Become an investigator

When thinking of becoming an investigator your mind usually jumps to those jobs where you get to hunt down a bad guy. It may surprise you to learn that there are some other weird and wonderful jobs out there that have the same flair for investigation. The list below explores just a small number of these mysterious jobs for curious minds. Which job makes you want to jump up and get started now?

Does it make you want to become an...investigator? Are these the jobs for you?

Paranormal Investigator

You may be someone who thinks that haunted houses are the scariest thing imaginable. Or you could be the person who thinks they are fascinating and find the idea of visiting these places truly epic. If you are the latter, then the hair-raising job of being a paranormal investigator may be perfect for you. As a paranormal investigator, it is up to you to investigate reports of haunted activity, ghosts and other questionable supernatural occurrences. Halloween certainly does not scare you and this will not either!

Ocean Explorer

The ocean covers a whopping 70% of earth’s surface. Even crazier is the fact that there is still over 80% of the ocean that is unexplored! Imagine what could be found down there. Shipwrecks, undiscovered species… who knows? Ocean exploration is about making discoveries and searching for things that are unusual and unexpected. In this exploration you might focus on things like climate change, environment, biology, archaeology – the list goes on.

Have you ever thought about what might be out there in the ocean? Do you think we have found all there is to find? Or is it possible that there really is a Megalodon just chilling out in the ocean depths off the coast of Bermuda? 

Fascinating 3D Journey to the Ocean Depths

Wildlife Photographer

Wildlife photographers seem to have one of the coolest jobs because they get to take photos of animals and plants in their natural environments. Imagine seeing an eagle fly for the first time or seeing a lion race after its prey! What an experience that must be. In saying that, it is not often that a wildlife photographer can go out exploring and see these sorts of thing happen right away. The part that not many people know about is when they have to sit and wait for hours, kind of like a police stakeout but with less criminals and more animals.

Have a look at the amazing photos taken by other kids that have made it to the world stage. See if you are up for the challenge of wildlife photography and all it entails.

Fire and Arson Investigator

Fires are scary things, and it is always a wonder how exactly some of them start and why. Well, a Fire and Arson Investigator is the person to answer these questions. They are trained to be able to figure out the causes of a fire, if it is an accident (leaving the frying pan on), or if it is deliberate. They come in after the fire and sift their way through the evidence, taking note of burn marks, smoke alarms and the fire’s start point. Things like these may help point them towards why it happened and at times, who may have done it.


Astrophysicists have a job that is completely out of this world. They take on the task of trying to understand the universe and all things in it, including stars, planets, galaxies and even black holes! While they do not get to actually go in to space, they do get to observe it through some amazing technology. Check out some of the amazing places they get to work. 

Art Crime Investigator

A Picasso painting has gone missing and people are going out of their minds wondering if they will ever see the gorgeous art ever again. Who do they call? Ahh no, not the Ghostbusters, they call the Art Crime Investigator. These talented investigators do not have to be skilled at art, they just have to have curiosity and interest in tracing the clues that will lead them to the masterpiece thieving culprits.


Archaeology is the study of things past people made, used, and left behind. These things are now being discovered by Archaeologists today. While it may not be all Indiana Jones like in the movies, this really is a pretty amazing job. Uncovering historic sites, whether they be above or beneath ground, can lead to the discovery of many different ancient artifacts. The Archaeologists study these artefacts (things like buildings, tools and art) to learn more about the people who may have lived there in the past.

What do you think the Archaeologists of the future might think if they were to come across the contents of your bedroom? What would they learn about you?


Studying animals? What a cracker of a job that would be! Zoologists study animals of all shapes and sizes, from itty bitty insects to large mammals. They investigate what animals eat, how they live, and how they interact with the environment around them. Zoologists often spend a lot of their time observing animals in the wild, making sure that they get the most direct and valuable information. You may have heard of Dian Fossey, Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall or even Steve Irwin! All awesome Zoologists have a love and curiosity of all creatures great and small. Now is your chance to be the curious one and explore the wildlife of Africa.


