polygrapg examiner certification

Certified Polygraph Examiner

This article presents an overview of the findings in polygraph training program focusing on how to become a polygraph examiner.  Also, it is going to show you the steps and process of obtaining a degree. Afterward, you get information about the Workplace, salary، benefits, and job opportunities. Moreover, the article describes you required skills and polygraph syllabus.

Who is a polygraph examiner?

As a whole, polygraph examiner is educated to utilize polygraph device to detect the deception.

In fact, the examiner’s job is to work with the device attached to the examinee and asks questions from him and manages the test. Subsequently, the examiner analyzes the answers and determines whether or not the person is telling the truth. Essentially, a polygraph examiner should have professional skills related to polygraph test such as communication skills. Also, they have polygraph techniques and know how to analyze and report the results. Furthermore, they can professionally interview or interrogate a person.


As a matter of fact, a polygraph examiner works at office. Typically, their office is located in a courtroom, police office or other organizations. If necessary, there is a security guard in the office. Because, maybe the examinee is a murderer. Sometimes this polygraph examiner has to visit different places and maybe travel in order to manage the polygraph tests.


Ordinarily, the average salary of each polygraphist is about $68,000 per year. In addition, they can increase their salary, if they make progress and work with higher levels of government. For example, the administer who works for FBI or CIA, gets more salary. Another benefit of this job is that you are known as a government employee. As a result, you use all your employee benefits.

Stages of becoming polygraph examiner

Like any other fields, to become a polygraphist, you need to complete the course and obtain your certification.

Graduated in bachelor’s degree

It is better to graduate in bachelor’s degree of criminal justice, law enforcement, police science, criminology or forensic science with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

In fact, the examiner must be certified by the American Polygraph Academy.

Apply for polygraph examiner training

Definitely, you should be careful about the institution you choose. Discover a polygraph institute approved by the American Polygraph Association (APA). Particularly, note that there are some institutions that receive less cost but do not have approval from APA.

Work as a Trainee

It is preferable that a newcomer administer works under a professional one for a year. Therefore, all his skills will be checked before the institute awards him a certificate.

Licensed examiner

Some states ask for a written examination to receive a license as a polygraph examiner.

Look for a job

Finally, a certified administer can apply and look for a job in the following sections:

  • polygraph institutes
  • legal justice system
  • law enforcement agencies
  • police forces
  • the government
  • intelligence services
  • private investigators


Education and Skills

In rare cases, a police or officer without a bachelor’s degree may be admitted. But those people who have degree in Forensic Science, Criminal Justice, Psychology and Criminology are more likely to be admitted.

Additionally, there are other public skills that should be considered. Some of the most important public skills are mentioned bellow:

  • Communications skills
  • interpersonal skills
  • analytical and writing skills
  • teamwork ability
  • having professional and personal integrity
  • a wide range of interests
  • ability to interact with different people
  • having tenacity, confidence and maturity
  • management skills


Polygraph Syllabus

Frequently, all polygraph institutes provide high quality polygraph training syllabus. As shown above, the aim of this syllabus is to certify, qualify and motivate a person in law enforcement agency and other organizations. Besides, this syllabus provides students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills.

Above all, the American Polygraph Association must accredit and validate polygraph syllabus. Also, the American Association of Police Polygraphists should recognize them.

Accordingly, here is a list of the lessons that a polygraph examiner should learn.

  • History and evolution of polygraph
  • Psychophysiology
  • Polygraph instrumentation and operation
  • Question formulation and test construct
  • Polygraph techniques and tricks
  • Pre-Test process
  • Post-Test process
  • Chart of test data evaluation
  • Polygraph Skills Development
  • Understanding legal and ethical aspects
  • Polygraph research and research methodology
  • Human rights
  • Standards of American Polygraph Association
  • APA Bylaws’
  • Results Reporting
  • Quality control procedures
  • Postconviction sex
  • Offender testing
  • Membership opportunities
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