Criminal profilers work with police departments, the FBI or independently on cold cases and criminal investigations. Those interested in the field tend to have logical minds with the ability to solve puzzles, an empathic but realistic view of the world and the ability to spot frauds and liars, according to Pat Brown Profiling. Depending on education and experience, a criminal profiler, who can also be known as a forensic psychologist, can make upwards of six-figures.
While a criminal profiler may work for law enforcement agencies on current investigations, many profilers work for themselves on cold cases. These profilers may work for the family of a homicide victim, for a detective agency or for lawyers on cases. The work may involve looking at photos, reading police reports and performing special tests and crime scene reenactments. FBI and police department employed profilers may come to fresh crime scenes to work on cases from the beginning. FBI profilers may also prepare paperwork and coordinate prosecution strategies.
For independent profilers, there are no established regulations or rules determined for education. As an FBI profiler, you may be required to have a bachelor’s degree related to forensics, criminal justice or psychology. Candidates who have master’s degrees or PhDs in criminal justice may be preferred. To become a special agent of the highly regarded National Analytics of Violent Crimes (NVCAVC) department in Quantico, Virginia, profilers must have three years of work experience as an agent in the FBI working on cases like homicides, rapes and kidnappings.
The salary of criminal profilers can vary greatly depending on their experience in the field and their location. With less than one year of experience, a criminal profiler can make between $34,000 and $60,984 annually, according to PayScale. As you increase experience to five to nine years, a criminal profiler may make between $46,176 and $82,895. After a decade’s worth of experience in the criminal profiling position, the job can earn from $59,780 to $106,125.
FBI and police-employed profilers make their salary from payroll, but more independent profilers must earn their money using other methods. These other sources of revenue may include teaching as college professors or through online classes, consultant work or writing on the subject according to Pat Brown Profiling.