What a Criminal Profiler Really Does

what is a Criminal Profiler?

Criminal acts are committed by criminals, so in order to understand the workings of the criminal mind, investigators are required to create a psychological profile. A Criminal Profiler has the ability to find not just physical clues at the scene of the crime but also psychological clues that may have been left by the criminal.

It is the role of the Criminal Profiler to investigate and examine such clues, which will assist the investigator in gathering a better image of the potential criminal. A successful profiler will need to have a great knowledge and understanding of the elements related to psychology of criminal profiling, including geographical factors etc. As well as a good foundation of knowledge regarding psychology, accompanied with excellent observation skills, you will also need common sense! It is these skills that enable an investigator to profile a killer.

The profile will be based on the characteristics of the crime committed. Criminal Profiling involves the development of a psychological profile of an offender, which is based on the state of the crime scene. Often it is the job of an individual that has studied the criminal mind that will be in charge of creating a criminal profile. Criminal Profiling is the act of developing a psychological profile of an offender based on the state of the crime scene.

Once created, this profile can be used by the police and assist in their investigations, as well as to help catch the offender. Many profilers are law enforcement investigators that have a number of years of experience with regards to violent crimes and also individuals who have degrees in Forensic Science and Psychology.

Myths and Reality

There are a number of TV shows which do not show the true reality of what the role of a Criminal Profiler really entails. Shows such as Law and Order, an American Police drama, have helped to raise awareness of criminal profiling as a career.

It is very important that viewers separate the fact from fiction, to be able to get a real impression of what it really takes to work in the role of a Criminal Profiler. When looking to start any career it is vital that you have a full understanding of what the position you would like to fill really entails. Like many jobs, there are positive and negative aspects, but it is these points in which make the role what it is.

A Criminal Profiler has a number of duties to fulfil. Some of which include the following:

  • Working within a police department
  • Researching cases at the request of the police
  • Reviewing evidence from the crime scenes to figure out how and when a crime took place (It is this evidence that helps to determine details about a suspect e.g. height)
  • Working on older unsolved cases
  • Offering opinions on the type of suspect they should be looking for.

A career in Criminal Profiling is not for the faint hearted. It is a very challenging but highly rewarding career to pursue.

Career prospects

There are a number of distance learning providers on the market such as NCC Home Learning. Distance learning is becoming an increasingly popular method of study for many. It enables students the flexibility to study at a time and pace to suit the individual, both available in on-line and off-line formats!

So if you would like to learn more about this subject area it is highly recommended that you study a programme in this field, as it will provide you with a greater insight into the subject area.


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