Free Essay

Who Are Criminal Profilers?

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By bexwilty217
Words 1286
Pages 6
Who Are Criminal Profilers?
Rebecca Wiltshire
Colby-Sawyer College

Criminal profilers mix both the world of psychology with criminal justice. The field itself is fairly new and often time’s profilers don't always agree on methodology or even terminology. The term "profiling" is popular among the public because of media interoperations such as “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Criminal Minds”. However the FBI calls its form of profiling “criminal investigative analysis”; another profiler, a prominent forensic psychologist, calls his work “investigative psychology”; and another calls his “crime action profiling” only further proving the lack of agreement in terminology (8). Often a criminal profiler is thought to be a perceptive unknown or an unconventional intellectual who can solve crimes by trusting a combination of intuition and strong insight into the criminal mind (9). Criminal profiling is a method used by criminal investigators to develop profiles for murders, rapists, and other violent criminals who haven't been arrested yet (4). Profilers rely on perceptive trail and error to predict others’ behavior. They use the growing knowledge from psychiatry, psychology, criminology, and sociology, and utilize each in the field of criminal profiling. (3)
Like in every job, criminal profilers have specific responsibilities that their job entails. It is a world of investigation and research impacted by inductive and deductive reasoning, crime-solving experience and knowledge of criminal behavior, facts, and statistical probabilities (1). Profilers are there to help investigators examine evidence from crime scenes and victim and witness reports to develop an offender description including psychological variables such as personality traits, psychopathologies and behavior patterns, as well as demographic variables such as age, race or geographic location. Investigators might use profiling to thin down a field of suspects or figure out how to interrogate a suspect already in custody (8 & 6). Criminal profilers will use a range of different methods and techniques such as trying to figure out the murderer/criminal’s antecedent or plan. What did the murderer have in place before the act? What triggered the murderer to act some days and not others? Profilers will examine the method, manner and how the body was disposed. What type of victim or victims did the murderer select? What was the method and manner of murder? Did the murder and body disposal take place all at one scene, or multiple scenes? After the crime criminal profilers also must look at the post-offense behavior of the criminal. Is the murderer trying to involve himself in the investigation by reacting to media reports or communicating with investigators (8)? Criminal profiling also lends a hand to predictive policing. Predictive policing uses information from pervious crimes; such as intent, location, type of crime and genetic predispositions; to predict when a crime is likely to happen, where is could take place and the kinds of people involved (7 & 2). Predictive policing involves using analytical software developed to analyze each crime by time of day, day of the week and day of the month. Crime locations are analyzed by street address, as well as closeness to places such as ATMs, parks and bars. The computers also have information on paydays of major local employers. All of which can be potential factors in determining crime before it happens (7). Sometimes profilers will investigate unsolved cases, known as cold cases. When investigating these crimes, profilers will interview the family members of murder victims, review police files, and interview people who may have seen the criminal (4). These responsibilities are very important and often times confidential but every profiler needs the proper education to complete them.
Educational requirements of a criminal profiler include formal education in psychology, criminal justice and criminology. Along with a formal degree it is important obtain some investigative experience (4). A Profiles education should be dependent on the type of career they intend to pursue. For example if a profiler intends to use methods that involve statistical analysis when working on cases, then the profiler will need formal training with math and statistics (5). While most of the following knowledge is included in the curriculum for the degree a criminal profiler would need, the following is the basic knowledge that every profile needs and will utilize in the field: Knowledge of the criminal justice system, the various methods of criminal investigation, the scientific method, the science of logic, forensic science, of victims, of crime and criminals, of human sociology, human psychology, mental illness, drugs and alcohol and human anatomy and physiology (5).
The average salary of a criminal profiler ranges from about $35,000 a year on the low end to as high as $105,000. The average salary of a criminal profiler depends largely on experience of the profiler. According to a recent research report, profilers with less than a year of experience can expect a salary of $35,000 to $60,000 a year. Profilers with five to nine years of experience will make an average salary of $46,176 to $82,895 and with ten or more years in the field, a criminal profiler can expect to earn a salary of $59,780 to $106,125 (4). However while the salary looks promising for criminal profilers, the job market is scarce.
Criminal profilers can be employed in one of two different settings private and government positions. In private practice methods for profiling are imbedded in knowledge developed by forensic psychologists, psychiatrists and criminologists (8). In recent years, the FBI has begun to work closely with many criminal profilers -- in fact, it employs them (8) Profilers not working for the FBI typically work as statisticians or criminologists at universities and colleges. They usually work part-time as profilers, but many are now profiling and investigating on a full-time basis. Since there are so few profiling jobs available, it can be difficult to find a job after graduation (4).
Criminal profilers, while being a relatively new field, are regularly found in today’s media in shows such as “Criminal Minds” and “Lie to Me”(5). Some question the accuracy of these shows and it largely depends on the individual show.
Criminal profilers are a criminal justice tool used to solve current and past crimes, as well as predicting crimes that haven’t happened. It is a relatively new field with a small job market. However due to the boom of crime drama, the media has shined a light on the fairly behind the scenes psychology based career.


1. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d.). Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved March 15, 2014, from

2. Kocsis, R. N., Middledorp, J., & Karpin, A. (2008). Taking Stock of Accuracy in Criminal Profiling: The Theoretical Quandary for Investigative Psychology. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 8(3), 244-261.

3. Palermo, G. (2005). Offender Profiling: An Introduction To The Sociopsychological Analysis Of Violent Crime. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163(3), 559-560.

4. Psychological/Criminal Profiler Salary. (n.d.). Psychological Profiler Salary, Earnings and Wage Information. Retrieved March 15, 2014, from

5. Turvey, B. E. (2002). Criminal profiling: an introduction to behavioral evidence analysis (2nd ed.). San Diego, Calif.: Academic Press.

6. Valliant, P. (1997). Personality and Criminal Profile of Adolescent Sexual Offenders, General Offenders in Comparison to Nonoffenders. Psychological Reports, 81(1), 483-489.

7. Vlahos, J. (2011). The Department of Pre-Crime. Scientific American, 306(1), 62-67.

8. Winerman, L. (n.d.). Criminal profiling: the reality behind the myth. Retrieved March 15, 2014, from

9. Woodworth, M. (2000). Historical Foundations and Current Applications of Criminal Profiling in Violent Crime Investigations. Expert Evidence, 7(4), 241-264.…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Who Catches Our Criminals?

...Who Catches Our Criminals And How Are They Prosecuted? Criminals are a part of society and unfortunately there is no way to completely stop every crime from happening and sometimes it’s even difficult to figure out whom, how, and why, the crime was committed. Very few crimes come with every detail of what happened and who committed the crime. The Criminal Justice System works on many levels to discover the mystery. Those who wish to commit crimes will be punished if found guilty of the charges. Sitting out the time, or paying the fine may be the easy part, let’s take a walk down the yellow line and see how it not only begins, but who decides your fate, once you decide to break the law. Crimes range from theft of an item of minimal value to something as extreme as Murder. That’s why the first level of the Criminal Justice System is the Police Officers. The Police Officers work to ensure safety and enforce the laws that help keep the community safe. Police Officers work hard to ensure laws and regulations are followed and to arrest those who jeopardize the rights and freedom of others. There are Police Officers for the community or town, Officers that patrol the state, and Federal Police Officers or Agents that work to provide the American people the opportunity to exercise their rights and to be safe while doing it. Police Officers investigate the crime and arrest the guilty party. After you are arrested, within a few hours the suspect is brought......

Words: 1499 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Competencie and Career Interests Profiler Paper

...I was very surprised when I took the Career Profiler; I had taken something like this when I was a senior in high school. In high school my results suggested that I should do something in agriculture, and now 11 years later it suggests that I should do something in Business, Finance or Law. These results were not surprising to me. These are things that I have actually always been interested in. I think that knowing my competencies is really going to help me with my critical thinking in the future. I had never really considered myself someone who thought logically, but according to my results I do. Knowing this will help me to stop second guessing myself whenever I think I am way off from the mark. I already knew that I am a researcher, because I love knowing everything about everything, I love to investigate topics and see where things started. Having this confirmed will give me the confidence to trust my instincts about myself. I have always loved writing and I already use it to my benefit. So researching and writing are competencies that I already knew that I possessed and having them confirmed was nice. I have already used some of the competencies that I knew I had to help me evaluate arguments. Because I love to research and to write I would already use these to my benefit when it came to arguments or discussions. Before I start any kind of argument or discussion with anyone I always make sure that I know what I am talking about. I try to have as much information as......

Words: 327 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Career Interest Profiler

...I was grateful surprise with the results of my Career Plan Building Activity; The Career Interest Profiler: Based on my answers to the questionnaire I am… Enterprising Occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking. Conventional Occupations frequently involve following set of procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear of line of authority to follow. Social Occupations frequently involve working with communicating with and teaching people. Often involve helping or providing services to others. Suggesting the following Career and Education Matches Options for me: Careers: Supervisor of; office and administrative support, Personal Care and Services workers, Sales manager, Operations manager, General Manager and CEO. Education: Associate or Bachelor of Art with concentration in Accounting, Finance, Business Foundations, Marketing, Services Sector, Management, Global Management, HR Management, etc. Career Plan Building Activity: Competencies, My results were: Adhering to values: Upholds ethics and values; demonstrates integrity; promotes and defends equal opportunities, builds diverse teams; encourages organizational and individual responsibility. Delivering Results: Focus on customer needs and satisfaction, sets high standards for...

