How To Become A Criminal Profiler In Australia?

Students want to know how they can become criminal profilers in Australia.


Do you have an analytical and detail-oriented mind and like solving crime mysteries? If yes, a career as a criminal profiler might be perfect for you.


Criminal profilers use human psychology and criminal investigation techniques to prepare profiles of criminals. They work in criminal departments of law enforcement agencies to solve crimes in society.


To become a criminologist in Australia, you must complete an undergraduate degree in psychology, forensics, criminal justice, behavioural science, or a similar field. Alternatively, graduates in non-related disciplines can earn a post-graduate qualification in criminology.


If you are keen to work in criminal justice, you should start preparing as early as possible. Read on to explore this career, the responsibilities, educational and personal requirements, and the learning route to becoming a criminal profiler in Australia.



1. What Is Criminal Profiling?

Criminal profiling, also called criminal investigative analysis, is a process to study the emotions, personalities, and behaviours of past and present criminals.

Criminal profilers use this information along with victim and witness statements and crime scene evidence to prepare the criminal’s profile for use by law enforcement agencies.



2. Who Is A Criminal Profiler?

Criminal profilers are also called forensic psychologists, criminal investigative analysts, or criminal psychologists. They investigate criminal behaviour to assess danger and recognize potential perpetrators.

These highly trained special agents are specialized in dealing with many crimes such as kidnappings, terrorism, hostage-taking, white-collar crime, child abduction, extortion, cybercrime, arson, and serial sexual homicide.

They have prior experience in criminal justice, law enforcement, investigative or forensic psychology, crime analysis, and criminal behaviour. It helps them to identify the characteristics and personality traits of offenders.



3. What Does A Criminal Profiler Do?


Criminal profilers in Australia perform a diverse range of tasks on a regular basis. These include:


  • Identify potential criminal offenders

  • Review old case files or evidence to determine factors to describe a suspect 

  • Study the psychology of past and present criminals

  • Research on criminology and criminals to identify their key behaviour patterns

  • Perform geographic profiling

  • Assist law enforcement agencies with violent complicated cases, such as child abductions and homicides

  • Administer personality assessments and psychological testing

  • Use investigative strategy to perform behaviour and personality assessments, analyse crime scene reports and evidence, analyse victim testimonies, interview convicted criminals and witnesses and reconstruct crime scenes to build offender profiles

  • Read and prepare reports for law enforcement agencies

  • Participate in industry training to remain updated on the recent developments in the criminal psychology 

  • Provide testimony and findings in the court to find the right perpetrator from a pool of suspects


4. Key Skills For A Criminal Profiler

Do you want to be a successful criminal profiler? Here are the most desirable traits and qualities for this role:


  • Likes conducting research and investigations

  • Strong intuition

  • Curious 

  • Judgment skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Analytical skills

  • Emotional detachment

  • Understanding of behaviour and emotions of criminals 

  • Communication skills

  • Teamwork skills

  • Observation skills

  • Active listening skills



5. Qualifications For Criminal Profilers In Australia

To start as a criminal profiler, you need a mix of formal education and on-the-job training. Here is the common route to becoming one:


  1. At least 18 years old

  2. Graduate from high school (4 years)

  3. Take a bachelor’s course in psychology, criminal justice, forensics, behavioural science, or a related discipline. If you have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated discipline, then you can earn a relevant postgraduate course to enter this field. 

  4. Undertake internships in the local police department or with an experienced criminal profiler to gain relevant hands-on training in investigations, forensics, and criminal detection. Alternatively, volunteer through a local law enforcement agency (3 to 5 months).

  5. Gaining membership in a national psychological organization like the Australian Psychological Society is beneficial.  

  6. You may require a Police Check and Working with Children Check, based on the requirements of the role.



6. Step To Become A Criminal Profiler In Australia

Do you like the job profile and want to pursue this profession? Follow these steps to kickstart your career as a criminal profiler:



Step 1: Complete your Senior Secondary Education

This is the first step to starting your career journey. Complete the required six years of high school and earn a Higher School Certificate. It will verify your graduation and make you eligible to enrol in an undergraduate program.

Try to obtain a competitive HSC score to get a higher ATAR score and access a broader array of universities and courses.


Step 2: Complete a Bachelor's Qualification

Most employers look for criminal profilers with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, psychology, forensics, or behavioural science. So, once you gain your HSC, apply to a relevant bachelor's degree program to prepare yourself for the job.


Those who have graduated with a non-related major should complete a relevant master's degree to work as a criminal profiler. You can also undertake profiling-related courses to gain knowledge systematically and develop a solid base for your future career.


To know how to become a criminal profiler for the FBI, you must hold a relevant bachelor's in criminology. It is the minimum requirement to enrol in the FBI Academy.


Additionally, you must undertake related on-the-job training and have a private investigator license based on local or state regulations. It is recommended to research licensing laws in the states where you wish to work.


Step 3:  Earn A Post Graduate Degree

Advanced qualification in criminal profiling gives you in-depth knowledge about the field. Consider completing a master's degree in criminal psychology to develop a thorough understanding of criminals' behaviour, the types of psychological disorders, and investigation techniques.

It provides you with more higher-level technical knowledge and the necessary skills to execute the job efficiently.


Step 4: Get Trained

It is not mandatory to take formal training programs to become a criminal profiler. However, receiving professional on-the-job training with an established criminal profiler will help develop skills and techniques in criminal justice and law enforcement.

It won’t just strengthen your resume but also boost your career prospects. Completing a related internship will make it easier to work in investigation roles.
Apply for professional internships during the final year of college or get trained and gain experience by criminal profiler entry-level jobs.



