Detectives investigate serious crimes, such as terrorism, homicide, armed robbery, vice and arson, and gather evidence to arrest and prosecute suspected offenders.

Specialisations: Detective Sergeant, Plain Clothes Police Officer.

You need to be an experienced Police Officer before you can apply for detective training.

Tasks

  • Investigates and prosecutes offences.
  • Secures and examines scenes of crimes and accidents to obtain evidence.
  • Protects witnesses and investigates official corruption.
  • Maintains public order and safety.
  • Patrols assigned areas to minimise potential for public disturbance and crime.
  • Investigates accidents, crimes, minor offences and citizens' complaints, gathering evidence, and pursuing, arresting and interviewing suspected offenders.
  • Tests persons suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and issues infringement notices for traffic offences.
  • Directs and re-routes traffic at congested areas.
  • Attends community meetings and answers inquiries.
  • Gives advice and assistance to victims of crime and their families.
  • Maintains records and prepares reports.

More about Police

All Police

  • $2,036 Weekly Pay
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Detectives

  • 3,500 workers Employment Size
  • High skill Skill level rating
  • 93% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 44 hours Average full-time
  • 39 years Average age
  • 25% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Detectives (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
from 2,700 in 2011 to 3,500 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Detectives work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Public Administration and Safety industry.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (93%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 25% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety99.8
Education and Training0.2

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateDetectivesAll Jobs Average
NSW32.431.6
VIC29.425.6
QLD15.720.0
SA7.37.0
WA11.410.8
TAS1.12.0
NT1.31.0
ACT1.41.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketDetectivesAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.05.0
20-240.2-9.39.3
25-3426.8-22.922.9
35-4443.9-22.022.0
45-5424.0-21.621.6
55-594.2-9.09.0
60-640.6-6.06.0
65 and Over0.2-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationDetectivesAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate5.6-10.110.1
Bachelor degree30.0-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma49.5-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV4.3-21.121.1
Year 129.1-18.118.1
Year 111.2-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.4-12.512.5

You need to be an experienced Police Officer before you can apply for detective training.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • Bronze Medallion or swimming certification
  • driver's licence
  • manual drivers licence
  • first aid certificate
  • Psychometric or aptitude tests

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Public Safety VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Police who are caring, compassionate, empathetic and can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and Personal Service

    78% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Public Safety and Security

    74% Skill level

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  3. Law and Government

    74% Skill level

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  4. Psychology

    70% Skill level

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  5. Education and Training

    62% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-3021.01 - Police Detectives.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Telephone

    99% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

  2. Electronic Mail

    98% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  3. Face-to-Face Discussions

    97% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  4. Contact With Others

    97% Important

    How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

  5. Deal With External Customers

    97% Important

    How important is it to work with customers or the public?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 33-3021.01 - Police Detectives.

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