Those who are fond of watching detective serials and movies want to become a detective in the future as well. The thrill of deducing never really leaves us especially after getting to know the character of Sherlock Holmes. But this dream seems to be forgotten and we will work to more realistic goals. In recent years, due to the increased rate of crime, there is a greater need for detectives to solve them. This is where some police officers step up and exhibit the Sherlock Holmes in them. You will find some information about being a detective if you still want to become one.
Table Of Contents
- Average Detective Salary
- Detective Career Outlook
- How To Become A Detective
- Detective Job Description
How Much a Detective Earns
The basis of a detective’s salary at first will depend on his or her employer. In most circumstances, a state employed investigator earns more than a private one. This is because a private detective has intermittent work while the state employed has a steady work. The national average that is earned by a detective who is employed by the state is $76,000. Whereas the average salary for a private detective can be around $45,000. The factors that affect a PI’s salary will be discussed later. For now, let us look at the factors that affect the salary of state employed investigators.
Number of People
The income of a detective depends on the population of a city the same to that of the police officers. The number of cases to be handled by a detective increases if the city is more populated. In this case, the salary will increase. Similarly, crime rate also plays a major factor in deciding the salary of an investigator. For instance, someone in the LA police department will get an average salary of $44,000 to $88,000. Compared to someone in Miami Police department, the average salary ranges from $86,000 to $107,000.
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 is true with the case of private investigators as well. A pay of $116,00 is usually received by employees in District of Columbia, Alaska and New Jersey.
Level of education attained
For any police job (except at the federal level), a high school degree is sufficient. This rules do not apply in all states but higher education certificates are not required in most states. But, the importance of higher education is considered by some states and departments that is why a degree after high school is a factor that affects the salary of the officers and detectives. This may be an associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. Your degree will affect your salary.
You will be paid as an investigator if you will be working in the field for a long period of time. Usually, people see an increase of up to $15,000 with 20 years of experience if they do not get promoted. You can earn about $180,000 annually if you reach the post of Police Chief as a promotion.
Austin Private Investigators
A private investigator’s salary depends on the number of cases he or she takes and solves. The location, amount of discretion needed, amount of danger involved, required extra equipment and other many things are the factors mentioned above that can affect the price. Clients usually present their problem to the investigator and then it is up to them to quote a price for the job.
As you can see, the income of a state-employed detective is steady and can be increased by various means. 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.
Austin Detective’s Career Path
First, let’s talk about the growth in the fields. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators recorded in 2015. Meanwhile, private investigators who do the same job were only 30,000. In this industry, the predicted growth of private detectives is about 15%. This means that there will be about 1,500 new jobs open by 2025. This growth rate is following the average growth rate of 5% across all other sectors. On the other hand, for public investigators, this figure is at 4%. This goes to show that 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator is expected in 2025. This can be considered as an average rate of growth as well.
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. Crime rate is not increasing significantly due to stricter laws and more advanced technology being used. Hence, there is a balance in each other, which leads to average growth in both careers.
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 move on to the industries that hire most of these two professionals. As clear as day, The Local, State government and the Federal branch employ the most number of criminal investigators. Security Services, Consulting services are the ones who usually hire private detectives and the local government need them for consultation on a few cases.
When it comes to finance, criminal investigators are paid more compared to the 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. It is in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey were private detectives are paid most.
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. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
How To Become A Austin Detective
Keep in mind 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. Here we shall explore both the avenues.
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. Hence if you want to become a detective, it is generally necessary to graduate from high school and enlist in the police force. To become a private investigator, a high school degree is a must too.
Earn a Bachelor’s degree
In most cases, enlisting in the police force won’t require a bachelor’s degree. Some officers however want to have another source of income right after they retire from their job. A bachelor’s degree is also required to pursue any jobs at the federal level or become a detective.
In most institutions, you will need a bachelor’s degree in psychology, law, or criminal justice to be able to land a job as a detective. If you have an associate’s degree, you will need at least 5000 hours. On the other hand, someone with a bachelor’s degree needs only 4000 hours of training.
Get enough experience
Professional experience as an investigator is required in order to become a professional detective. There are many ways to get this. However, the most common way is to be employed by the government first. Landing work as a law enforcement investigator, arson investigator, or criminal investigator will count as being a person with experience. However, you can also choose to work as a licensed repossessor or office investigator.
The experience required might vary from one state to another. There are some that only require 3 years of experience, but some might need at least five.
Get firearms permits
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. Hence, to get a permit for your firearm when working as an investigator, you will need to complete the full training course.
Complete a Texas licensure exam
A licensure test is required after you have all the requirements needed. During the exam, you will need to answer questions in multiple choice, usually regarding about state laws and several other procedures. The test is only available for those who want to be private detectives. Once you pass, you will officially become a licensed private detective.
Get Texas Insurance
Being a detective is dangerous, hence it is a good idea to get your insurance. This is generally medical insurance of about $10,000. However, it is important to also get a higher amount if you carry a firearm since you need to protect yourself from greater dangers and insure the gun itself.
By completing these steps, you’ll be good to go. Your steps towards becoming a successful detective is finally within your reach. But be careful – as mentioned before, this can be a dangerous line of work. If you want to pursue your dreams, learn all about the requirements and complete them as soon as you can.
What Does A Detective Do In Austin?
Crime Scene Investigation
One main role of a detective is to take a look at a crime scene and make certain deductions. He will then collect any evidence he can find in the crime scene. They are supposed to take anything into custody that may look suspicious and may be used for clues or in the court 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.
Doing research regarding previous cases is regarded as an important aspect of a detective’s job. Through this, they can get to the mind of a criminal and discover any hidden clues and patterns. 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. This is really helpful when it comes to serial killers. 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.
Accurately guessing the culprit
The goal of a detective’s job is to bring justice to light and bring the culprit to justice. But to do this, they first need to a list of possible suspects. The list could be long, including up to a hundred people, or short – sometimes none at al. With the help of evidence, research, statements, and forensic studies, they are able to come up with such list. The list will then be narrowed down by interrogating suspects one after another. Once the list is narrowed down, they will then proceed to gathering evidence or having the suspect admit to his crimes.
Testifying In Court
As part of their final job, detectives will need to make sure justice is served. To help with the process, they are sometimes summoned to the court to testify against the suspect(s). They will often describe the scenario of the crime, and present evidences that will prove the crimes of the criminal. In some cases, they will even accompany the culprit to the jail.
Austin Private Detectives
All the above duties were that of a public detective or a law enforcement detective. The job description of a detective is a bit loose. Supposedly, detectives should meet their client’s needs regardless of how difficult it might seem, especially in terms of 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. When carrying out duties as a detective, they should make sure not to look suspicious and act like a normal citizen. They are however, not allowed to arrest anyone.
You see, the “Idiot Box However, the roles and responsibilities that detectives carry aren’t as easy as they seem. That is never shown properly on television or anywhere else. They are always supposed to look over their shoulder and ensure they do not miss any single clue since lives literally depend on them. If you think being a detective is the right job for you, then you should do research about it now!