Dinosaurs, dinosaurs and DINOSAURS! What more can be said? Uncovering a T-rex skeleton, piecing together the life of a Triceratops, is there really anything better? Palaeontologists study the past, working with fossils of all kinds like plants, shellfish, animals, insects and dinosaurs. They study old skeletons and figure out so many amazing things about their subject.

How long has the fossil been there? How old were they when they died? Why did they die? What was their favourite food? All of these things can be discovered just from looking at bones. Because of this, we can find out so many things about the lives of those big beasties we love but have never seen. Explore what life would have been like when the dinosaurs were alive in the interactive video below…talk about cool!

360 | VR Enjoy this Jurassic Dinosaur Adventure - Planet Terra X Part 2

Odour Tester

There are so many wonderful, horrible and interesting smells out there in the world around us. Have you ever thought about how they might have come to be? Also known as ‘Sniffers’, Odour Testers use their sensitive noses to figure out what scents would be best for things like perfumes, foods and deodorants. Despite their degrees in chemistry, this is not always a glamorous job. Just think, the only way to test if a deodorant scent has worked would be to… sniff an armpit? Would you be up for the challenge?


Aliens. Are they real or one giant conspiracy? Ufology is the study of Unidentified Flying Objects. Sometimes these objects are just that, unidentified, meaning nobody has any idea what they are and cannot seem to find many clues. Because of this, people usually think a UFO might be an alien, a visitor from another world. Not everyone thinks that this job is legit though because the existence of aliens is yet to be proven. What do you think? Are you on the side of the unbelieving, or are you determined to go out there and prove that UFO’s are exactly what the movies say they are?

Storm Chaser

Imagine the crack of thunder, a flash of lightning or even a swirling tornado. Now imagine that you are right there running towards it. This is the life of a Storm Chaser, thrilling, dangerous and everything in between. Everyone has experienced some form of extreme weather, be it a thunderstorm, hail, flooding, drought or so many other things. But would you be game enough to venture out from your comfy spot on the couch and into the craziness that is a storm?

Being so close to this extreme weather is not something Storm Chasers do just for fun. They use the information they discover to help inform others of a storm’s path and so many other things. Have a look at the video below and put yourself in the shoes of an American Storm Chaser hunting down a tornado.

Extreme up-close GoPro TIME-LAPSE of violent tornado, May 24, 2016! 


Something smells about this job, and if we are being honest… it is the scat. Do not know what scat is? Well, it is poop. All kinds of poop are the subject of study for this career. Scatologist’s are scientists that study animal faeces in the hopes of finding out about its habitat, health and any presence of disease. How fascinating is it to think that you can find out all of these things just from studying something most of us consider to be a little gross! This job is not for everyone but when it helps animals it definitely cannot be discounted. Have a look at this quiz and see if you can figure out which scat belongs to which Australian animal.


Have you ever wondered why mozzie bites get so itchy and scratchy? Or how a ladybug flies? You are not the only one! Entomologists are scientists that spend their lives studying insects, bugs and all manner of creepy crawlies so that they can answer these very questions. They explore the environments where bugs make their homes, figure out what their favourite foods are and learn all about the things that makes them tick (sometimes literally). You can even start your journey as an amateur entomologist right this very second by creating your very own bug hotel

Do not forget to visit the Story Walk at Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens. Not only is it an awesome bug book, but the gardens are full of creepy crawlies for you to discover!  

More stuff

Have a look at these other awesome resources below and discover something new to get that curious brain fired up.

  • Surely these aren’t real jobs! Or are they? Check out the You Wanna Be a What?! website.
  • Some people follow their dreams and find the perfect job for them. Check out these videos for some awesome inspiration.
  • Have you ever wondered about the noises some animals make? This quiz is great to test your knowledge and learn something new.
  • What sort of tricks has The Surfing Scientist got up his sleeve? Discover the fun of science.

Note: This program includes YouTube links. While we want you to have fun watching these videos, do not forget to hit stop at the end of it. YouTube will automatically play other videos that may not be about this subject and not suitable for you. 

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