Becoming a detective is a dream for those who grow up watching detective and serial movies. Assuming to be like Sherlock Holmes is normal for us after we have known his character. However, we turn this dream into a reality along the way. Since crime rate is increasing these days, more detectives are needed in order to solve them. This is the reason why some police officers are trying to be like Sherlock Holmes. For those of you who still haven’t given up on your detective dreams, here is some information on the exciting career of being a detective.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
How Much a Detective Earns
The base salary of a detective first depends on his or her employer. An investigator who is employed by the state earns more than a private one in most cases. This is mostly due to steady work that they receive compared to the intermittent work of a private detective.The reason behind this is they always have work to do compared to a private detective. A state employed detective earns a national average of $76,000. For a private detective, he or she can earn about $45,000. The factors that affect a PI’s salary will be discussed later. Let’s take a look at the factors affecting a state employed investigators’ salary at the moment.
Like police officers, the population of a city decides the income of a detective. The number of cases to be handled by a detective increases if the city is more populated. Thus, the increase in salary. One of the major factors in deciding the salary of an investigator is the crime rate. For instance, someone in the LA police department will get an average salary of $44,000 to $88,000. Whereas, a member of the Miami Police department usually get $86,000 to $107,000 salary.
Place assigned or working
The location is closely related to the population of the place and the crime rate. However, cost of living is another factor to consider. Higher the cost of living in a certain location, higher the detective is paid. This logic agrees with the case of private investigators too. A pay of $116,00 is usually received by employees in District of Columbia, Alaska and New Jersey.
For any police job (except at the federal level), a high school degree is sufficient. States have different rules but a higher education certificate is not necessary in some states. However, some states and departments have started to realize the importance of higher education and thus are paying officers and detectives a percentage higher above the base pay if they have a degree after high school. This can be an associate, bachelor or a master’s degree. Depending on your degree, you might be paid more.
You will be paid as an investigator if you will be working in the field for a long period of time. For those who are working in the field for 20 years already even if they are not promoted will get up to $15,000 increase. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.
Atlanta Private Investigators
The number of cases and solving them are the bases of a private investigator’s salary. As mentioned before, the location can affect the price along with the many other factors such as the amount of discretion needed, the amount of danger involved, extra equipment required and many other things. The investigator will quote the job price after the clients presented their problem.
A state-employed detective has a steady income that will increase by various means as described here. On the hand, the salary of a private investigator is quite unpredictable and can only be increased by fame (or rather being more discrete). Now that you have the financial facts, you can decide which path to choose.
Atlanta Detective Career Outlook
First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. In 2015, the recorded public detectives or criminals investigators are about 106,000. On the other hand, there were only about 30,000 private investigators holding a job at the same time. In this industry, the predicted growth of private detectives is about 15%. Meaning to say, in 2025 the new jobs open will reach 1,500. This is the same growth rate of 5% in different sectors. For public investigators, this is only 4% of the figure. This means there is going to be around 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator by 2025. This too is an average rate of growth.
The employment increases steadily because the population increases. Protection should be done to a lot of people and more criminals should be caught as the population increases. But due to the strict implementation of laws and technology are more advanced, the crime rate is not increasing that much. Because of this, both the phenomena are just the same leading to average growth in each career.
Geographically speaking, Texas, California and New York employ the highest number of Criminal / Law Enforcement Investigators. The employment in western states and Texas are higher that to that of the eastern parts. Private detectives are prominent in California, Texas and Florida with the southern states tending to employ more compared to the northern ones.
Let’s see what are the industries that hire these professionals most. The Local, State government and the Federal branch are employing a lot of criminal investigators. On the other hand, private detectives are usually hired by Security Services, Consulting services and occasionally by the local government for consultation on a few cases.
Financially speaking, criminal investigators do get paid more than private ones. Their annual average salary is $80,000 (Criminal investigators) and that of Private investigators is around $52,000. Public investigators are paid most in District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey in the aspects of geography and finance. Private detectives receive higher payment in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
Compared with the different industries, private industries where they employ most do not pay the highest. Private detectives are paid most in Electromedical, Navigational, Power generation, Metal Product forming and other such industries because of the most sensitive information that needs to be protected. Federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes are paying public investigators most.
Qualifications to Become a Atlanta Detective
It is important to note that there are two kinds of detectives. There are private investigators that the general public can hire to investigate on certain things. There are those who are government employees and after being promoted as a police officer gets the post. We will explore both avenues here.
