Growing up watching detective serials and movies, everyone wants to become a detective. The thrill of deducing never really leaves us especially after getting to know the character of Sherlock Holmes. However, somewhere along the way, we forget this dream of ours and work towards more “realistic” goals. Crime rate continue to increase that is why the need for detectives to solve them rises. This is where some police officers step up and exhibit the Sherlock Holmes in them. 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 Does A Detective Make
The employer is the one who will decide regarding the detective’s salary. An investigator who is employed by the state earns more than a private one in most cases. 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. For a private detective, he or she can earn about $45,000. We shall discuss factors affecting a PI’s salary later. For now, let us look at the factors that affect the salary of state employed investigators.
Size of population
The income of a detective depends on the population of a city the same to that of the police officers. If the city is more populated, then the number of cases that need to be handled also rises. 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.
Place assigned or working
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. But there is another factor, which is the cost of living. A detective will be paid higher if the cost of living in that certain location is higher. Private investigators will also have this case. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey has 6-figure salaries and District of Columbia can pay as much as $116,000.
One can have a police job if he or she has a high school degree except at the federal level. Though this rules sometimes varies with state, most states do not require higher education certificates. 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. The degree could be associate, bachelor or master’s. Depending on your degree, you might be paid more.
Your length of stay in the field will be a consideration on how much you will earn as an investigator. Usually, people see an increase of up to $15,000 with 20 years of experience if they do not get promoted. But if you are promoted as a Police Chief, you will be paid about $180,000 per year.
Big sur Private Investigators
The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. The factors that affect the salary as mentioned above include the location, amount of discretion needed, amount of danger involved, required extra equipment and other many things. The investigator will quote the job price after the clients presented their problem.
As you can see, the income of a state-employed detective is steady and can be increased by various means. The salary of a private investigator cannot be determined and by being famous it can be increased. Now that you have the financial facts, you can decide which path to choose.
Big sur Detective’s Career Path
First thing first, we will be talking about career growth in this field. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators recorded in 2015. There were about 30,000 private investigators who do the same job on record. In this industry, the predicted growth of private detectives is about 15%. This goes to show that by 2025, 1,500 new jobs will be opened. Such growth rate follows the 5% average growth rate in all other sectors. This figure is only 4% for public investigators. 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 increasing population is the reason behind this steady increase in employment. As the population increases, more people need to be protected and more criminals need to be caught. 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 in California, Texas and Florida with the southern part are higher in number compared to the northern ones.
Let’s move on to the industries that hire most of these two professionals. 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. Criminal investigators receive $80,000 as average salary annually while Private investigators earn $52,000 only. When you combine the aspects of geography and finance, you see that District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey paid the most (6 figure salaries) for Public investigators. Private detectives were paid most in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
Comparing with different industries again, we see that for private industries, the most employing industries do not pay the highest. SinceElectromedical, Navigational, Power generation, Metal Product forming and other such industries have to protect sensitive information that is why pirvate detective are paid most by them. Moving on to Public Investigators, federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes pay the most.
How To Become A Big sur Detective
Detectives come in two kinds. There are private investigators that the general public can hire to investigate on certain things. The others are employed by the government and reach this post after being promoted from a police officer. We will explore both avenues here.
Complete High School
A detective is known for his deduction skills, and it is due to such that he is promoted to such position. Hence if you want to become a detective, it is generally necessary to graduate from high school and enlist in the police force. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.
Get your Bachelor’s Degree
In most cases, enlisting in the police force won’t require a bachelor’s degree. Although some officers would like to have other means of employment right after retirement. A bachelor’s degree is also required to pursue any jobs at the federal level or become a detective.
Many institutions require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in law, criminal justice or psychology to become a detective. Anyone with an associate’s degree is given training up to 5000 hours. On the other hand, someone with a bachelor’s degree needs only 4000 hours of training.
Get enough experience
To become a professional detective (not employed by the state), you need to have some professional experience as an investigator. Fortunately, you have several options available. But in most cases, it will require you to be employed by the government. Landing work as a law enforcement investigator, arson investigator, or criminal investigator will count as being a person with experience. Working as an office investigator or as a licensed repossessor will count as well.
There might be variations in the required experience in the state you’re applying in. Some states require you to have 3 years of experience while others require 5 years.
Get firearms permits
Investigators who don’t have a firearms permit are prohibited from carrying their guns. There are several firearms with strict requirements such as completing a full training course before the permits are issued. So, if you are planning to become an armed investigator, you will need to go through weapons training course and then get the permit for the required weapons.
Obtain California licensure
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. The test is only available for those who want to be private detectives. After passing this test, you are officially a private investigator with a license.
File for California insurance
Being a detective is dangerous, hence it is a good idea to get your insurance. Typically, we’re talking about a $10,000 medical insurance. 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.
Complete all these steps and then voila! You can finally fulfill your dream and become a detective! But be careful – as mentioned before, this can be a dangerous line of work. If that doesn’t scare you away, then you should fulfill all the requirements as soon as possible.
Big sur Detective Job Description?
Crime Scene Investigation
It will be a detective’s duty to carefully assess a crime scene and come up with the most sensible deduction. The detectives find and bag evidence at the scene of the crime. They are supposed to take anything into custody that may look suspicious and may be used for clues or in the court later. In some cases, detectives can receive aid from the forensic investigation department, hence allowing them to come up with more deductions regarding the crime. To collect more clues and evidence, detectives will need to go door to door and ask any possible 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. In most cases, this will mean researching into previous records for them to know how the culprit might operate. In cases of serial killers or ‘copycats’, research helps a lot. It also helps to identify tactics that a drug cartel might be using thus helping the detectives shut them down. Other general research can help them narrow down a suspect better or deduce the crime scene in a more efficient way.
Accurately guessing the culprit
The goal of a detective’s job is to bring justice to light and bring the culprit to justice. However, they will need to come up with a list of suspects first. 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 either narrate a possible scenario of how the crime was committed, describe how the evidence incriminates the suspect or provide their expert views on certain topics. Sometimes, the detectives are also required to escort the culprit to jail.
Big sur Private Detectives
The above duties are what a detective is expected to do. A private detective’s job description is a bit loose. They will need to fulfill the needs of their clients especially when it comes to research. But there are limits which they shouldn’t go beyond when carrying out 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. Moreover, arresting someone is out of their jurisdiction.
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. They are never displayed on portrayed on the media or anywhere else. 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!