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
Salary of a Detective
The employer is the one who will decide regarding the detective’s salary. 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. A state employed detective earns a national average of $76,000. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. Later, you will know about what affects a PI’s salary. Here are the factors that affect the salary of investigators that are state employed.
Number of People
The income of a detective depends on the population of a city the same to that of the police officers. A more populated city will mean more cases to be handled. 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. Whereas, a member of the Miami Police department usually get $86,000 to $107,000 salary.
Crime rate and population of the place are closely related to the location. However, another factor comes into play in such conditions – cost of living. Higher the cost of living in a certain location, higher the detective is paid. Private investigators will also have this case. 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. Though this rules sometimes varies with state, most states do not require higher education certificates. 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. The degree could be associate, bachelor or master’s. You will be paid more depending on your degree.
Your length of stay in the field will be a consideration on how much you will earn as an investigator. An increase of up to $20,000 will be given to those who work in the field for 20 years if they don’t get a promotion. However, with promotions, if you reach the post of Police Chief, you can earn about $180,000 annually.
Birmingham Private Investigators
The number of cases and solving them are the bases of a private investigator’s salary. 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. The price for the job will be quoted by the investigator after the problem is presented by the clients.
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.
Career Outlook of a Birmingham Detective
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. Meanwhile, private investigators who do the same job were only 30,000. Private detectives have grown for about 5% in the industry. Meaning to say, in 2025 the new jobs open will reach 1,500. This growth rate is following the average growth rate of 5% across all other 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 can be considered as an average rate of growth as well.
The steady increase in employment is mainly due to the increase in population. As the population increases, more people need to be protected and more criminals need to be caught. However, with stricter laws and more advanced technology being use, the crime rate isn’t increasing that significantly. Thus, both the phenomena almost balance each other out leading to an average growth in both these careers.
In terms of location, Texas, California and New York have the highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators. Western states and Texas show more employment here than the eastern ones. 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. Criminalinvestigaors are being hired mostly by The Local, State government and the Federal branch. Security Services, Consulting services are the ones who usually hire private detectives and the local government need them for consultation on a few cases.
Criminal investigators get higher payments than the private ones. The annual average salary of criminal investigators is $80,000 while Private investigators get $52,000. Public investigators are paid most in District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey in the aspects of geography and finance. Private detectives were paid most in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
Compared with the different industries, private industries where they employ most 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. Federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes are paying public investigators most.
How can You Qualify as a Detective In Birmingham
Keep in mind that there are two kinds of detectives. General public can hire some private investigators to investigate certain things. Some of them are employed by the government and get this post after their promotion as a police officer. 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. Thus, a general way in becoming a detective is to first complete high school and get into the police academy to become a police officer. Becoming a private investigator would mean getting a high school degree.
Get Yourself a Bachelor’s Degree
In most cases, enlisting in the police force won’t require a bachelor’s degree. However, some police officers prefer to have one as a means of employment after they retire. However, if you aspire to be a detective or land a job on federal level, you will need a bachelor’s degree.
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. However, the time required is reduced to 4000 hours if you have a bachelor’s degree.
Get the right amount of experience
You need to experience working as an investigator first before you can become a professional detective. You can find several ways to do so. But in most cases, it will require you to be employed by the government. If you have any experience as an arson investigator, criminal investigator or a law enforcement investigator, you are qualified as a person with experience. Other than these, you can also choose to Public defender’s office investigator or a licensed repossessor.
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.
Get firearms permits
Investigators that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. Some firearms require a full training course after which they are issued with the permits. Hence, to get a permit for your firearm when working as an investigator, you will need to complete the full training course.
Obtain Alabama licensure
Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you will need to take a state licensing examination. The test will include questions regarded state laws and have multiple choices to choose from. This examination is only for aspiring private detectives. If you managed to pass, you will become a licensed private investigator.
Since investigating can sometimes be a dangerous line of work, it is important to get insurance done. This is generally medical insurance of about $10,000. However, getting an even higher amount when you bring a firearm is necessary since you need to have some protection with you.
Complete all these steps and then voila! You can now start living the detective life you always wanted. However, don’t forget that being a detective would mean exposing yourself to danger. 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 Birmingham?
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. In some cases, detectives can receive aid from the forensic investigation department, hence allowing them to come up with more deductions regarding the crime. Detectives should gather as many clues and evidences as possible by analyzing cameras and gathering information from eye witnesses.
One of the core aspects of a detective’s duty is doing research and groundwork regarding previous cases. 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. Research is definitely of great help when it comes to tracking down serial killers. This also helps detectives take down drug cartels by allowing them to identify any tactics being used. Other general research can help them narrow down a suspect better or deduce the crime scene in a more efficient way.
Reducing the list of possible suspects
The goal of a detective’s job is to bring justice to light and bring the culprit to justice. They will need to have a list of the suspects first before such thing could happen. This suspect pool maybe as big as 100 people or as small as none. They create this suspect list by drawing conclusions from the evidence gathered at the crime, eyewitnesses, research and a bit of criminal/forensic psychology. 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
As part of their final job, detectives will need to make sure 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. In some cases, they will even accompany the culprit to the jail.
Birmingham 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. They have to be subtle in their ways and act as a normal citizen in carrying out the duties of a detective. Moreover, arresting someone is out of their jurisdiction.
You see, the “Idiot Box The thing is, the duties and roles detectives undertake every single day are very stressful. That is never shown properly on television or anywhere else. Supposedly, they should carefully collect any clue and evidence since they carry such heavy responsibility on their shoulders. If you think being a detective is the right job for you, then you should do research about it now!