Be a High School Graduate
A detective is generally a police officer who has been promoted to that position because of his or her skills of deduction. This only means that you will need to complete your high school studies and become a police officer before you can become a detective. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
Usually, you don’t require a bachelor’s degree to get into the police academy. However, some police officers prefer to have one as a means of employment after they retire. Likewise, you will need a bachelor degree if you want to become a detective.
A bachelor’s degree in either criminal justice or law will be required in most institutions to become a detective. If you have an associate’s degree, you will need at least 5000 hours. But for someone with a bachelor’s degree, the required training is only 4000 hours.
Get enough experience
You need to experience working as an investigator first before you can become a professional detective. Fortunately, you have several options available. But in most cases, it will require you to be employed by the government. You will be regarded as a person with experience if you worked as a criminal investigator or an arson investigator. However, you can also choose to work as a licensed repossessor or office investigator.
Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. There are some that only require 3 years of experience, but some might need at least five.
Acquire a license for your guns
If an investigator doesn’t have a firearms permit, he won’t be allowed to carry his firearm. There are several firearms with strict requirements such as completing a full training course before the permits are issued. Therefore if you want to own a firearm while working as an investigator, completing the training course is necessary to get your own permit.
Complete a Georgia licensure exam
Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. This test usually contains some multiple choice questions about state laws and some procedures that often need to be carried out. Those who are looking to be a private detective will need to take this test. If you managed to pass, you will become a licensed private investigator.
Due to the dangerous nature of the work, you should make sure to get an insurance. This is generally medical insurance of about $10,000. But since you’re carrying a gun with you for extra protection, and you will have to insure the gun as well, getting a higher amount will be an ideal choice.
Simply follow through all steps and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Your steps towards becoming a successful detective is finally within your reach. However, don’t forget that being a detective would mean exposing yourself to danger. If that doesn’t scare you away, then you should fulfill all the requirements as soon as possible.
What Does A Detective Do In Atlanta?
Crime Scene Investigation
It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. It will also include searching for clues and collecting evidences. Supposedly, they should collect anything that looks like an evidence which can be used in court hearings later. Sometimes the forensic investigation department lends them a hand in analyzing the evidence and thus helping them deduce more things about the crime. Detectives should gather as many clues and evidences as possible by analyzing cameras and gathering information from eye witnesses.
An important aspect of a detective’s duties is to research previous case files in their free time. This is so that they can have an insight regarding criminal patterns and behaviors. Often, research into the past and previous case files give them an idea or a clue as to how the current culprit might be operating. In cases of serial killers or ‘copycats’, research helps a lot. This also helps detectives take down drug cartels by allowing them to identify any tactics being used. Through the help of general research, it will be a lot easier for detectives to identify the culprit or make any accurate deductions.
Reducing the list of possible suspects
The whole objective of everything that a detective does is to serve justice to the person who has committed the crime. But to do this, they first need to a list of possible suspects. In some cases, it could include over a hundred people, but there are also cases where there is none. They are able to come up with such list by piecing evidences, statements from eye witnesses, results from research, and a bit of forensics altogether. By means of getting statements from suspects, detectives are able to narrow down their list. Once the list is narrowed down, they will then proceed to gathering evidence or having the suspect admit to his crimes.
Testifying In Court
One of the final jobs of a detective on a case is to ensure that justice is served. To hasten the process, the court will sometimes summon them. They will often describe the scenario of the crime, and present evidences that will prove the crimes of the criminal. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.
Atlanta Private Detectives
The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. Keep in mind that the job of a private detective isn’t as easy as it seems. They will need to fulfill the needs of their clients especially when it comes to research. However, they are allowed to only bend certain laws to a minimalistic extent to help them complete their duties. Some of the reasons why private detectives are hired include doing background checks, tracking finances, and even collecting clues and evidence to be used against a certain person. They should never act in a way that they can be easily recognized as a detective in public. Detectives are also prohibited from arresting an individual.
As you can see, the “Idiot Box” was right for the most part. But the jobs that these detectives (private and public) must undergo daily are stressful beyond comparison. Such things aren’t even shown on the TV. Supposedly, they should carefully collect any clue and evidence since they carry such heavy responsibility on their shoulders. If the job still has you intrigued, then find out how long it takes to become a detective now!