Polygraph Examiners

Polygraph examiners use polygraph equipment and techniques to determine whether individuals have answered questions truthfully or dishonestly. Polygraphs, often called "lie detectors," are instruments that measure and record certain nonvoluntary body responses that are affected by the individual's emotional state. To judge whether the subject has answered all the questions truthfully, the examiner compares the reactions recorded for questions that are not likely to cause stress with the reactions recorded for other questions. More than 2,500 polygraph examiners are members of the American Polygraph Association.


Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Prep subjects for testing; conduct polygraph exams; prepare written reports; work closely with investigators; provide courtroom testimony
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Positions are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
Experience Investigative law enforcement experience recommended
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
Skills
  • Interpersonal
  • Research
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Must be U.S. citizens and have no criminal background
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Polygraph Instructor
  • Polygraph Examiner
  • Part-Time Polygraph Examiner

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