Step 5: Gain Professional Experience In Investigation

Ask your law enforcement agency about work opportunities with detectives or local investigators to build experience in investigations. You can try finding positions with local private investigators to learn the investigation methods.


When you gain expertise and confidence, you are ready to start applying for a job as a criminal profiler.



Step 6: Affiliate With A Professional Organisation

Consider joining a related professional organization such as the Australian Psychological Society and International Criminal Investigation Analysis Fellowship.

It is a great way to expand your professional network to access specialized career seminars, lectures, and exclusive job listings. Furthermore, membership will enhance your credentials and bolster your aspiring criminal profiling career.



Step 7: Apply for Jobs

Search and apply for criminal profiler jobs both online and offline. Mention your relevant internships, work placements, certifications, and highlight your strengths when interviewing for roles.



7. Criminal Profiler Courses In Australia

Criminal profiler courses equip the learners with extensive knowledge on local and global criminality, human behaviour, law, legal proceedings, intelligence-led investigation, forensic investigation, the criminal justice system, and emerging trends and practices in this sector.

You also learn about the traditional processes and multidisciplinary methods to crime such as:


  • Analysing crime scene

  • Witnessing accounts

  • Collecting and analysing evidence and intelligence

  • Interrogating and negotiating tactics

  • Defensive driving 

  • Concluding characteristics and intentions of the criminal

Studying criminology courses can help develop the necessary knowledge and skills to work in many industries and sectors, such as policing, courts, corrections, victim support, government policy development, and offender rehabilitation.

Here is the list of degree programs to help you prepare for an entry-level criminal profiler role:


Bachelor of Criminology and Justice


  • USC

  • University of Western Australia

  • UNSW

  • ECU


Bachelor of Criminology and Justice/Law


  • UNSW

  • CQ University


Bachelor of Social Work (Criminology and Justice)


  • USC

  • QTAC


Bachelor of Criminology


  • Deakin University

  • The University of NewCastle

  • Flinders University

  • Open Universities

  • Victoria University

  • Western Sydney University

  • CQ University


Relevant Criminal Profiler Courses


  • Certificate IV in Crime and Justice Studies - CQ University

  • Diploma of Crime and Justice Studies - TAFE QLD

  • Diploma of Justice - Chisholm TAFE and CQ University



8. Work Environment For A Criminal Profiler

Criminal profilers spend most of their offices researching criminals. They may also require travel to visit the crime scene, talk to victims, interrogate eyewitnesses and criminals.

Criminal profilers rarely work alone. They often work as part of a team in a law enforcement department. They may work long hours on weekends or late evenings when working on a case.



9. Employment Opportunities For Criminal Profilers In Australia

Criminal justice is a vast field that offers many career opportunities in the public and private sectors. Criminal Profilers mainly work to generate profiles of suspects based on evidence from crime scenes, victim testimony, witness reports, and analysis of suspects involved. They also offer consultation in a case to assist with criminal investigations.


Criminal Profilers are usually contracted by law enforcement and regulatory agencies and the FBI as psychologists. Besides these, they also work in a range of community and professional settings that includes:


  • Criminal justice 

  • Police force

  • Courts 

  • Non-government community support sector

  • Customs

  • Private security and investigation

  • Correction services and other law enforcement agencies


Common Criminal Profiler Jobs includes:


The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission also presents career opportunities for criminal profilers. This national agency works with national and global partners to protect the country from pervasive criminal threats. ACIC is a strong, supportive, and diverse agency that operates across 8 locations in Australia.

Exciting career opportunities, rotational work, attractive employment conditions, work/life balance, competitive remuneration package, relocation assistance, and comprehensive development program are good reasons to become part of ACIC.

The agency looks for driven and passionate qualified graduates in the Corporate/ Intelligence and Technical sector. If you are an innovative thinker, problem solver, and dedicated to bringing a difference to society, joining ACIC could be the best way to start your career.


The starting salary for graduates is $69,476 + superannuation.



10. Job Prospects For Criminal Profilers In Australia

Criminal profiling is used as a common tool to investigate and solve crimes. Due to this, they are believed to play an integral role in the criminal justice system.

Starting as criminal investigators or detectives, they mostly undergo additional training to pursue advanced careers as forensic psychology professors, jury consultants, juvenile offenders, to name a few.

The strong career outlook translates to robust job growth and future demand for criminal profilers/investigators/private detectives in Australia. Their employment include the FBI and law enforcement agencies around the world.



11. How Much Does A Criminal Profiler Earn In Australia?

The average criminal profiler salary in Australia is $89,300 or an equivalent hourly rate of $41. The criminal profiler salary varies widely based on the following factors:


  • Levels of education 

  • Type of Employer 

  • Years of Experience

  • Industry in which they work, and

  • Cost of living in the area you work


The top-paying industries for criminal profilers are as follows:


  • Postal services

  • Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals

  • Local government 

  • Academic sectors such as colleges, professional schools, and universities


Average Criminal Profiler salary based on Experience:


  • Entry-level criminal profiler (1 to 3 years of experience) earns $61,527. 

  • Senior-level criminal profilers (8 and more years of experience) earn $104,770.


According to PayScale, the average criminologist’s salary is AU$56,930 or an equivalent of AU$32.50 per hour.


  • Early career Criminologist earns AU$57,325 per year

  • Mid-career Criminologist earns AU$55,481 per year


12. Conclusion

As a Criminal profiler, you are responsible for helping law enforcement agencies to deter crimes from society. Pursuing this career, years of rigorous preparation and determination is needed to gain the vast depth of skills and techniques to perform the job.


If you are interested in making your community safe, follow the above steps and get started.


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