Barlow, Meaghan Elizabeth - Criminal profiler

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[edit] Job Title (Meaghan Barlow)

Criminal Investigative Analysts also known as Criminal Profiler

[edit] General Overview

Criminal Investigative Analysis more commonly known as criminal profiling, is an investigative technique used to help law enforcement solve violent crimes. Analysts identify major personality and behavioural characteristics of an offender based upon their analysis of the crime committed[1] Criminal Investigative Analysts help law enforcement officers narrow down the suspect pool when solving violent crimes[1]. As a Criminal Investigative Analysts one would also aide in the interview and interrogation process in convicting the right offender[1].

[edit] Job Duties and Responsibilities

Criminal Investigative Analysts work with community law enforcement officers. As a Criminal Investigative Analysts one would go to crime scenes and interpret their surroundings in determining specific characteristics about the offender, such as demographics, physical characteristics, and even their habits.[2] Criminal Investigative Analysts also are responsible for assessing the crime and recreating the sequence of events that took place during the crime. Once the characteristics of the offender and the sequence of events are recorded, a Criminal Investigative Analyst creates a profile about the offender from all of the previous information gathered[1]. After creating the profile the Criminal Investigative Analysts help the law enforcement officials through the interview and interrogation process by using unique techniques to catch the offender[1].

[edit] Typical Workday

There is no typical workday for a Criminal Investigative Analyst, everyday there are new violent crimes and many of the crimes are different forcing profilers to travel or create profiles from a distance[3] One of the common tasks Criminal Investigative Analysts complete on daily basis is sitting in an office for between eight and twelve hours a day reviewing crime scene photos and case materials while working on reports but as soon as an emergency phone call comes in requesting their assistance the Analysts will review and travel to the crime scenes if needed[3]. Criminal Investigative Analysts analyze crime scenes in hopes to develop an accurate profile of the offender and their behaviour, because crime scenes and offenders are different their work day is always changing[3].

[edit] Educational Requirements and Other Qualifications

A University diploma is not required to become a Criminal Investigative Analyst but one must have an extensive policing experience working with sexual assaults or homicide investigations[4]. To become a police officer there are two main pathways that individuals can take, the first being a college diploma in police foundations, or a university degree in criminal justice both before applying to the police academy[4]. Extensive policing experience is a requirement because one must possess knowledge of crime scene investigations, policing procedures regarding interviewing suspects, interrogations, and forensic pathology to be able to create accurate profiles of the offenders[4].

[edit] Related Skills, Interests, and Abilities

To be a successful Criminal Investigative Analysts one must possess extraordinary analytical and critical thinking skills[5]. Analytical and critical thinking skills are extremely important because as an Analyst it is important to analyze and interpret the offender’s behaviours to determine their specific characteristics to aide in their apprehension[5]. Another important skill Criminal Investigation Analysts need to possess is good commination skills, whether it be through their written communication or oral communication skills, it is important for Criminal Investigative Analysts to be able to communicate their profiles to the local police as well as communicate with the police when determining techniques used to apprehend the offender[5]. Lastly an individual’s ability to adapt quickly is an essential skill to have. An individual needs to be able to adapt because when and if an emergency phone call comes about a crime needing a profile they must go and help the local law enforcement[5]. Also while adapting your work environment Criminal Investigative Analysts have to adapt to who they work with, as an Analysts you are responsible for working with community law enforcement officers who they have never previously worked with and therefore it is important to be able to adapt to your working environment[5].

[edit] Relevance of Psychology Undergraduate Degree

Psychology is the understanding of human behaviour and thus it is an asset to have a background in psychology when one wants to become a Criminal Investigative Analyst. Psychology is important in because the main purpose of the job is to analyze and understand the offender’s behaviours to infer specific characteristics regarding the offender’s habits, demographics, and cognitive processes[6]Without broad knowledge in psychology one might not be able to understand the motives and behaviours of the offender and therefore the profile they create may be less accurate.