Words: 533 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Career Interests Profiler and Competencies

...Assignment – Career Interests Profiler and Competencies Discussion Jayme Bjorklund BCOM/275 Version 2 January 120, 2014 Doris Savron In order to be successful in a career, I must understand my strengths and weaknesses. Competency is defined as “being qualified to perform certain tasks”. Understanding my competencies in evaluating arguments will qualify me to build stronger arguments. I am pleased with my results after taking the Career Profiler questionnaire. My results reflect what I have been working towards. My career matches are financial specialist; lawyer, judge and related workers; librarian, curator and archivist; and supervisor of sales. I am aiming to go to law school upon completion of my bachelor’s degree, and this information has given me even more confidence that I am on the right path. Many of the strengths listed I already knew about myself, having this confirmed will give me the confidence to trust my instincts about myself and stop holding back. My strengths are delivering results, writing, goal focused, entrepreneurial thinking, organizing and innovating. I have always loved writing, and I already use this skill to my benefit. I have used my competencies to help me evaluate arguments. Before I get involved in any argument or discussion with someone, I make sure I know what I am talking about. By using my writing and innovative strengths, I research the topic and write down anything related to the same. By doing this, I am backing......

Words: 302 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Career Interest Profiler

...I feel as though the information that I received by doing the Career Interest Profiler will help me with my future planning, by allowing me to analyze things that best fit what the profiler has suggested for me. The profiles showed me that things that I would never have pictured myself being involved with previously are obtainable goals now. It also allows me to see things that although I didn’t think I was a good fit for before, I now know that I am and would be more willing to pursue those options moving forward in my development. I will think more clearly about the position and choices that are put before me so that I can use the skills that I have and am obtaining to highlight myself in a particular area of interest. Rather it is with my current employer or for a new industry or field of interest. The Competencies that were revealed to me in the assessment also helps me in my future of decision making by allowing to know what areas I should most apply myself in. Many times it is asked, “what do you prefer to work on in this project?” and many times I didn’t have any answer, now I am able to identify my qualities and move in the direction that best suit my abilities to perform at the expected level. Knowing my competencies also helps me to confirm with others what I am “sure” I am capable of handling. Being able to approach the situation with my best foot forward will show an employer or potential client that I am very competent to handle the situation. While working on......

Words: 310 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Racsism Profiling in the Criminal Justice System

...problem with racial profiling in the Criminal Justice system and is it a hindrance or help. A question that we must ask ourselves, should we allow racial profiling during investigations? Like many of you I would say absolutely not, however the thought of racial profiling has been around for centuries and can be traced back to slavery days. Racial profiling was established by stopping any black person and demanding for papers because they weren’t with their white owners. “The United States imprisons a higher percentage of its black population than the apartheid in South Africa”. [1]. The article with further reading goes to state that one point in the life of the Black male one-in-three will serve time in jail at some point in their lives and that between the Blacks and Latino population they have a much higher contact rate with the Criminal Justice system than the average White male. It seems to be that the reason why this is is because of lack of education, low income areas of living. However, we see that there are quite a few that have made it out of this traditional role. There are several famous people that have overcome the harshness of the stigmatize that we as Americans put on people. Pit Bull a.k.a. Armando Christian Pérez who is of Cuban decent and was raised in the slums of Cuba. He worked hard and went for his dream of becoming a famous rapper. There is also Tyler Perry who was raised by a single mom in poor neighborhood who later became homeless......

Words: 899 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Career Profiler

...In this exercise, I had to complete the Career interest’s profiler and the competencies part as well. The profiler section stated that I am artistic, enterprising and investigative. I would have to agree with the findings of the test. These traits can be useful in critical thinking. In most situations, being able to investigate all sides of the situation or argument can help come to a resolution to the issue. The artistic trait can help with brainstorming or coming up with ideas towards a solution to a problem. Another reason understanding our personal competencies will help to improve my critical thinking skill is that I can analyze my own skills and which ones will help in the current situation. The profiler also said I’m enterprising. Not sure how my business skills or desire to open a business would help critically thinking unless the situation specifically dealt with that field came up. How can knowing your competencies help you to evaluate arguments? The same goes for critical thinking and arguments when it comes to our competencies. Using our strengths, or at least knowing which ones we excel at, can help us in arguments. We have to analyze what we are trying to have our end result be so we use what traits are going to better help us with that achievement. We can also use our competencies to try to defuse a situation before it crosses into the plane of an argument. There can be many different levels or degree of arguments but using our competencies we can stop......

