Police Artist

Occupation Information table
Overview: Police artists sketch the likenesses of criminal suspects based on descriptions by victims and witnesses of crimes. While they sketch, they ask the victims and witnesses about the facial and body details of the suspect. They also make sketches and drawings of the crime scenes.
Duties: They interview victims and witnesses of a crime to determine the characteristics of the suspects and the scenes where a crime took place. They start to sketch during the interview process.

They encourage the victim or witness to actively critique the drawings to make them more accurate through comments about facial or body proportions, coloring, blemishes and facial expressions.

May use a computer to display to witnesses different shapes of various parts of the face such as eyes, the brow, nose and lips in order to piece together the parts that best depict suspects.

They draw schematics of crime scenes that are used in court trials to explain to the jury how a crime was committed and how the clues point to the suspects.

Degree(s): A.S. Art: Concentrations in Art & Design or Art History 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to grow 2% to 4% from 2018 to 2028, which is slightly slower than the average projected growth for all occupations.
Salary Range (National Average): $27,000 to $31,000
Education Level: Training for this occupation generally requires an Associate Degree from a 2 year or community college.
Additional Training/Education: An associate degree or a bachelor's degree in fine arts from a college or an accredited school of art is the usual required training for a police artist. Coursework in studio arts and visual communication are essential. A knowledge of computer applications in art and design is necessary. Applicants should assemble a "portfolio" containing examples of their best artwork to show to prospective employers.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Painting, drawing, crafting, sculpting and creative designing.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Using your hands to operated fine instruments and precision tools.
  • Being aware of the reactions of others, and understanding why they react the way they do.
Recommended Values:
  • Being able to express creative ideas through the arts.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.