Knowledge in psychological statistics and empirical designs are also helpful to Criminal Investigative Analysts because the characteristics that are inferred from the offender’s behaviour during the crime are correlated with empirical data and peer-reviewed research and therefore it would be essential to understand psychological research to support their criminal profile[6]. It is possible to become a criminal profiler without understanding statistics and empirical designs but the understanding will allow the individual to fully grasp the variables in the crime to create the most accurate profile.

Lastly knowledge in forensic psychology will help a Criminal Investigative Analyst understand the workings of interrogation techniques[6]. Criminal Investigative Analysts in the interrogation process help law enforcement officers develop techniques. Through the interrogation Criminal Investigative Analysts are able to adapt questions in hopes to receive confessions[6]. Although in Canada one is not required to have a degree in psychology to become a Criminal Investigative Analysts, it would be an asset to have the added knowledge.

If one wanted to become a Criminal Investigative Analysts Brock University offers a few psychology classes that have direct links to important aspects of criminal profiling. One class to start with would be the third year Forensic Psychology class (PSYC 3P52). In this class students learn directly about criminal profiling as well as learning about many case studies in which a criminal profile helped law enforcement officers apprehend the offender. Through this class students are better able to understand all the aspects within a criminal profile and get a better understanding of what it means to be a Criminal Analysts. If students want to further their education about forensic psychology then taking fourth year Psychology of the Violent Predator (PSYC 4P72) will help them learn. In this class students are able to explore the minds of violent predators, from murders, serial killers and psychopaths, but they are also able to learn more about criminal profiling and how profiles have been shown to benefit law enforcement officers. Both of these courses Brock offers allow one to gain insights on some of the most dangerous minds, and offers students the opportunity to use their knowledge in psychology to bring the criminals to justice.

[edit] Salary Potential

The salary potential for a Criminal Investigative Analysts ranges depending on where one works. Those who work for a private practice have the opportunity earn far more than those who work along with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police[7]. It is hard to find complete figures for those who work in private practice, it is estimated that they have the earned more than $120 thousand a year[7]. For those who are a part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police recent job offers state salaries from between 76 thousand dollars a year and 82 thousand dollars a year[7]. Salaries range for Criminal Investigative Analysts based on their education and skill levels, those who have more experience and received higher education have earned more money in recent years according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police jobs board.

[edit] Job Outlook

Criminal Investigative Analyst jobs are hard to find. In Canada there only three places regularly hiring them: the Ontario Provincial Police, Royal Mounted Police and Surete du Quebec are the only government agencies that hire criminal Investigative Analysts to be a part of their teams[8]. In Canada the crime rate in 2013 was the lowest it has been since 1972, and with the crime rate decreasing it suggest that there will be even fewer opportunities in becoming a Criminal Investigative Analyst[9]. With there being so little opportunities it is important to make the most of the opportunities that a psychology degree will offer you.

[edit] To Know More

To know more about what a career as a Criminal Investigative Analysts offers you visit:

[edit] Notes and References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Douglas, J. E., Ressler, R. K., Burgess, A. W., & Hartman, C. R. (1986). Criminal Profiling from Crime Scene Analysis. Behavioral Sciences & The Law, 4(4), 401-421.
  2. Winerman, L. (2004, August). Criminal profiling: the reality behind the myth. Retrieved from
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Webb, D. (2015, February). FBI profiler: so you want to be one?. Retrieved from
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (2010, February). Criminal investigative analysis. Retrieved from
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Criminal Justice (2015). Criminal profiler degrees and careers. Retrieved from
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Pozzulo, J., Bennell, C., & Forth, A. (2010). Forensic psychology. Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada Inc..
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (n.d.). Retrieved February 9, 2015 from the UFV website:
  8. International Criminal Investigative Analysis. (2015, February). International criminal investigative analysis fellowship. Retrieved from
  9. CBC News. (2014). Canada’s crime rate continues downward trend in 2013. Retrieved from

--Mb10sj 13:33, 23 March 2015 (EDT)

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