Homicide detectives must have excellent communication skills, and must be able to communicate effectively with different types of people (criminal suspects, witnesses, families of the victim, reporters, lawyers, the list goes on). Homicide detectives will also testify in court on a regular basis.
Homicide detectives need strong writing skills for highly detailed reports, which can also be used as evidence in court. To be ready, start now by taking an online Composition course and a Communication course, along with your required high school English classes.
All High School English Courses
Murder doesn’t happen in a vacuum – there are myriad social factors involved. It’s crucial to have an understanding of the social, political and cultural influences at work, to get a clear picture of the murderer’s motivation.
Psychology, Social Issues and Criminal Law are all great elective options for future detectives. Required high school history classes are also a great way to increase your understanding of the world and human behavior.
All High School Social Studies Courses
Not all crime victims or witnesses speak English, and speaking a second language is an in-demand skill for any police officer, not just detectives. In the U.S., Spanish is the most widely spoken language after English and is the most desired second language for homicide detectives. We offer online Spanish 1, 2, 3 & 4 as well as AP Spanish.
Depending on the demographics of the region where you plan to have your career, you may want to start learning Mandarin Chinese, Russian or Portuguese.
All High School Foreign Language Courses
Math isn’t just about crunching numbers – it’s about developing an understanding of how unknown variables relate to a system and change over time. Having a strong grasp of shape, dimension and spatial relationships helps detectives analyze a crime scene and any tools used. You should take Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry in high school, and more math classes (like pre-calc & trig) if possible.
Calculus and Statistics are also recommended – you can take them in college or take our online AP math classes and earn college credit while while still in high school.
All High School Math Courses
Homicide detectives work closely with forensic scientists, making detailed examination of all crime scene evidence. In a homicide the evidence often includes Biology, Chemistry and Physics, so it’s important to have a solid understanding of all three branches of science.
Classes like Forensic Science and Anatomy & Physiology would also be great high school classes for future detectives to take.
All High School Science Courses
Homicide detectives need to work with cyber security specialists to access and analyze data from a smartphone or computer belonging to a victim or suspect. At minimum detectives need a basic understanding of Computer Applications. Further study in Digital Imaging or AP Computer Science Principles will introduce you to the workings of the internet, computational thinking and the most common types of software.
All High School IT Courses
Health & P.E.
Your first step on the path to becoming a homicide detective (after earning your high school diploma) is passing the tests to enter a police academy, including a physical fitness test. As a detective you may also need to run, jump, tackle or otherwise apprehend a suspect, which can be dangerous. Getting and staying in shape in high school is a great foundation for becoming a detective and maintaining your health for your whole life.
All High School Health Courses