Words: 267 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Career Interests Profiler

...James W. Lago BUS 275 Professor Leo Colegrove May 12, 2014 Career Interests Profiler and Competencies activities Discuss the ways in which understanding your personal competencies will help you to improve your critical thinking skills. How can knowing your competencies help you to evaluate arguments? This paper will discuss the results of my career interest profiler and competencies activity. It will also discuss the ways in which understanding your personal competencies will help you improve critical thinking skills, and how can knowing your competencies help you to evaluate arguments. I was asked a series of question during my career interest profiler. The profiler based on those results determined that I am enterprising, conventional and artistic. My results reflect what I have been working towards. My career matches are advertising, marketing manager, fundraising manager, grants manager, and business development executive. I am aiming to go to grad school for my Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing upon completion of my bachelor’s degree, and this information has given me even more confidence that I am on the right path. Many of the strengths listed I already knew about myself, having this confirmed will give me the confidence to trust my instincts about myself and stop holding back. My strengths are delivering results, writing, goal focused, entrepreneurial thinking, organizing and innovating. I have always loved......

Words: 360 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Competencies and Career Interests Profiler

...Competencies and Career Interests Profiler Understanding your personal competencies can help improve your critical thinking skills in a number of ways. By understanding what your abilities are you are able to utilize your critical thinking skills. For example, some companies expect their employees to reach a certain level of competency at the end of their training. This is because developing or capitalizing on your core competencies entails learning and thoroughly understanding the job at hand. Based on my career aptitude test, my results show that scheduling; material recording and law would be a good fit for me. I am an efficient communicator, detail oriented and I take the time to research what I am doing. Because of these inclinations/competencies, I can have a more profound understanding of what I am doing in contrast to someone who may not be good at these things. It is said that capitalizing your strengths is more important than working on your weaknesses. Knowing your competencies can help you evaluate arguments through understanding every aspect of what you are doing. By utilizing your competencies and understanding the details of your task you are then able to overcome any objection and validate your argument. For example, lawyers know that they are efficient communicators and they use this competency to validate their argument in the courtroom. They research the case, ask questions, and interpret the law to help the jury reach a verdict. Knowing your......

Words: 358 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...Prisoners Rights When an individual commits a crime the legal system prosecutes the criminal and ultimately incarcerates him. These days the punishments for criminals aren’t the same as it was in the 1800s. These days’ criminals seem to have a walk in the park when it comes to serving time in jail. They have a roof over their head which is a lot compared to a lot of homeless people living on the streets and they get three meals a day while people are starving day to day. The very foundation of such a sequence of events is meant to degrade the offender and remove any social rights he had while on the outside (Waks, 2013). For example, prisoners have this vague notion that they are entitled to any basic rights while in prison. This concept has outraged law-abiding, upstanding citizens for decades. Prisoners are sent to prison or jail because they committed a crime, something that was considered unacceptable and wrong in society (Waks, 2013). Therefore, they are sent to prison or jail to pay for what they did, to be punished. However, a lot of these prisons and jails that they are being sent to are made to be too comfortable and too accommodating. Prisoners are being entertained rather than being reformed. They are entitled to the hypocrisy of programs such as arts & crafts, music, television, occasional live performances, and leisure sports. Along with these activities prisoners are entitled to programs such as education and trade instruction. The reason many citizens are......

Words: 717 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Career Interest Profiler

...Marybelle’s Career Profiler Results Name BCOM 275 October 9, 2014 Linda Torres-Kleinhans Marybelle’s Career Interest Profiler Results I am going to be an astronaut! I am going to be a doctor! I am going to be a teacher! As children, a lot of us would change our minds so many times of what we would like to be when we grow up. Now that we are grown up, there is still comes a time in life when we are a little lost; or is having a hard time figuring out the career path; or just need some validation. I myself needed a little help and at this time I’m still trying to figure it out. Upon enrolling in University of Phoenix, I took the Career Plan surveys to include the Career Interest Profiler. This is a pretty handy tool that could help people like me to figure out my next career path or the very least give some insights on my interests and suggested careers. In this paper, I am discussing my Career Interest Profiler results; weather the results fit my desired career path and why or why not; as well as tell you how I feel about the results. Results My Career Interest profiler results is as follows: [pic] This shows that I lean towards careers that are investigative, social, and conventional. The suggested careers are counselors, health practitioner, lawyers, judges, and educational trainer. Fitting of My Desired Career Path? I was in the military for 13 years as a soldier and a food inspector. I thought this career path was it. After the military...

