How to Become a Criminal Profiler

A criminal profiler is a person who studies the scene of a crime and then tries to figure out the process and methods that were used to commit the crime. He/she will then attempt to put together a psychological profile that will help identify the criminal or criminals involved in the crime. Another term used to describe the criminal profiler's work is "offender profiling". Most criminal profilers are special agents who work for the FBI. These agents work under the National Center for Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) at Quantico, Va. They assist in investigations, conduct interviews, review crime scene photos and coordinate strategies with the prosecutors. They also provide case management advice, threat assessment and interviewing strategies to law enforcement agencies [source: Winerman]. If you'd still like to become a forensic profiler, just read on.

  1. Become an FBI agent. FBI agents must be United States citizens between 23 and 37 years of age. If you qualify, the next step is earning a bachelor's degree. The FBI has different educational requirements for different types of agents [source: FBI]. If your ultimate goal is to be a criminal profiler, a degree in criminal justice, forensics or psychology would probably be advantageous.
  2. Become an NCAVC agent. The NCAVC will only hire FBI agents with at least three years experience [source: FBI].
  3. Attend the FBI academy in Quantico, Va. and study criminal profiling. The FBI academy offers the most reputable and competitive training programs in criminal profiling. Due to its selective process the program is very challenging.

If you are interested in becoming a criminal profiler, try to work on cases that involve kidnapping, homicide and rapes, before applying to become an NCAVC agent [source: Intelicus].