How do I Become a Diversion Investigator?

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  • Written By: Matt Brady
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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A diversion investigator (DI) is a professional who probes the movement of money or product from its source to its destination. In most cases, this job refers to drug enforcement professionals, who are tasked with investigating the illegal production, distribution, or sale of drugs. In the United States, many diversion investigators work for the US Drug and Enforcement Administration (DEA), although other organizations also employ workers to investigate various product diversions.

If applying to become a diversion investigator with the DEA, you will need a resume that demonstrates a solid background in analyzing data, developing solutions, and the ability to learn and accurately interpret federal and state laws. These skill sets can often be acquired through experience in law enforcement or military service, but may also be cultivated in other careers or through a relevant college degree such as criminal justice.

The DEA will also inspect your physical merit with a medical examination. You will have to demonstrate good hearing and vision, although the use of glasses, contact lenses, and hearing aids is permitted. Along with a medical examination, the DEA will administer a drug test and background investigation before allowing you to become a diversion investigator. In particular, they will be looking to see whether you have any history of using narcotics or other dangerous drugs. In most cases, applicants will not be hired if the DEA finds any such drug use.


Throughout their service, DIs who work for the DEA are subject to random location reassignments. This mobile life can be taxing on some people, and applicants need to decide for themselves if this lifestyle is a good fit. If you still choose to become a diversion investigator, you will undergo a 12-week basic training program conducted by the DEA's Diversion Operations Unit. Basic training will equip you with investigative skills, educate you about drugs and drug laws, as well as take you through practical experience in the field.

Outside of tracking illegal drugs, there are a number of fields in which someone can become a diversion investigator, from detecting fraudulent bank transactions to preventing unlawful diversion of electricity by checking meters in residential neighborhoods. Before scouting, however, be aware that most of these jobs will not carry the title of diversion investigator, which is used almost exclusively in reference to the DEA. Instead, you might be an internal auditor, or perhaps a financial regulator.

You don't necessarily have to make it a career in order to become a diversion investigator. Law enforcement agencies and companies often depend upon tip-offs from citizen investigators to successfully resolve diversions. If this is a more viable route, seek out the aid of diversion investigator associations, which train members how to legally assist and cooperate with professional agencies.


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Post 1

I'm not sure where they got their information from about what a DEA Diversion Investigator does, but it's wrong! DI's deal only with prescription drugs. They investigate doctors and pharmacists, and deal with DEA registrations (all doctors and pharmacists must be registered with DEA to prescribe/distribute schedule 2 drugs). This is a very brief description of what they do, but it's a lot more accurate that what they have here!

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