Boulder Colorado Detective Salary And Job Requirements

Growing up watching detective serials and movies, everyone wants to become a detective. After knowing the character of Sherlock Holmes, we assume to be like him. 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. You will find some information about being a detective if you still want to become one.

Private detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

police detective career summary

***image credit – BLS.gov

Table Of Contents

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. The national average for a state-employed detective is $76,000. The average salary for a private detective is around $45,000 only. 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.

Population Size

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. Therefore, the salary increases as well. One of the major factors in deciding the salary of an investigator is the crime rate. For example, the average salary for someone who is in the LA police department will range from $44,000 to $88,000. Compared to someone in Miami Police department, the average salary ranges from $86,000 to $107,000.

police detective salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

Job location

The location is just the same us with the population of the place and rate of the crime. 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. This is true with the case of private investigators as well. District of Columbia, Alaska, and New Jersey all pay 6-figure salaries with District of Columbia paying as much as $116,000.

Educational degree

One can have a police job if he or she has a high school degree except at the federal level. States have different rules but a higher education certificate is not necessary in some 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. The degree could be associate, bachelor or master’s. You will be paid more depending on your degree.

Work Experience

Like any other job, you will get earn as an investigator if you stay in the field long enough. 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. You can earn about $180,000 annually if you reach the post of Police Chief as a promotion.

Boulder Private Investigators

The salary of a private investigator depends on the how many cases he or she takes and solves them. 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.

Private investigator salary by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

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). The path to choose will be determined based in the financial facts you have.

Boulder Detective Career Outlook

What we are going to talk about first is the growth in the fields. There were about 106,000 public detectives or criminal investigators on record in 2015. There were about 30,000 private investigators who do the same job on record. Private detectives have grown for about 5% in the industry. This goes to show that by 2025, 1,500 new jobs will be opened. This is the same growth rate of 5% in different sectors. For public investigators, this is only 4% of the figure. Meaning to say, in 2025 it is expected that there will be 4,000 more jobs as a criminal investigator. This is also considered as the average growth rate.

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. Hence, there is a balance in each other, which leads to average growth in both careers.

police detective employment by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

The highest number of Criminal/Law Enforcement Investigators are found in Texas, California and New York. 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 now find out where these two professionals are hired most by industires. 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.

Financially speaking, criminal investigators do get paid more than 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 receive higher payment in Alabama, Nebraska, and New Jersey.

Private industries that employ most do not pay the highest in comparison with the different industires. In fact, Electromedical, Navigational, Power generation, Metal Product forming and other such industries paid the most for private detectives since they had the most sensitive information to protect. For public investigators, they are paid most by federal agencies, postal services, and educational institutes.

Private investigator career outlook by state

***image credit – BLS.gov

How To Become A Boulder 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. The others are employed by the government and reach this post after being promoted from a police officer. We are going to explore here the different avenues.

Complete High School

Due to excellent deduction skills, a deductive is able to take a leap from a police officer to a detective position. 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. To become a private investigator, a high school degree is a must too.

Get Yourself a Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree isn’t really necessary in most cases when becoming a police officer. Some officers however want to have another source of income right after they retire from their job. Likewise, you will need a bachelor degree if you want to 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. 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. 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. Working as an office investigator or as a licensed repossessor will count as well.

Depending on the state you are applying in, the requirements of experience change. Some states require you to have 3 years of experience while others require 5 years.

Own a gun legally

Investigators that aren’t licensed by the state aren’t allowed to carry firearms without a permit. 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 Colorado licensure exam

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.

Insure Yourself

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. 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! 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.

Responsibilities of Being a Detective in Boulder

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. 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. To collect more clues and evidence, detectives will need to go door to door and ask any possible eye witnesses.

Criminal Research

One of the core aspects of a detective’s duty is doing research and groundwork regarding previous cases. They do so to gain more knowledge about criminal behavior and identify patterns that people usually follow. This involves looking into previous case records to allow them to have an insight regarding the behavior of the criminal. 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. 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 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. This suspect pool is then narrowed down by getting alibis from some suspects and interrogating others. 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.

Boulder Private Detectives

All the above duties were that of a public detective or a law enforcement detective. A private detective’s job description is a bit loose. They are supposed to carry out their client’s wishes to the best of their abilities as far as reconnaissance is concerned. However, they can only go as far as certain laws will allow them when going on with their job. A private detective is usually hired to perform background checks, keep a check on the actions of certain people, track finances, collect evidence against someone or work of similar nature. 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. However, the roles and responsibilities that detectives carry aren’t as easy as they seem. Such things aren’t even shown on the TV. 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’re really interested with the job, you should start knowing what it takes to be a detective now!