Words: 457 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


...Criminal Justice System Humberto Garcia CJA/204 January 13.2014 David Mitchell, MPA Criminal Justice System To talk about criminal justice is important to define crime, its relationship to the law, and the two most common models of how society determines which acts are criminal. Also is important to describe the government structure as it applies to the criminal justice system. Furthermore, identifying the choice theories and their assumptions in regards to crime is important. As well as describing the components of the criminal justice system and the criminal justice process. In addition, identifying the goals of the criminal justice system is essential when talking about criminal justice, and addressing thoughts on whether the criminal justice system is really a system. Defining a crime and its relationship to the law is an important component when talking about criminal justice. In fact, according to University of Phoenix, CJi Interactive, crime can be defined as “conduct in violation of the criminal law of the state, the federal government, or local jurisdiction, for which there is no legally acceptable justification or excuse.” Meaning, that every crime depends on the location of the person who broke the law, which the same suggest that a person’s behavior may not be consider a crime depending on the status of the person who committed the crime, and even why this person broke the law. Consequently, society determines which are criminal......

Words: 1166 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Career Interest Profiler

...Career Plan Building Activity: Competencies and Career Interests Profiler University of Phoenix MGT/527 1/19/2015 In completing the Career Plan Building Activity and the Career Interests Profiler, I was able to collect interesting and significant information on the career fields that very well can be of interest to me as well as provide information regarding my strengths in where my competencies are applicable. In understanding and having knowledge of my personal competencies, I would be able to improve my critical thinking skills (Geng, 2014). Understanding critical thinking is important when trying to improve your critical thinking skills. Critical thinking deals with reflective reasoning regarding beliefs and actions makes it likely to take a situation, analyze it, gather what is essential in order to form a clear and concise origin of meaning and understand it as needed according to the circumstances. While discovering my strengths and weaknesses in competencies and with the outcome of the Career Interest Profile enable me to take a look into the areas of my expertise (Geng, 2014). The profile showed me having a more conventional occupation which usually involve following usual processes and practices. These careers include working with details and data more frequently than working with ideas. The Career Interest Profiler also included an enterprising occupation that usually includes leading people and making numerous decisions. They sometimes require taking......

Words: 380 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Leadership in Criminal Justice

...Assignment #6  Leadership Skills for the Criminal Justice Professional Write a 2-3 page essay describing the leadership skills that criminal justice professionals should develop and maintain in their professional and personal lives.  Discuss the importance of ethics and virtue criminal justice leadership.  In addition to material covered in the textbook and classroom lectures, utilize at least 3 web-based documentary resources to support your essay.    This paper should adhere to APA style standards including the following: Double space, 1” margins, title page, in text citation of references, and a reference page. CJS is one of the major public services in the country. Across the CJS, agencies such as the Police, the Courts, the Prison Service, the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Probation Service work together to deliver the criminal justice process The criminal justice system consists of a number of separate agencies that in theory gel together to produce a just outcome when a crime has been committed. In the criminal justice system, there are specific codes of ethics that apply to any lawyer or legal assistant. Sometimes the code of ethics may require something that is contrary to your personal ethics. You will need to balance your personal ethics against the ethical code of your profession. Model Code of Ethics Each state has a professional code or rules of ethics that set out what an attorney can and cannot, or should and should not, do in......

Words: 1770 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Criminal vs. Racial Profiling

...Racial profiling is not the same thing as criminal profiling. Racial profiling is any police-initiated action that relies on the race, ethnicity, or national orgin rather than the behavior of an individual or information that leads the police to a particular individual who has been identified as being. or having been, engaged in criminal activity. Criminal profiling is any police- initiated action that used the compilation of the background, physical, behavioral, and motivational characteristics for a type of perpretrator that lead the police. Racial profiling does not only violate constitutional rights, but is also ineffective if used in policing. The major reason to oppose racial profiling (aside from constitutional and moral grounds) is that it simply doesn’t work. Empirical studies show that when police use race or ethnic appearance as a factor in law enforcement, their effectiveness in apprehending criminals decreases. Even worse, it has often led to “accidental” deaths, such as the fatal shootings of African American and Latino men. On the other hand, criminal profiling is effective when applied to policing. Profiling units examine criminal behaviour to discover the characteristics of the offender and the causes of their crimes. Profilers look at three areas of the criminal’s behaviour: verbal, physical, and sexual interaction with victims. To create a criminal profile, profilers consider statistics, basic psychological principles, crime scene behaviour,......

Words: 498 - Pages: 2