursework and post-graduate certifications.

Build Your Resume

As you work toward improving your statistical analysis and data management capabilities, it’s prudent to create an effective resume for this position. Include essential information such as education details, work history, volunteer experience, and your core proficiencies. If you received any awards during college or as a volunteer, include them in your resume.

You should also attach a compelling cover letter showcasing how you meet the desired criteria for the job. Mention your college experience, including any relevant coursework throughout your time at the university. Per, some law enforcement agencies require previous experience in law enforcement; if you meet this criterion, make sure to include it in your resume and cover letter.

 Find an Internship

Volunteering and internships will help you develop analytical skills and build professional relationships. These opportunities can give you valuable insight into the various factors that come into play when developing predictions and recommendations based on criminal data analysis.

Internships also allow you to stay current on emerging criminal behavior trends. You’ll be working in the industry directly, meaning you’ll have first-hand knowledge of upcoming conferences. Attending these events allows you to learn from professional crime analysts in other regions.

Reach Out to Your Network

Let your friends, family, and colleagues know you are interested in crime analysis. They may be able to connect you with people who can help you get your foot in the door.

Use sites like LinkedIn to connect with professionals in the field. Internships and volunteer opportunities are a valuable way to network, as you’ll likely get to know people within the industry.

Understand Trends in Criminal Behavior

Attending seminars regularly, maintaining certifications, and reading criminology journals are great ways to stay current on developing trends. Criminology journals can help you stay up to date on crime pattern breakthroughs, while seminars allow you to learn from renowned figures in the industry.

Developing deeper knowledge of local neighborhoods through active participation can provide meaningful insights into destructive trends affecting the community.

Obtain a Degree

Before applying for a role in criminal data analysis, you must obtain a degree in a related field. Most crime analyst jobs require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as criminal justice, criminology, or statistics. Some crime analyst jobs may also require a master’s degree.

Pursue a Career as a Crime Analyst

Crime analysts are essential to the behind-the-scenes work required to protect the community. Becoming a crime analyst begins with honing your data analysis skills and knowledge of criminal behavior. Salem University is committed to providing the skills and knowledge required to join this exciting field.

Salem’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice – Administration of Justice could help prepare you for a career as a crime analyst, law enforcement officer, crime scene investigator, and more. Salem also offers numerous online classes, making it an ideal choice for those seeking higher education around a busy schedule. Request more information today! 

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